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For Release: Thursday, April 3, 2014

Employment Opportunities Available in Summer Recreation

Applications are now being accepted through mid-May for numerous seasonal employment opportunities with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The hiring for most of DEC's seasonal jobs is handled directly by the regional office which encompasses the geographic area where the position exists. In some situations the applications and filling of seasonal positions are handled by a program coordinator.

The majority of openings during the summer months are at DEC campgrounds in the Adirondack Mountains and Catskill Forest Preserve. As diverse as the locations are, so are the positions and skills that are sought - a list of seasonal job titles available are listed below:

Campground Seasonal Employment

DEC Summer Recreation operates 52 public campgrounds and six Day-Use Areas throughout the Adirondack and Catskill Parks. More than 600 seasonal employees are employed to provide varied services throughout the summer season. Most hiring is done through the regional offices.

Titles used at some (or most) of DEC's campgrounds with minimum qualifications are:

Assistant Chief Lifeguard:

Must meet all the qualification for lifeguards and have been a lifeguard for at least two years prior to appointment or have equivalent non-DEC practical experience. It is recommended that candidates have instructor ratings in First Aid, CPR, and Water Safety and/or Lifeguarding.

Conservation Security Worker:

Must possess a motor vehicle operator's license and have completed either:

  • A one-year course at a Ranger School, or similar learning institution, in park or natural resource management, law enforcement or a similar curriculum (this is an educational minimum qualification for college course work such as the Ranger School at Wanakena (website can be found in the right hand column of this page); OR
  • have one season (6 months minimum) of recreation facility experience involving contact with the public or in the enforcement of laws, rules and regulations; OR
  • one year of working or interacting with the public in a recreational facility; OR
  • one year of environmental experience in a remote wilderness setting; OR
  • have six months work experience in law enforcement, security services employment, military service or similar experience actively involved with public contact or in the enforcement of laws, policies, and rules and regulations; OR
  • at least 15 college credit hours in criminal justice or similar course work.
Conservation Recreation Facilities Supervisor (1, 2 or 3 level):

Candidates must have two years experience in maintenance, construction or landscape work, preferably in public recreational facilities.


All lifeguards must:

  • be at least 16 years of age;
  • possess current certification in American Red Cross Lifeguard Training or equivalent;
  • possess current certification in the American Red Cross Waterfront Module or equivalent;
  • possess a certificate in American Red Cross CPR for the Professional Rescuer or equivalent. A copy of all certificates must be on file with DEC's Regional Operations Supervisor prior to the first day of employment. All required certifications must be kept current for the duration of employment. Copies should be available upon request of the Chief Lifeguard for beach inspections and kept at the facility.
  • successfully complete a practical examination administered by DEC or OPRHP in Lifesaving and CPR skills;
  • successfully complete a personal interview with DEC staff;
  • have a minimum of 20/40 uncorrected vision in each eye (it is recommended that vision of 20/40 be corrected to 20/20);
  • attend a lifeguard orientation prior to each year of employment.

After receiving an offer of employment, new lifeguards must submit a DEC Medical Standards and Examination Findings for Lifeguard form filled out by a qualified physician; returning lifeguards shall submit a Medical Standards for Returning Lifeguards form. All medical forms are kept confidential and must be submitted before the first day of a lifeguard's employment.

Lifeguard 2:

After two years of continuous seasonal service in the Lifeguard title, the Lifeguard2 title/wage is given to the employee.

Maintenance Assistant:

Two years of experience in maintenance or mechanical work under the supervision of a skilled trades-worker or completion of an appropriate two-year technical school course.

Maintenance Assistant Parks:

Candidates must have two years of experience in maintenance or mechanical work under the supervision of a skilled tradesperson or completion of an appropriate two-year technical school course.

Maintenance Helper:

There are no education or experience requirements for this position. Applicants must be physically able to perform moderate to heavy physical labor. When required to operate motor vehicles, candidates must possess a valid New York State Driver's License appropriate for the type of vehicle operated.

Park Attendant:

There are no minimum education or experience requirements; however, the employee must be able to perform the essential functions of the position.

Park and Recreation Aide Series (Level 1-7):

Minimum qualifications vary according to the specific duties and responsibilities associated with a particular seasonal assignment and the level of the position. Possession of a valid New York State driver's license may be required.

To apply for seasonal employment, an application and resume should be submitted to the DEC Regional Office that covers the geographic area of interest. A list of regional offices can be found on DEC's website. Employment Application Form is available in PDF format on DEC's website.

New York State is an equal opportunity employer. It is the policy of the State of New York to provide for and promote equal opportunity in employment, compensation, and other terms and conditions of employment without discrimination on the basis of age, race, color, religion, disability, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, or arrest and /or criminal conviction record unless based upon a bona fide occupational qualification or exception.

For more information and to search for open job vacancies visit DEC's website or visit the State Jobs NY site (located in the right hand column of this page).

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