Ever dream of working on your tan while working a job? Well, a summer job can make your dream possible.
On the River
"We're looking for friendly, enthusiastic people who love the outdoors," says Dave Hammond, owner of Beyond Limits Adventures in Riverbank. "Our seasonal employees start training in April and our river trips run through September, with most of the work from mid-May to Labor Day."
Once an applicant passes an initial interview, they are given first aid, CPR and on-the-river training. Swimming is definitely a prerequisite.
"The benefits are fantastic," he maintains. "You get to work outdoors everyday, have the opportunity to meet new people and best of all - to run the river. It's exciting and different everyday."
Hammond says the pay is generally good and above minimum wage. The majority of the guides are either students or recent college graduates who want to take some time off before proceeding with their careers.
"Our trips usually run the American, Yuba, Stanislaus and Kawheah rivers," he explains. "Some of the trips are overnight and the guides are involved in preparing and serving meals and making sure the clients are having a good time."
In the Park
Called the most beautiful place on earth, Yosemite National Park offers a workplace with amazing views and boundless job opportunities.
Debbie Brown, manager of employee relations and recruitment with Yosemite Concession Services, says they are looking to hire 800 seasonal employees.
"We have many jobs ranging from entry level to upper management for energetic, eager people," she reports. "Our long summer season starts gearing up in the latter part of March and goes into October.
"We are interested in people who care about guest services, have energy and a love of nature," Brown says. "It takes an adventurous spirit to live in a place with bears and raccoons walking around."
She explains that because the company works with the Service Employees International Union, new hires have to go into entry-level, hourly positions before they have the opportunity to bid for higher-level jobs.
These jobs include food servers, room keepers, kitchen help, rafting attendants and cashiers.
"We depend on a lot of student employees and retired couples who come to work for a season then go home," she notes.
"The people who have already had successful careers tell me they aren't interested in management. They just want to work their shifts and then have time to enjoy the park."
Brown notes that many upper-level managers started as seasonal workers. Others have come to the park and become inspired to pursue culinary or other advanced training so they could qualify for alternate careers in Yosemite.
Low cost, subsidized housing is one of the added benefits of working here. Brown says most seasonal workers share a tent cabin with a roommate for $14.55 a week. Most park eateries offer 50 percent employee discounts.
Applications are available online at yosemite.com or by calling human resources at (209) 372-1236.
Urban parks also offer summer opportunity. Sacramento County assistant park ranger William Wetzel reports positions as kiosk operators (collecting fees at county parks) and maintenance personnel are especially in demand for the summer season.
"We look for college students who don't have classes and retirees looking for some extra money in the summer," he says. "Maintenance people pick up trash and do light construction in the 23-mile American River Parkway with its 25 separate parks and in four separate regional parks.
He says there are no qualifications for these low-key jobs and the pay is about $8.50 an hour.
At the Construction Site
Jay Evans, brand manager of Labor Connection in Sacramento, is expecting a sizzling job market this summer.
"We are mostly construction related and we need people to clean up construction sites as well as those in the skilled trades such as carpenters, painters, welders and concrete finishers. We also have some warehouse jobs available."
He explains his temporary labor agency's niche is geared toward people who are between jobs or just want work for the summer.
"We have employees who might be interested in the construction business as a career and want to try it out for awhile," he explains. "Or we get college students looking for 'mad money' to get them through the summer."
The average hourly wage for general labor is $7 and skilled labor pay ranges between $10-$14.
Evans says all the labor market reports predict a solid summer for construction jobs as the economy begins to turn around.
"We need people now as well as in the summer," he notes. "The Sacramento area is growing by leaps and bounds and residential construction is booming in El Dorado Hills, Roseville, Rockland and Elk Grove."
In the Restaurant
Charlie Hamilton, managing partner of Margaritaville in Sausalito says his staff, like many in the Bay Area, is already set for the tourist season. But he offers some tips for finding that summer job.
"It seems getting a job in the restaurant business is being in the right place at the right time, available and ready to work," he states. "It's being persistent and not just dropping off a resume. You need to show your face."
He says if he needs a busboy or hostess and a fresh face keeps showing up, that person will get his attention. "I'll know they are genuinely looking for employment and my restaurant is not just one of 50 where they dropped off an application."
Hamilton says this summer job season might be tighter because the labor market has changed. A flood of people - some from the failed dot-com sector - have deluged restaurants looking for work.
"Jobseekers shouldn't wait for a call back" to revisit a restaurant, he advises. "Restaurant experience goes a long way, but a lot is just determination and luck."
A Beyond Limits Adventures - (800) 234-RAFT, rivertrip.com.
aplus-summerjobs.com - Helps students and recent grads find unique seasonal and summer jobs.
CampStaff.com - A searchable directory of summer camp jobs.
CoolWorks.com - Job listings for seasonal jobs, such as national and state parks, amusement parks, ski resorts, etc.
Labor Connection - (916) 455-8367, laborconnection.com
Margaritaville - (415) 331-3226, margaritaville.citysearch.com.
Petersons.com/summerop - Provides database searches for summer jobs. Site is hosted by Peterson's, publisher of educational resources.
Sacramento County Park and Recreation - (916) 875-6961, saccountyjobs.com.
SummerJobs.com - Job listings and resources for finding summer jobs.
Yosemite National Park - (209) 372-1236, yosemitepark.com.