Washington State Parks will hire more than 300 park aides this year

Image courtesy Washington State Parks

Washington State Parks said it is recruiting seasonal park aides to work in its outdoor places this spring, summer and fall.  

Parks is looking for more than 300 park aides and senior park aides to work from April through September in such diverse environments as old-growth forests, channeled scabland and shrub steppe, on Pacific Ocean beaches, in the high desert and around Puget Sound and its islands.  

Park aides enjoy a variety of duties. They register campers, maintain trails, clean campgrounds and maintain facilities. They also staff park offices, assist visitors and help with interpretive and educational programs. Park aides work in one large park or cover an area with several small parks. Each senior park aide leads a team of park aides.

According to a state parks news release, this opportunity is ideal for recent high school and college graduates, retired workers looking for an encore, military veterans transitioning to civilian employment and mid-careerists taking time to reinvent themselves. Most park aides appreciate the flexibility of seasonal outdoor work and the mix of public interaction and physical labor.

Park aides have the chance to grow with the agency, and many have gone on to success as rangers, customer service and human resources managers, environmental planners and more. Former park aides also have found work in the outdoor industry, for nonprofits or with other public lands agencies.

Olyvia Buday started as a seasonal park aide and rose through the ranks to become the South Sound’s area manager.

“Working for state parks is a great opportunity to have a career that eliminates the monotony of a desk job,” she said. “Every day is different.”

Park Aide Ben Johnson has worked two seasons at Jarrell Cove. He started with general maintenance but eventually took an office role and learned Parks’ reservation system.  He said his park offered, “one of the most respectful environments I’ve ever worked in… a place where my work is seen and appreciated.”

Applications are open now through August. Park aides earn $16.90 to $20.33 an hour, and senior park aides earn $19.40 to $23.40 an hour, depending on qualifications and experience. More information and online applications can be accessed at Parks Aide Jobs. Staff testimony and other details are available in this video. 

Persons needing accommodation in the application process or this announcement in an alternative format may contact the human resources office at 360-902-8565 or the Washington Telecommunication Relay Service at 800-833-6388. 


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