Recreational vehicle (RV) parks are popular across the United States not only for senior citizens but also for seasonal workers and snowbirds–people who migrate north and south to enjoy cooler summers and warmer winters. RV parks range in size from just a few spots to lavish resorts with hundreds of spaces and plenty of amenities and onsite activities. No matter how large or small an RV park is, managers run its operations.
RV park manager jobs are usually offered as team positions with an office manager and a maintenance manager. Smaller parks might have one manager who is responsible for office duties as well as cleaning, landscaping and maintenance. Large RV parks often have two or three teams of managers who live in the park. Some high-end resorts also employ marketing teams and concierges. In a typical situation, the person in charge of the office usually answers telephone calls, makes reservations, reads utility meters and accepts payments. The maintenance manager typically cleans restrooms, maintains neat landscaping and ensures operational lighting and plumbing throughout the RV park.
An RV park office manager should have experience working in an apartment leasing office or managing a hotel front desk. She should be organized, friendly and know her way around the area because many RV travelers have questions about where to find services. The maintenance manager should have experience working as a custodian or landscaper, or have some combination of work experience that offers hands-on maintenance experience.
Many RV park managers are referred to as “workampers” because they work in exchange for space, rent and utilities. Some RV park managers earn an hourly wage in addition to free living expenses. Wages typically do not exceed minimum wage and may fluctuate with the season.
The U.S. Department of Labor classifies RV park managers under "Hotels and Other Accommodations" in its Occupational Outlook Handbook. According to the department's Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Job opportunities at outdoor recreation and RV parks should grow as RVs and driving vacations gain popularity in the United States.” Overall, the hospitality industry is expected to grow by 5 percent through 2018. RV park management jobs are posted on websites such as CraigsList, Work at KOA (Work Kamper) and Legacy RV Resorts.
Most RV park employers take a combination of work experience into consideration, and degrees or certifications are typically not necessary. Completing the Certified Park Operator Program (CPO) through the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), however, can give a job applicant an edge over the competition.