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Washington Coast State Parks Hiring - 300 Sought for Entire State's Parks

Published 1/28/24 at 5:25 p.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Washington Coast State Parks Hiring - 300 Sought for Entire State's Parks

(Olympia, Washington) – Washington State Parks (WSP) is looking for a lot of seasonal help this summer, to the tune of some 300 people it's hoping to hire. Some of that is on the Washington coast, from the southern end up through the Olympic Peninsula beaches. (Above: Fort Columbia, courtesy WSP)

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WSP is looking for park aides and senior park aides from April through September, where folks can be working on the Pacific Ocean beaches or in the myriad of other terrains, such as the infamous scablands, shrub steppe, the high desert, the islands of Puget Sound or old-growth forests.

“Park aides enjoy a variety of duties,” WSP said. “They register campers, maintain trails, clean campgrounds and maintain facilities. They also staff park offices, assist visitors and help with interpretive and educational programs. Park aides work in one large park or cover an area with several small parks. Each senior park aide leads a team of park aides.”

See the link for Washington State's government jobs and the “park aide” search. As of this writing, there are some 77 jobs listed for the entire state.

WSP spokesman Meryl Lassen told Oregon Coast Beach Connection there are numerous jobs along the Washington coast.

Grayland Beach, courtesy WSP

“We are also hiring at the South and North Beach parks – Grayland / Twin Harbors / Westport / Bottle Beach and Pacific Beach / Pacific Pines,” she said. “Some of the positions in those areas spend time at more than one park.”

Among the benefits of these seasonal jobs are paid sick leave and vacation time. Retirees also sometimes hop onto these opportunities and slightly less-than-full-time positions are available at times.

Other benefits, WSP said, involve the wildlife. That includes whales – even spotting orcas on a regular basis.

Some areas at the top of the Washington coast are also taking applications, Lassen told Oregon Coast Beach Connection Bogachiel and Sequim Bay are among them.

“The closest parks to the Oregon Coast are Cape Disappointment and Fort Columbia, and we do have several staff who live in Astoria and work at the parks,” she said. “Some park aides are just at Cape Disappointment, and others cover both parks or mostly spend their time at Fort Columbia.”

WSP said some park aides span generations. The opportunities are ideal for recent high school and college graduates, retired workers looking for an encore, military veterans transitioning to civilian employment and mid-careerists taking time to reinvent themselves.

According to WSP:

Applications are open now through August. Park aides earn $16.90 to $20.33 an hour, and senior park aides earn $19.40 to $23.40 an hour, depending on qualifications and experience. More information and online applications can be accessed at Parks Aide Jobs. Staff testimony and other details are available in this video.

Park aides have the chance to grow with the agency, and many have gone on to success as rangers, customer service and human resources managers, environmental planners and more. Former park aides also have found work in the outdoor industry, for nonprofits or with other public lands agencies.

Most park aides appreciate the flexibility of seasonal outdoor work and the mix of public interaction and physical labor.



McKenzie Head fortification / WSP

Cape Disappointment Interpretive Center / WSP

Fort Columbia / WSP

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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