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5 Great Jobs for Snowbirds

Heading south for the winter? Unique employment opportunities await.

En español | Snowbirds are on the move. Biting cold in the North has sparked the annual migration of retirees and semi-retirees south for the winter. In parts of Florida and Arizona, especially, populations swell as warm-weather seekers make the seasonal shift.

See also: Looking for a work-at-home job?

While climate is the No. 1 motive, it's not the only draw. Unique employment opportunities await snowbirds who are interested in making money while they soak up the sun. Disney, for example, does brisk hiring for its theme parks during winter months, as do resorts, to handle the influx of tourists. The job possibilities, both full-time and part-time, don't end there.

5 Great Jobs for Snowbirds

— © Corbis

For 72-year-old Bill Armbrecht, a lifelong baseball fan, there's only one temporary employer for him. Over the past two seasons, the Sandusky, Ohio, resident has worked at the Cleveland Indians' spring training facility in Goodyear, Ariz. It's 18 miles from the Sun City condo where he and his wife spend winters.

Armbrecht's job title: Security. For the most part, that translates into making sure fans and reporters are respectful of the players and their time, but he has worked the parking lot and special events, too. "I do a lot of different things," he says. "Whatever needs to be done."

The pay clocks in around $8 an hour, but it's not just about the money. "It's one of those jobs you would pay them to do," the retired pharmacist says. "As a child I went to Indians games with my grandmother. It's a hoot. The best part is rubbing shoulders with the big boys. Baseball, well, it's part of my heart."

Whatever the attraction, the crack of a bat or the chance to work alongside Mickey Mouse, here are five warm-weather jobs to consider. Pay ranges, which will vary based on factors such as experience and where you spend your winters, are primarily derived from employers and U.S. Labor Department data.

1. Spring Training Staff

The nitty-gritty: Spring training camps for Major League Baseball teams in Arizona and Florida have a range of possible positions: ushering, selling programs, fielding ticket inquiries, working concession booths, running cash registers in the team merchandise shop and juggling other customer service duties. Teams may hire drivers to transport players and staff to and from the airport. Some jobs require more expertise than others. For instance, the Pittsburgh Pirates had a recent posting for a seasonal sales assistant, who would take an active role in marketing and special promotions. IT analysts are called on to make sure wireless networks and computers run smoothly for press and players. While duties might be mundane, the chance to work alongside a World Series ring bearer is anything but.
The hours: Vary by team and demands of the job
Median pay range: From $7.50 to more than $10 an hour.
Qualifications: To learn more, go to Major League Baseball's website, click on the link to your favorite team's website, then click on "job opportunities." You can also try contacting the training camp office directly. Qualifications will depend on the post, but on-the-job training is standard in most cases. A valid driver's license and a fluency in Spanish might be necessary. Bestselling advantage: Love of the game.

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