The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) today is launching its recruitment to staff state parks, beaches, and campgrounds for the 2020 recreational season. The Department is actively seeking qualified lifeguards for freshwater and saltwater beaches and other key staff for the summer of 2020. Rhode Island residents, ages 16 and older, are encouraged to apply.

With only 52 full-time employees managing 25 parks and preserves, eight saltwater beaches, and dozens of other properties, DEM’s Division of Parks and Recreation relies hugely on seasonal employees. Every year, it hires between 400 and 450 “seasonals” to fill essential summertime positions such as lifeguards, park rangers, beach managers, facilities attendants, groundskeepers, laborers, and nature educators.

“Having a full and enthusiastic team of seasonal workers like lifeguards, park rangers, and facilities attendants helps ensure an enjoyable experience for the nine million visits made by Rhode Islanders and out-of-staters to our world-class beaches and parks each year,” said DEM Director Janet Coit. “DEM is committed to providing clean and safe outdoor recreation venues where families and friends can share special times. We encourage teens, senior citizens, retired military personnel, and others interested in working with us this summer to apply for these seasonal positions.”

DEM is recruiting qualified lifeguards at beaches, parks, and campgrounds. Full-time lifeguard positions are available at all state swimming areas, including saltwater beaches such as Roger Wheeler and Scarborough, non-surf beaches such as Goddard, and freshwater beaches such as Burlingame Campground and Lincoln Woods State Park. Flexible, 20-hour workweeks are available for lifeguard positions at our busiest swimming areas. Hourly rates for lifeguards were raised in 2019 and range from $13.25 to $16.25 an hour, based on location and position level. All lifeguard candidates must have successfully completed courses and hold valid cards in lifeguard training, first aid, and CPR including infant, child, and adult.

DEM also is seeking park rangers and facilities attendants to work at recreational sites across the state. Park rangers are instrumental to a safe and fun experience at DEM properties. They give directions to beach-goers and park users, help with crowd control, provide security checks for facilities, and are the first responders in the event of emergency. Hourly rates for park rangers range from $10.50 to $11.60. Applicants for facilities attendant and park ranger I must be 16 years of age or older, and applicants to park ranger positions at levels II and III must be 18 years of age or older.

For a complete list of seasonal employment opportunities and to apply, visit www.riparks.com/employment. Most positions are full-time and include weekend and holiday hours. Applications must be completed online. Paper applications will not be accepted. The State of Rhode Island is an equal opportunity/diversity employer.

DEM’s Division of Parks and Recreation participates in employment fairs at local colleges and high schools to recruit for all summer seasonal positions. If your school is interested in hosting DEM at a job fair, contact Tom Rosa at 667-6206 or email Tom.rosa@dem.ri.gov.

With 50 percent fewer teens seeking jobs than 20 years ago, DEM is looking to recruit active senior citizens and retired military personnel who might want to work part-time work to make up for the lack of younger applicants.

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. They’re also an engine that adds an estimated $315 million to the economy, generating nearly $40 million in state and local taxes and supporting nearly 4,000 jobs a year.

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