Working at a waterpark: A great summer job!

Working at a waterpark is one of the most fun jobs you'll ever have! Lots of different jobs are available! For example, here's a few common positions with a description of what they entail:

Admissions/Retail: Admissions greeters and gift shop staff have contact with and make the initial impression of the waterpark with guests.

Cashiers: Cashiers often are needed for both admissions and gift shops. Previous cash-handling experience is helpful.

Concession stand: Concession staff work on cash registers as well as serve snack foods they help prepare. They must be friendly and personable. There is a high degree of customer interaction.

Restaurant cook: Cooks are responsible for the preparation of quality food products and their presentation in an attractive fashion. Parks place a high importance on safety and cleanliness.

Restaurant cashier: These cashiers also have a high degree of customer interaction, handling guest sales and money transactions in a prompt and friendly manner. Previous cash-handling experience is a plus. Oftentimes, people in these positions also are responsible for the preparation of various food products.

Guest services: Customer service skills are a must. Duties range from providing assistance to guests, responding to comments, answering questions and overseeing the rental of lockers and strollers for the guests.

Lifeguard: All waterparks require applicants to have successfully completed some type of lifeguard training program before they can be hired as a lifeguard. Lifeguards have the most interaction with guests and the most opportunities to ensure that guests have a safe and pleasurable visit. Lifeguards work in the sun and shade, in and out of water, maintaining high standards of safety and accomplishing a variety of other tasks.

Parking attendants: Parking attendants are responsible for safely and effectively managing the flow of cars and buses into parking lots. These staff members work outside in the sun and shade and encounter a high degree of customer interaction.

Park services: Park services staff consists of porters and maintenance duties. They are responsible for the overall appearance and upkeep of the park. These staff members have a degree of customer interaction and must be friendly and customer-service oriented.

Waterpark careers, too!

To get a taste of whether a career in waterparks is of interest to you, first get your foot "in the door" and apply for any of the hourly jobs listed above.

No matter in which of these areas you choose to get a job, being able to work in the overall waterpark environment will give you exposure to the various types of career areas available there. Then you can focus on what specific area of the park would be of interest to you as a long-term career. For example, if you have an affinity for chemistry or engineering, you might enjoy working in the facilities area where you'd be in charge of maintaining water quality or ensuring all pumping systems or wave-pool generators are working properly. If math or business topics are of interest, the accounting department might appeal to you. Or you could train new staff or work in marketing or public relations. The career possibilities are endless!

This real-life experience will be extremely useful to you. Nevertheless, eventually, you'll need to earn some college-level education to work in areas of upper management or supervision.

Here's a listing of some basic college-level courses that may be useful to you in pursuing a career path of working in a waterpark:

  • Design, Construction and Planning
  • Business Administration
  • Sales Management
  • Marketing/Market Research/Public Relations
  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • International Business
  • Business Management
  • Risk Management
  • Finance
  • Parks, Recreation and Tourism
  • Aquatics
  • Recreation Management
  • Facilities Management

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