Retirement is a time for rest and relaxation, but for some, it is a time to check your interests and spend time doing activities you enjoy. For other seniors, it is also a time when supplemental income is needed. For those who enjoy nature, history and social interaction, the National Park Service has jobs for seniors that are seasonal or part-time, low stress but interesting.
Be a park guide for a national park. As a seasonal employee, you would participate in educational programs for the park’s visitors. Being comfortable in front of an audience is important, because that is how guides spend most of their time. Your programs would consist of the park’s history, camping areas, facilities, local natural resources and how to safely enjoy the area. You might also share details on park projects, new policies or events and issues dealing with the park’s preservation. When you are not delivering informative programs, you might collect fees, do some clerical work, direct park traffic or participate in back-country services. Though you may give the same program all summer, no two days would be the same. You would meet people from all over the world, learn interesting information and history about a spectacular location and find your outdoor office ever-changing.
Visitor Use Assistant
Visitor use assistants are the uniformed park employees working at visitor centers, park entrances, and campgrounds. Many times you are the only park employee visitors have contact with, so your job requires you to pass out maps, give directions and warn of any safety concerns. To work this job you must pass a background check. Part of this job involves collecting fees and handling money, directing traffic, dispatch duties and greeter. You represent the park and must do so in a friendly, professional manner. If you enjoy helping others this might be a good fit for you.
This is a seasonal job in some of the colder climates, but most National Park Campgrounds use campground hosts to ensure the campers are happy and fully accommodated. In some campgrounds, this position is labeled as “volunteer”, though the host is given a camping site with water and electrical hookup, a park uniform and performs miscellaneous jobs throughout his stay. As a host you welcome the campers, assist the maintenance crew and act as the emergency contact for the campground. Your job-related expenses are typically reimbursed and you receive full training.