7 Epic Winter Season Jobs For Outdoor Enthusiasts

by / Sep 20, 2017

Summer is winding down. The leaves are changing, cool air is filling our evenings, and depending on where you are, the possibility for snow is already here! When you picture national parks throughout Canada and the United States, you probably picture visitors swimming, hiking, and grilling food - all the quintessential summertime activities. But there are numerous job opportunities in our national parks in the winter too!

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The time is almost here to start applying for winter season jobs with your local national park. But what kinds of jobs do they have in the winter? Are we all going to be out in the middle of nowhere freezing our butts off? Let's dive in:

Forest firefighters


Summer is over, so the threat of forest fires is over too, right? Not exactly. Forest fires can still break out in the winter months, although less common. Forest firefighters take on probably the most dangerous job available. But even though fires are less likely, there's a lot of overwinter planning that goes into fighting the next summer season's fires.

Trade workers

There are a ton of different craft and trade worker jobs available. They cover a wide variety of tasks, from cooking, custodial, and basic stocking and supplying jobs to more trade-focused skills like mechanic work and welding.

Park maintenance

Parks take a lot of work to maintain, and that work doesn't just end as summer fades into fall. There are a lot of people required to maintain trails, construct new trails, replace signage and trail markers, establishing off-limits zones, and keeping the parks clear of debris caused by winter storms. It's hard work, but someone has to do it, and that someone might be you!


Want to get involved in scientific research this winter? You don't need to be a big shot, super educated science whiz. Many jobs require only a high school diploma or equivalent and involve tasks like collecting field data about flora and fauna as well as land resources. You'll likely spend time in the field and in an office recording and inputting data, collecting samples, and working with various departments to collect information.

Park rangers


Park rangers are often seen as the heroes of our national parks. They interface directly with visitors and make sure out parks are safe, fun places to be. They also plan, coordinate, and lead various programs and activities like nature walks, school events, and wildlife viewing. As a park ranger, you'll also be responsible for helping first responders in an emergency situation.

Visitor services assistants

Often the first person a visitor to a park meets is a visitor services assistant. They're usually posted up at the entrance of a park directing guests, offering maps, resources, and ideas for how to spend time in the park, as well as accepting any fees (if there are any.) They also make sure the park is safe by coordinating with park rangers to assess any potential threats to visitors.

So what does it take to get one of these jobs?

Each park is going to be different and the job description will clearly state what experience and skills you need to have. For many of the jobs, all you need is a high school diploma or equivalent. Some positions will want six months of experience, and more technical skills, like automotive and welding, will require the appropriate education levels and certification.

How much do these jobs pay?

It can very widely depending on the job and what's required for it. Most of these positions will pay somewhere between minimum wage and $15/hr.

I'm ready, how do I apply?

It's as easy as heading over to your respective national parks website. For job-seekers in the United States, check out the National Park Service's jobs posting list. For Canadian job-seekers, visit Parks Canada's careers page.

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