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Tuesday, April 2, 2024

DEM has lots of seasonal jobs for lifeguards, park rangers and more

They also have full-time, permanent job openings

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is announcing that it is recruiting to fill a wide range of seasonal jobs to fill critical summertime positions like lifeguards, park rangers, and other key staff to work at state beaches, parks, and campgrounds during the busy outdoor recreation season.

With hundreds of seasonal employment opportunities across DEM's divisions, applicants can work in their field of interest, choose their commute to locations across the state, and work to make a positive impact on visitor experiences and our environment. Interested candidates are encouraged to visit DEM's seasonal employment webpage to apply for the position that interests them.

"DEM relies on hiring a robust seasonal workforce each year to manage parks, beaches, and other facilities for public access and enjoyment," said DEM Director Terry Gray. 

"Working outside at some of the state's premier travel destinations, gaining professional development experience for future degree programs and employment, and having the opportunity to meet and work with people from a host of places and backgrounds are just a few of the many perks of joining DEM's latest team of environmental stewards protecting our state's natural resources for the next generation."

Seasonal positions with DEM provide hands-on experience, help develop resumes and opportunities to earn credit towards degree programs and are a great way to jump-start future career plans. 

From administrative and clerical roles to emergency response to technical work in environmental sciences, engineering, program and policy analysis, and research opportunities, DEM offers a wide range of interest areas to help seasonal workers build new skills and make an impact. 

These positions can also lead to full-time employment with #TeamDEM. Spending time outdoors, building lifelong friendships with workmates, and serving our communities are also some of the big benefits of spending the summer working with DEM.  

With only 52 full-time employees managing 25 parks, eight surf beaches, and dozens of other properties, DEM’s Division of Parks and Recreation relies hugely on seasonal employees

Hundreds of talented seasonal employees work hard each summer alongside our full-time staff to make it possible for millions of people to enjoy Rhode Island's beautiful natural places. 

Park and management area rangers are key employees, helping to create a safe and fun experience at DEM properties. They give directions to beachgoers and park users, help with crowd control, and provide facility security checks. 

Seasonal employees in these roles can build new skills and experience for future first-responder careers by providing customer service and patrolling facilities to encourage compliance with rules and regulations. 

Full-time lifeguard positions are available at all state swimming areas, including surf beaches such as Roger Wheeler and Misquamicut, non-surf beaches such as Goddard Memorial State Park, and freshwater beaches such as Burlingame Campground and Lincoln Woods State Park. 

Lifeguard pay ranges from $17.75 to $20.25 an hour based on location, experience, and position level. All lifeguard candidates must receive state certification and hold valid cards in lifeguard training, first aid, and CPR, including infant, child, and adult. 

Lifeguards hired by June 28, 2024, can receive a one-time, $500 sign-on bonus. Lifeguard staff who remain in good standing throughout their employment, have not taken more than five unapproved days off over the summer, and stay employed until Sept. 2, 2024, will be eligible for a one-time, $500 retention bonus.

Although slightly down from historically high levels over the past few years, the current number of national job openings remains high at 8.9 million, according to the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). 

Related, DEM and other employers are also contending with long-term labor force data revealing that the share of teens participating in the workforce peaked 40 years ago and has declined ever since. Today, just over one-third, or 36%, of teens between 16 and 19 are part of the workforce. 

BLS data suggests that year-round schooling and summer classes are a significant cause, with the percentage of 16- to 19-year-olds enrolled in summer school tripling in the last 20 years. DEM participates in employment fairs at local colleges and high schools to recruit for seasonal summertime positions, and has currently recruited 25% of its minimum summertime workforce. 

View the complete list of seasonal employment opportunities and apply online at Most positions are full-time and include weekend and holiday hours. 

The State of Rhode Island is an equal opportunity employer that is committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Opportunities for part-time positions or internship/college credits may be available to eligible staff. 

Many of the seasonal classifications have a three-step pay grade, with an employee in those classifications who returns to the same three-step classification for successive seasons being paid at the second step and then the third step. 

DEM manages thousands of acres of land and serves as chief steward of the natural resources at the heart of Rhode Island's economy, culture, and environment. 

Rhode Island's natural and public assets – including eight saltwater beaches, 25 parks and nature preserves, 8,200 acres of parkland, 1,000 campsites, 400 miles of hiking and biking trails, and 200 fishing spots – are magnets, attracting more than 9 million Rhode Islanders and tourists a year. 

It hosts high-profile national and international events such as the Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals and the Ocean Race. They're also an engine that adds an estimated $300 million to the economy, nearly $40 million in state and local taxes, and supports nearly 4,000 jobs a year.

Seasonal jobs aren't necessarily temporary jobs. Many DEM staffers got their start as seasonal staff and have built lifelong careers.

For more information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit Follow DEM on Facebook, Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM), or Instagram (@rhodeisland.dem) for timely updates.