Skip to main content

New Jersey State Parks Seeking Applicants to Fill at Least 800 Part-Time Jobs Ahead of Peak Spring and Summer Seasons

Available seasonal part-time job opportunities include lifeguards, naturalists, history educators, general maintenance workers, visitor service assistants and office staff. Peak season generally runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day, with select state parks extending positions from April to October based on operational needs. Applicants, such as students and teachers whose availability may be limited to weekends during specific periods of the year, are encouraged to apply as there may be flexibility for some work shifts. 

Salary rates for all positions have been increased for 2024.

“A seasonal position in a state park or forest is not your average summer job,” Commissioner LaTourette said. “The diversity of positions offered gives applicants the opportunity to connect with nature, foster a sense of stewardship and make a positive impact on some of New Jersey’s natural treasures while also gaining invaluable knowledge and experiences that may build a foundation for a career in environmental protection and conservation.” 

Prospective candidates for all positions are encouraged to first contact the state park office of their preference by early March to inquire about specific roles, scheduling details and other job-related matters. Applications should be submitted at the earliest possible convenience via

“Spend your summer working outdoors in some of the most beautiful landscapes that New Jersey has to offer,” said John Cecil, Assistant Commissioner for State Parks, Forests & Historic Sites. “Working alongside the state park's full-time staff is more than just a summer job; it offers a transformative experience that shapes character, instills a sense of pride in preserving our natural heritage, and cultivates a lifelong love for the great outdoors.”

Lifeguard opportunities 

Lifeguards are needed at swimming areas across the state, with salaries starting at $18.50 per hour. The rate for oceanfront guards at Island Beach State Park starts at $19.50 per hour. Prior experience is not necessary, but candidates must pass running and swimming tests prior to employment. The State Park Service will train lifeguards in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, Automated External Defibrillator use, first aid and other safety skills. Each lifeguard will also receive a U.S. Lifesaving Association certification upon successful completion of training.

The DEP anticipates state park swimming areas to open in mid-June. Island Beach State Park swimming areas are expected to open Saturday, May 25.  

Lifeguard opportunities are anticipated at High Point, Hopatcong, Swartswood and Wawayanda state parks in the northern part of the state, Cheesequake State Park and Round Valley Recreation Area in the central region, and Island Beach and Parvin state parks, along with Atsion Recreation Area (Wharton State Forest), Bass River and Belleplain state forests in the south.  

Additionally, the State Park Service will hire junior lifeguards who are at least 15 years old, at $17 per hour. While junior lifeguards cannot perform lifeguard duties for the public until age 16, the position provides a head start on training for when they can provide full lifeguard duties the following summer. 

Other available positions 

Maintenance personnel are vital to the State Park Service’s summer operations. Applicants should expect to assist full-time staff in a variety of tasks that include mowing lawns, cleaning facilities and removing trash. Park improvement projects and other general maintenance functions are also required. Those with a unique skill, such as carpentry, are encouraged to apply for these positions. Salaries start at $16 per hour. 

Naturalists and history educators work with park naturalists and historians at interpretive centers and historic sites to educate visitors. Typical activities include leading or assisting with interpretive programs, teaching visiting camp groups, demonstrating a craft and preparing materials. These positions may also be assigned specific projects by their supervisor. Salaries start at $16 per hour. 

Naturalist opportunities are available at Liberty State Park, High Point State Parkand Stokes State Forest in the north, Leonardo State Marina, Cheesequake and Washington Crossing state parks in the central region, and Batsto Village Historic Site (Wharton State Forest) and Island Beach State Park in the south. 

History educator positions are available at Ringwood State Park and Waterloo Village Historic Site in the north, Twin Lights Historic Site and Washington Crossing State Park in the central region, and Batsto Village Historic Site (Wharton State Forest), Double Trouble and Island Beach state parks in the south.  

Visitor service and office assistants help register campers, collect entrance fees, answer phone calls, provide recordkeeping and conduct other customer service duties as required. In some areas, visitor service assistants work as trail stewards whose responsibilities include brushing and blazing trails, installing signs and fences, and performing general trail maintenance. Applicants should be personable, assertive and professional as they may work with crowds and advise visitors about the Leave No Trace concept and parks regulations. Salaries start at $16 per hour. 

The DEP’s State Park Service manages more than 453,000 acres of land, including 40 state parks, 11 state forests, five recreation areas and more than 50 historic sites and districts.  

For more about New Jersey’s State Parks, Forests & Historic Sites, visit  

Like New Jersey’s State Parks, Forests & Historic Sites page on Facebook at  

Follow New Jersey State Parks on Instagram @newjerseystateparks  

Follow Commissioner LaTourette on Twitter and Instagram @shawnlatur and follow the DEP on Twitter @NewJerseyDEP, Facebook @newjerseydep, Instagram @nj.dep and LinkedIn @newjerseydep