You'll be competing with students on their breaks from the books. But don't worry — there's ample opportunity for the 50-plus set to grab a gig, too. Generally speaking, it's best to start your hunt a few months ahead of time. But for some positions, it's never too late. Here are five great summer jobs to go for.
1. Ballpark team player
The nitty-gritty: If you're a baseball fan, working at the stadium can be a dream. You may get free tickets to games when you're not on duty and free team-logo shirts. Major League Baseball teams and their vendors around the country hire ballpark tour guides, box office attendants, cashiers, groundskeepers, ushers and ticket takers. There are openings, too, for suite attendants, in-seat servers and concession stand workers. Some positions require standing for long stretches and enduring the unpredictable elements that Mother Nature tosses out.
Pay range: $8 to $11.50 an hour, generally. Food and beer vendors who work the stands might pull in a minimum of $8 an hour, with tips and commissions possibly taking it to $25.
Qualifications: Training is usually provided. But remember that even though this is a sporting event, it's entertainment. So hiring managers look for people who are personable, enthusiastic and at ease kibitzing with fans. Background checks may be performed.
Job hunting tips: Tap into your hometown team's website for openings. Team-by-team contact information can be found at baseballjobs.teamworkonline.com. Also, look for your city's team-sponsored job fairs, which typically are held early in the year. Minor league teams also hire for the summer and have job fairs. Check out PBEO.com, the official employment service of Minor League Baseball.
2. Amusement park worker
The nitty-gritty: Amusement and theme parks are for the kid in all of us. There's an array of positions — from ride operators and ticket takers to waiters and souvenir T-shirt vendors. There are also openings in security patrol, custodial work, repair and grounds upkeep. If you have a flare for show biz, you might even score a role as a dancer or storyteller. Drawbacks: the summer heat and hours on your feet.
Pay range: $8 to $15 an hour. Employees typically can get free tickets for friends and family. There may be discounts on food and beverages, merchandise and hotel stays.
Qualifications: Hiring managers seek experience in the jobs being sought. That said, your upbeat personality will be a vote in your favor. Plan for background checks and drug tests.