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Trenton, N.J. - February 14, 2023 - The Department of Environmental Protection is looking forward to another year of robust visitation to New Jersey’s State Parks, Forests and Historic Sites and is hiring for hundreds of seasonal jobs, DEP Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette announced today.
The employment opportunities offered are essential to the operations of the State Park Service and include lifeguards, naturalists and history educators, visitor service assistants, maintenance personnel, office staff and trail stewards. The breadth of positions available in a variety of fields also provide an excellent opportunity to jumpstart an environmental career restoring, protecting and preserving New Jersey’s cultural, historic and natural resources.
“A seasonal job with the State Park Service has numerous benefits, from being outdoors in nature to developing important life and work skills,” Commissioner LaTourette said. “We encourage people of all backgrounds and experience levels to apply. Our seasonal hires become ambassadors for showcasing to millions of visitors the beauty and endless recreational opportunities across New Jersey.”
“New Jersey’s state parks, forests and historic sites are a treasure, and the State Park Service is always looking for dedicated individuals to help us conserve and make available these spaces for all,” said John Cecil, Assistant Commissioner for State Parks, Forests & Historic Sites. “These seasonal opportunities are an excellent sampling of the full-time jobs that are available throughout the State Park Service and Department of Environmental Protection as a whole. Come begin or extend your career with us!”
To learn which parks, forests and historic sites are accepting applications or to apply for a specific position, visit www.nj.gov/dep/workinparks. Applicants are encouraged to check with the park office of their choice by phone or email at their earliest convenience about specific positions, scheduling and other job-related inquiries. Applications are recommended to be submitted by Wednesday, March 1.
While most seasonal job openings are from Memorial Day through Labor Day, select parks need part-time staff year-round. Most jobs are outdoors.
Seasonal staff are required to work weekends and holidays because park facilities are open every day. The State Park Service will work with applicants, such as students and teachers, whose availability may be limited to weekends during certain periods of the year.
The type and number of positions vary by location, depending on the recreational and educational activities each area offers. Applicants must be 16 years of age or older to apply. Starting hourly salaries range from $15 to $18.50 depending on the position.
Lifeguards are needed at swimming areas across the state, with salaries starting at $17.50 per hour. Oceanfront guards at Island Beach State Park start at $18.50 per hour. Prior experience is not necessary, but candidates must pass running and swim tests prior to employment. The State Park Service will train lifeguards in cardiopulmonary resuscitation/Automated External Defibrillator use, first aid and other medical matters. Each lifeguard will also receive a U.S. Lifesaving Association certification. The DEP anticipates state park swimming areas to open in mid-June. Island Beach State Park swimming areas are expected to open Saturday, May 27.
Lifeguard opportunities are anticipated at High Point, Hopatcong, Swartswood and Wawayanda state parks in the northern part of the state, Cheesequake State Park and Round Valley Recreation Area in central New Jersey, and Island Beach State Park, Atsion Recreation Area (Wharton State Forest), Bass River and Belleplain state forests in the south.
After a successful pilot run in 2022, the State Park Service will continue expanding its aquatics program by hiring Junior Lifeguards at least 15 years old, at $16 per hour. While junior lifeguards cannot perform lifeguard duties for the public until age 16, the position provides a head start on their training for when they can provide full lifeguard duties the following summer.
Regional Lifeguard Trainer and Water Safety Supervisor positions are also available, both starting at $27 per hour.
Trail Stewards And Other Positions
Trail Steward positions are available at Cheesequake State Park, Island Beach State Park, Stokes State Forest, Wharton State Forest and Worthington State Forest. Eligible applicants must be 18 years of age or older and able to hike long distances daily. Applicants should be personable, assertive and professional as they work with crowds and advise visitors about the Leave No Trace concept and park regulations. Other jobs may include brushing and blazing trails, installing signs and fences, and performing general trail maintenance.
Visitor service and office assistants help register campers, collect entrance fees, answer phone calls, provide recordkeeping and conduct other customer service duties as required.
Naturalists and history educators work with park naturalists and historians at interpretive centers and historic sites to educate visitors. Typical activities include leading or assisting with interpretive programs, teaching visiting camp groups, demonstrating a craft and preparing materials. These positions may also be assigned specific projects by their supervisor.
Naturalist opportunities are available at Liberty State Park, High Point State Park and Stokes State Forest in the north, Leonard State Maria, Cheesequake and Washington Crossing state parks in the central region, and Batsto Village Historic Site (Wharton State Forest) and Island Beach State Park in the south.
History educator positions are available at Ringwood State Park and Waterloo Village Historic Site in the north, Twin Lights Historic Site and Washington Crossing State Park in central New Jersey, and Batsto Village Historic Site (Wharton State Forest), Double Trouble and Island Beach state parks in the south.
Maintenance personnel are vital to the State Park Service’s summer operations. Applicants should expect to assist full-time staff in a variety of tasks that include lawn mowing, cleaning of facilities, trash removal, park improvement projects and other general maintenance functions. Those with a unique skill, such as carpentry, are encouraged to apply for these positions.
Applications are being accepted at www.nj.gov/dep/workinparks.
The DEP’s State Park Service manages more than 453,000 acres of land, including 40 state parks, 11 state forests, three recreation areas and more than 50 historic sites and districts.
For more about New Jersey’s Parks, Forests & Historic Sites, visit www.njparksandforests.org/
Like New Jersey’s State Parks, Forests & Historic Sites page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/newjerseystateparks
Follow the New Jersey State Park Service on Instagram @newjerseystateparks
Follow Commissioner LaTourette on Twitter and Instagram @shawnlatur and follow the DEP on Twitter @NewJerseyDEP, Facebook @newjerseydep, Instagram @nj.dep and LinkedIn @newjerseydep