Michigan DNR boosts seasonal park worker pay to $15 per hour

Flexible scheduling, a woods-and-water workplace, making memories with a great team, forging connections with professionals who take care of fish, wildlife, state parks and forests – all while earning $15 an hour? The Michigan Department of Natural Resource is hoping these perks, especially the new bump in pay, will encourage applicants to ask, “Where do I sign up?” and fill about 400 critical vacancies at state parks and harbors as the busy summer gets underway.

The DNR today announced it has increased the starting hourly rate for seasonal park workers to $15, up from the old starting rate that ranged from $10.20 to $12 depending on region of the state and an applicant’s experience.

“We decided we needed to raise our hourly rate in order to stay competitive with other job opportunities for teens, young adults and retirees,” said DNR Parks and Recreation Chief Ron Olson. “Our seasonal summer workers are key to helping us provide great recreation experiences for every visitor. We think this rate increase will help, but we also want to remind people that we offer a positive work atmosphere and opportunities to explore a career in parks and recreation and natural resources management.”

Olson said seasonal park workers are the first line in shaping the customer experience. These frontline staff help answer visitor questions, register campers, clean park buildings, mow grass, maintain trails and help visitors create lifelong memories – all while learning valuable skills and important lessons about working as part of a team.

Who is eligible
The new $15 hourly pay rate is effective Sunday, May 29, and is available to all new seasonal park worker hires, as well as those previously hired for this summer season. Olson said the department was able to make the hourly increase possible by reprioritizing some state parks funding.

The DNR is seeking about 400 people to complete the ranks of the 1,300 seasonal park workers needed every year to meet the needs of the highly anticipated summer travel season. The positions are flexible (up to 1,040 hours between April and October) and offer the opportunity to work through Oct. 15.

How to apply
It’s easy! The first step in the process is to express your interest at the seasonal park workers webpage via the Michigan.gov/DNRJobs website or by texting “Hire” to 80888. Complete the seasonal park worker interest form by providing your name, email, phone number and the work location(s) where you’re interested in working. It should take less than five minutes.

Other perks
These positions may qualify for academic or internship credit (applicants should contact their academic advisor for eligibility requirements).

The DNR employs a variety of people who help take care of Michigan’s natural resources and connect more people to better, richer outdoor recreation experiences. Several of those professionals – park rangers, wildlife biologists, fisheries technicians, foresters, trails coordinators, conservation officers, marketing and communications staff, education programmers, park interpreters and many, many others – got their start through seasonal positions at state parks.

If spending the summer outdoors and gaining one-of-a-kind experience toward an academic degree or a rewarding, long-term career path sounds right for you, visit Michigan.gov/DNR/About/Careers/Park-Workers to express your interest and get the conversation started.

Learn more about all of Michigan’s state parks and recreation areas at Michigan.gov/StateParks.