Monday, February 14, 2011

Seasonal Park Ranger Housing

A question came in asking about housing for seasonal employees in parks.

Do I have to live nearby or do most parks have housing for summer help?

Most parks do have some type of housing for summer seasonal employees.  This can range from a tent on a platform to The Ranger Club at Yosemite National Park (  It all depends on what facilities a park have available.  Predominate types of seasonal housing I ran into were mobile homes, cinder block apartments, or if you are lucky a house that has been converted to a dorm.

Generally housing is made available based on the position the employee is in and how important it is that the person be on site followed by the overall availability of space.

Today any type of housing facilities are most likely to be dorm style and it is not uncommon for these to be coed.  You may get a room to yourself or have a roommate. You will have to share bathroom facilities. 

In National Parks you will be charged rent for housing.  This may be different in state parks as I know they generally charge their full time employees a lot less for rent.  As a seasonal in a National Park the rent will be based on a dorm rate and include utilities.  So you need to find out how much this will cost and deduct that from what you are thinking you will be paid for the summer.

A new seasonal employee would also need to find out what household supplies they will need to provide.  As an example, there may or may not be an equipped kitchen and you may have to supply your own dishes, pots, and pans. 

In most cases there will not be housing for employees less than 18 years of age unless they are a Youth Conservation Corp or Student Conservation Association participant.  These jobs place you with a group of people your own age with adult oversight.

Those who have never worked and lived in parks should not entertain any romantic dreams of what type of housing they will be provided.  Most housing is old, not well maintained or cleaned.  Mold, insects, and mice are common roommates.  The setting of most housing is not on some mountaintop with spectacular views.  Although there are some exceptions, it is more likely that you will be viewing a fenced and paved maintenance area, a busy campground, or a sewage lagoon.

It is really the excitement and fulfillment of the job and comradeship that you are hoping for rather than pristine housing.

1 comment:

  1. Are there any situations where a seasonal Ranger could live in a personal RV for a summer?