Teenagers seeking summer employment are expected to enjoy a better job market this year, according to a recent outlook by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

While most of the available jobs are in traditional places, such as retail, recreation, and food service, teenagers should look for employment off the beaten path, advises John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

“The Internet has really expanded the types of opportunities that summer job seekers can pursue. One is no longer restricted to the local mall or community pool. Camps, dude ranches, amusement parks and other recreational companies are hiring people from all over the country and the world. If you can get there, these employers are not only willing to pay a good salary, but will often provide room and board,” noted Challenger.

“In addition to looking outside of your city or state, look for unusual job titles that might fly under the radar of most of your fellow job seekers. There are also numerous youth employment programs run by the state and federal government designed to provide a more enriching summer job experience.

“The upside to seeking out unusual jobs in unusual places is that these experiences really enhance your resume. A summer spent at a fishery in Alaska, for example, is going to spark a lot more conversation in job interviews than a summer internship in an office,” said Challenger.

Challenger researchers did some digging and turned up some off-the-beaten-path jobs.


Kennel Technician
Doggie Dude Ranch – Watkins, CO

Kennel workers needed for a popular rural pet resort. Duties include cleaning dog rooms, cat condos, play yards and reception area. You will be preparing meals, bathing dogs, doing laundry, washing dishes and playing with dogs in the yards and the pool. The dogs play outside in all kinds of weather and you will be outside supervising them.

Cabana Host
LEGOLAND – Carlsbad, CA

Responsible for ensuring the highest standards of service in the Water Park Cabana areas. The primary function of this position is to provide outstanding service by providing food service to Cabana Guests and assisting our Guests with questions, concerns or special requests.

Space Camp Counselor
U.S. Space and Rocket Center – Huntsville, AL

Supervise and educate trainees (ages seven through adults) in the history of the space and aviation program; assist in experiencing the sensations of space travel; and motivate, stimulate, teach and supervise trainees in a variety of aerospace related topics.

Master of Fun and Games
Camp Augusta – Nevada City, CA

Responsible for making wish, wonder and surprise a reality. Their main areas of responsibility include designing and organizing intricate evening programs and daily Playstations (Augusta’s version of camper’s choice).

Guest Arrival Ambassador
SeaWorld – San Diego, CA

Accepts payment for parking at the toll booths, direct traffic, and park cars. Take entry tickets at the turnstiles. • Cleans areas, interacts with guests and provides park information. • Enthusiastically represents SeaWorld by displaying a positive attitude, high level of energy and commitment to quality.

Birthday Party Host
Bowlmor AMF – Englewood, CO

Are you always the “Life of the Party”? If you are, come host a few parties for Bowlmor AMF! We need folks that love to be with others, and are “laser focused” on making the party a great time. If that sounds like fun, consider applying for a Birthday Party Host position.

Paintball Referee
Indoor Extreme Sports – Long Island City, NY

Do you like Extreme Sports? Are you a people person? Are you a great customer service type of person? Looking for a position with a stable and growing company in todays world? Indoor Extreme Sports is looking for Paintball and Lasertag Referees! We are looking for customer service friendly people who will be running/refereeing parties throughout the day. You MUST be able to deal with little kids as well as teenagers and adults.