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If getting paid to camp sounds dreamy to you, I’ve got just the thing: workamping jobs.
Workamping is a funny term that means exactly what it sounds like: getting paid to camp.
This is a popular way to fund an RVing or van life lifestyle, but it can be difficult to know where to start.
So what makes me qualified to tell you about workamping? I started full-time RVing in 2017 and used workamping to fund my traveling lifestyle when I first started out.
I learned lots of tips and tricks and today I want to share them all with you.
I’m answering the most frequently asked questions about workamping, the pros and cons, and I put together a list of 25+ best websites to find paying workamping jobs.
First, let’s learn a little more about what workamping really is.
PS if you’re short on time, use the table of contents below this sentence to jump to different sections.
What is Workamping?
The Workamping definition is simply work + camping. In a nutshell, this means trading value like services, skills, or labor in exchange for compensation.
There are many different kinds of workamping arrangements.
Some will only provide compensation in the form of a free campsite for the duration of your work agreement. Others will also pay you money in addition to a free campsite.
Campsite hosts are a common type of workamper, but there are many other different kinds of workamping arrangements.
For example, did you know Amazon hires workampers to work in their warehouses during the holiday rush season? They do! They even provide campsite compensation and overtime bonuses for RVers.
There is a common misconception that workamping is only for retirees who want to supplement their retirement while RVing. While this is a common arrangement, it’s far from the only one!
Every generation of working-aged RVers can (and do) workamp.
In fact, many pre-retirement RVers use workamping as a way to fund their RV travels. These RVers spend a few months working and saving money, then a few months traveling and having fun. Then they repeat.
Workamping is a great way to fund your RV life, especially when you haven’t ironed out a full-time remote income.
What Kind of Workamping Jobs Are There?
My First Workamping Campsite in Texas at a State Park
There are many different kinds of workamping jobs available. Some of them have nothing to do with camping!
There are many kinds of businesses that hire workampers. Here are some of the main types of workamping jobs.
- Seasonal and Harvest Work
- Amazon Camperforce
- Campground workamping
- Farm or Ranch workamping
- Property caretaker
- Seasonal retail, resort, and hospitality work
- Oil field gate guarding
- Christmas tree lot, pumpkin patch lot, and firework sales lot workamping
- National park workamping
Some of the most popular workamping jobs are seasonal harvest jobs. This is because seasonal workamping jobs are the highest paying jobs for RVers.
What Do Workampers Do?
Workampers do a variety of different kinds of work depending on where the job is.
Here are some of the types of work you can expect to do as a workamper, depending on your position and the location.
- Front desk or reception work, like checking in new campers and making reservations
- Campground janitorial, like cleaning up campsites and campsite bathrooms/showers
- Campground maintenance, like fixing broken picnic tables, mowing and weed eating, etc.
- Harvest work, like helping harvest and sort crops.
- Christmas tree, pumpkin and fireworks sales workamping involves hiring and managing a team for the season of sales.
- National park work can include campground cleanup or maintenance, retail or hospitality work, etc
Pro Tip: Did you know you can find workamping jobs at certain RV shows? Check out our list of the Best RV Shows to learn more.
How Much Money Do Workampers Make?
Many workamping jobs pay around minimum wage or industry standard for the area that the job is located in. You can expect to earn anywhere from $9 to $15+ per hour, depending on the job.
Some of them pay hourly, some pay a salary, and some only provide a free campsite in exchange for work.
Some workamping jobs only provide compensation in the form of a free campsite for a few hours of work per week.
But, if you know where to look, finding paying workamping jobs is easy!
Amazon camperforce workampers earn hourly pay, plus bonuses and overtime pay.
Harvest workamping jobs are some of the highest paying jobs. Sugar beet harvest workers can earn up to $3,700 in a two-week time frame.
Who Can Be a Workamper?
Contrary to popular belief, workamping isn’t just for RVers. Many types of travelers can be workampers.
You can workamp even if you travel in a campervan, skoolie, or other type of vehicle.
There are also jobs that pay you to travel that provide housing. Many national park jobs provide employee dorms, food vouchers, and more.
How to Find Workamping Jobs
There are many places to find workamping jobs as an RVer or an aspiring traveler, both online and offline.
There are several websites that specialize in workamping job listings, and you can also find workamping jobs in person.
Examples of places to find workamping jobs in person are:
- RV Rallies and shows the Quartzsite Big Tent show has tons of workamping job opportunities and booths
- Inquiring in person at local campgrounds
- Attending local job fairs
The best bet for finding workamper jobs that you can do while living in an RV, bus, or campervan is starting with different RV rallies and inquiring at campgrounds. But, you may find luck at local job fairs, local Craigslists, or local Facebook groups!
However, the most popular way to find Workamping jobs by far is via the internet.
Ultimate List of Workamping Job Sites and Resources
This list is regularly updated to provide the most current information and links to the best websites for workamping jobs.
3. CoolWorks This is a great place to find National Parks jobs, jobs with RV spaces, and more. I love this website and I think you will too!
4. RVer Job Exchange Escapees Job Board Find workamping jobs, remote jobs, RVer to RVer jobs and more here.
6. KOA Campgrounds This website lists all KOA workamping jobs.
8. Sugar Beet Harvest This is the website for American Crystal Sugar who hires seasonal workampers each year.
10. Amazon Camperforce This is where to go if you want to work as an Amazon camperforce workamper during the holiday season.
