NEW JERSEY –The Department of Environmental Protection is hiring for hundreds of summer jobs across New Jersey’s State Parks, Forests and Historic Sites, according to DEP Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette.
From High Point in the northwest to Cape May Point in the southeast, New Jersey residents and visitors flock to the State’s oceanfront, urban and rural parks between the months of May and September. To ensure park-goers can enjoy all that the New Jersey State Parks system has to offer, DEP recruits hundreds of seasonal employees who can build important skills while helping to deliver a first-class visitor experience.
Jobs ranging from lifeguards to visitor assistants, nature educators to trail stewards and grounds maintenance, offer applicants the opportunity to spend their summer outdoors and consider the experience a possible steppingstone to a future career working to restore, preserve, and protect our natural, cultural, and historic resources.
“A summer job with the State Park Service gives our seasonal team members the benefit of enjoying New Jersey’s incredible natural and historic resources while developing useful skills that will last a lifetime,” LaTourette said. “We are looking for a rich diversity of seasonal employees who will take on the very important roles of being ambassadors to our parks for our millions of visitors from across the state and beyond.”
“A seasonal job with the State Park Service can launch the career you never considered,” said John Cecil, Assistant Commissioner for Parks, Forests and Historic Sites. “Many State Park Service staff, now in leadership roles, started in a seasonal position with the Park Service, whether maintenance, lifeguarding, natural and historic educators, or meeting and greeting the public in State Park Police or visitor service role. These are amazing opportunities to build your skills, serve the public and get outside.”
To learn which parks, forests and historic sites are accepting applications or to apply for a specific position, visit www.nj.gov/dep/workinparks. Applicants are encouraged to check with the park office of their choice by phone at their earliest convenience about specific positions, scheduling and other job-related inquiries. Applications should be submitted as soon as possible.
While most seasonal job openings are from Memorial Day through Labor Day, select parks need part-time staff year-round. Most jobs are outdoors.
Seasonal staff are required to work weekends and holidays because park facilities are open seven days a week. The State Park Service will work with applicants, such as students and teachers, whose availability may be limited to weekends during certain periods of the year.
The type and number of positions vary by location, depending on the types of recreational and educational activities each area offers. Applicants must be 16 years of age or older to apply. Salaries start at $15 per hour for most positions.
Lifeguards are needed at swimming areas across the state, with salaries starting at $17.50 per hour. Oceanfront guards at Island Beach State Park start at $18.50 per hour. Prior experience is not necessary, but candidates must pass running and swim tests prior to employment.
The State Park Service will train lifeguards in cardiopulmonary resuscitation/Automated External Defibrillator use, first aid and other medical matters. Each lifeguard will also receive a U.S. Lifesaving Association certification. The DEP anticipates state park swimming areas to open in mid-June. Island Beach State Park swimming areas are expected to open Saturday, May 28.
The State Park Service is expanding its aquatics program this year and will hire Junior Lifeguards at least 15 years old, at $16 per hour. While junior lifeguards cannot perform lifeguard duties for the public until age 16, the position provides a head start on their training.
Higher-level supervisory positions in the State Park Service’s aquatics program are also available. The Aquatics Program Supervisor position is responsible for ensuring that State Park Service ocean and freshwater swimming areas comply with United States Lifesaving Association Certification requirements. The salary is $28 per hour. Regional Lifeguard Trainer and Water Safety Supervisor positions are also available, both starting at $27 per hour.
Trail Steward positions are available at the Wawayanda State Park in Passaic and Sussex counties; and Wharton State Forest in Burlington County. Eligible applicants must be 18 years of age or older and able to hike long distances daily. Applicants should be personable, assertive and professional as they work with crowds and advise visitors about the Leave No Trace concept and park regulations. Other jobs may include brushing and blazing trails, installing signs and fences, and general trail maintenance. Salaries range from $15 per hour.
Visitor service and office assistants help register campers, collect entrance fees, answer phone calls, provide recordkeeping and conduct other customer service duties as required. Salaries start at $15 per hour.
Naturalists and history educators work with park naturalists and historians at interpretive centers and historic sites to educate visitors. Typical activities include leading or assisting with interpretive programs, teaching visiting camp groups, demonstrating a craft and preparing materials. These positions may also be assigned specific projects by their supervisor. Salaries start at $15 per hour.
Maintenance personnel are vital to the State Park Service’s summer operations. Applicants should expect to assist full-time staff in a variety of tasks including lawnmowing, cleaning of facilities, trash removal, park improvement projects and other general maintenance functions. Those with a unique skill, such as carpentry, are encouraged to apply for these positions. Salaries start at $15 per hour based upon experience.
The DEP’s Division of Parks and Forestry oversees more than 50 state parks, forests, recreation areas, battlefields, historic sites and marinas that annually draw millions of visitors and are a key contributor to the state’s tourism economy. The State Park Police protect the natural and historic resources of New Jersey’s state parks, forests and historic sites, and the safety, security and well-being of all visitors.
To learn more about New Jersey’s parks, forests and historic sites, visit www.njparksandforests.org