14. Xanterra Parks and Resorts Xanterra hires for many different National Park positions.
16. American Land and Leisure This company manages recreational sites all over the country.
19. USAJobs.gov use search terms like “campground” “camp host” “park host”
22. Local State Parks Websites
23. Army Corps of Engineers Websites
24. Traditional Job search sites such as Snagajob, Monster, Glassdoor, Indeed
25. Local Craigslist and Facebook Job Marketplaces
Pros and Cons of Workamping Jobs
Workamping is a great way to be able to hit the road before retirement. It’s a great option to supplement your income, but if you want it can also be a full time income.
However, workamping is not without it’s pros and cons.
- Some workamping jobs provide great pay
- Staying in one place for a season allows you to really experience it as a resident
- Workamping can enable you to travel even if you don’t have a remote job
- Hard physical labor for some jobs
- Some workamping jobs only offer free campsite as compensation
- Requires you to stay in one place for a season or longer
What seem like disadvantages to me might not be to you, and that’s great! To each their own.
However, I didn’t want to write a guide on workamping without providing my honest opinions from my own personal experience as a workamper.
Are There Other Ways to Make Money from the Road?
There are plenty of other ways to make money from the road!
I personally started out my RV life with workamping because, although I was a beginner freelancer, I did not have close to enough income to support myself.
So while I workamped during that first year, I built up my freelancing business, but there are many other ways you can make money on the road.
Here are some ideas.
- Virtual Assistant
- Get a Remote Job
- Start an Online Business
- Amazon FBA
- And so much more.
Since this website is dedicated to making money while traveling, I have many resources on exactly that.
- 40+ Ways to Make Money On the Road
- 20 Jobs that Pay You to Travel
- 45 Van Life Jobs You Can Do on the Road
- How to Find Remote Work
- 20 Companies Hiring Remote Workers Right Now
- 15 Best Websites to Find Freelancing Jobs
- 20 Small Business Ideas You Can Start From Home (or the road)
Tips for Landing Workamping Jobs
Workamping has always been popular, but it’s become even more so since the pandemic started.
As a result of the pandemic and the movie and book, Nomadland, RV life and van life are more popular now than ever.
There are still plenty of workamping jobs to go around, but you need to make yourself stand out if you want to land one.
Here are my best tips for landing a workamping job.
Blah blah blah yes, a resume.
To help yourself stand out against a sea of other workamping job applicants, I highly recommend putting together a workamping resume.
There’s no need to make a fancy resume worthy of a corporate job. A workamping resume should be a short list of your life and work experiences that show you are qualified for the work at hand.
You can alter your resume for each workamping job that you apply to. Be sure to highlight your life experiences that relate directly to the position you are applying for.
THis doesn’t have to be hard! If you spent a summer mowing lawns in your neighborhood as a kid and are applying for a campground maintenance position, list it!
Apply Early and Often
While it might be impossible to be the very first applicant as soon as a new workamping job is listed, you can still be early.
I recommend checking workamping job sites daily and applying to as many of them as you can. As soon as you see one that you’d like to do, apply for it.
Applying en masse gives you a better opportunity for landing a job that you want!
And many places list jobs several months or an entire season before they need workers. This enables them to fill up their worker roster early.
So if you know you’d love to work in Glacier National Park next summer season, start looking and applying as early as 6 months before (or more).
This will help you in the long run by always having steady work, if that’s what you want.
A Quick Note on Expectations Surrounding Workamping Jobs
My first workamping job as a Texas State Parks volunteer that summer was HOT and those sunglasses were HUGE 😂
I want to make this a well-rounded guide on Workamping jobs, and I can’t do that without letting you know what you might expect.
I workamped for my first year as an RVer, and there are some things that I encountered (and you might too).
First, I am a queer woman. My first season of workamping was with my ex-girlfriend, and we encountered a lot of sexism and gendered expectations from different workamping employers.
In general, there is a lot of sexism and gendered expectations when it comes to workamping. But as the world changes, we are seeing less and less of that.
Here’s what I mean by gendered expectations.
- Women are typically expected to do “inside work” like reception, reservations, cleaning, etc.
- Men are typically expected to do outside work and hard physical labor like mowing, weed-eating, maintenance, etc.
My first workamping job was with Texas State Parks and I took the position on my own as opposed to as a couple. Although they were weary, they hired me and I spent a season doing work like weed-eating, campsite maintenance, and more.
Workamping Jobs for Singles and Solos
Another common experience among workampers is difficulty in finding jobs for single or solo travelers.
However, this is also changing pretty rapidly as more and more solo travelers are hitting the road.
In the past, workamping was largely considered a coupled activity. Campgrounds wanted to hire heteronormative couples to do both inside and outside work.
While it might require some conversations or negotiation, finding workamping jobs as a single or solo traveler is not impossible.
Get a Workamping Job Today
Workamping is a great way to fund your travels when you first start RVing.
You can combine workamping with a remote job or freelance income. You can also work high-paying workamping jobs seasonally and travel on your off-time.
Every traveler is different so you can do it however you want!
The websites listed here are the best websites to find workamping jobs.
My hope for you is that you take the information I’ve provided here and put it to good use. Start applying to workamping jobs today!
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