Pam and I have been enjoying various work camping jobs for six years. We love the lifestyle and the ability to be able to go where the jobs that we want are located. In that time, we have used Workamper News as our resource to find the jobs that we want, in the locations we want them.
This year, through the Workamper News webinar system, I heard about an RV Tech class that would help make me more valuable when trying to find work camping jobs at campgrounds. While at the class I also learned about the ability to expand that knowledge into becoming an RV inspector. What a great idea for those of us who love RVing and want to give something back by helping it be more enjoyable for others.
By inspecting RV’s, and identifying possible issues with these used vehicles, we can contribute to making people’s RV travels more safe and enjoyable!
So, the short story is I now have formed my own corporation, and I am working with RV Inspection Connection, which has a close affiliation with Workamper News (WKN). What an awesome work camper job! Remember, if you live in an RV, and are still working a job, you are a work camper, or the more correct term used by the industry is workamper.
So, if you are interested in pursuing the lifestyle, what are some of the things you might want to know. Here are some items to consider when looking for workamping jobs:
1. To fully understand the incredible variety of opportunities available in campgrounds, theme parks, guest ranches, and a thousand other venues, WKN strongly recommends that you read every opportunity in WKN, the WKN Hotline, and Workamper.com. They also suggest that you read the many articles and feedback from Workampers in the “Workamper Viewpoint” section of Workamper.com and on the WKN Forums site.
2. Once you have done your homework, make a list of your preferences concerning location, duties, compensation, hours, start/end dates, etc.
3. Then start looking for opportunities that match your preferences.
4. Narrow your choices to the opportunities that best fit your needs and follow the instructions exactly as they are given in the ad.
5. WKN also strongly recommends that you enter a resume in their Awesome Applicants resume database where it can be viewed by thousands of employers. You can also email your Awesome Applicants resume to any employer in the world. This is a very cool feature! It is how we found most of the jobs we wanted.
6. Get Workamper feedback about specific employers via the “Praise Your Employer” section on Workamper.com and “Workamper Experiences” Forum. If possible, try to visit the location and meet the owners/managers, and if you get a chance, talk to other employees and customers. A personal visit also allows you to check out the clientele and the climate. If it’s a campground, you can also check out their rating in the campground directories.
7. When you make contact with a potential employer, by phone, email, regular mail, or in person, be sure you fully understand what will be expected of you (duties, hours, pay, etc.). Additional background information, references, etc., may be requested at this time and should be provided in a prompt and business-like manner. This is also your opportunity to ask questions of the employer.
8. Before you accept a job, be sure you thoroughly understand all aspects of the job, including specific duties, hours, days off, wages, benefits, insurance, training, supervision, starting & ending dates, etc. WKN strongly recommends that you ask the employer for this information in writing. They further advise that you have this “letter of understanding,” or “work agreement,” in hand before giving notice or traveling a great distance to the new job site. Good employers will gladly do this because they want to avoid misunderstandings, too.
9. When considering jobs that involve the exchange of hours worked for a site, hookups, etc., WKN recommends that you use the following formula to determine if the exchange meets your individual needs. The value of the site (monthly or seasonal rate) + hookups + perks + any wages/salary divided by the number of hours worked per month = equivalent hourly wage. (This formula should not be applied to volunteer positions at non-profit agencies and organizations.) The equivalent hourly wage at for-profit businesses should not be lower than the applicable minimum wage (Federal = $7.25, higher in some states). The competitive range for most jobs is currently $7 to $12 per hour. Any job that requires special skills or experience, or involves even minimal supervisory or managerial responsibility, should pay toward the higher end of this range, or above.
Workampers should never “pay” more for their site than a long-term customer would be charged. In most cases, WKN currently recommends a maximum of 15 hours per week for a full hookup (water, electric, sewer) site at a for-profit organization. That’s a total of 15 hours per week, regardless of whether it is a couple splitting the hours, or a single person working all 15 hours. Obviously, there are businesses that ask for more than 15 hours per week. They feel they can justify their offer, perhaps with additional perks, light duties, unique work environment, etc. It is up to each Workamper to determine if an offer meets their personal criteria for a fair exchange, before accepting the job. There are Federal Income Tax Considerations when workamping, and WKN has resources on that topic.
Pam and I have never worked at a campground that did not want less than 9 hours each, per week, to pay for the RV park site. Most were 12 hours per week for each of us. I will say though that we have mostly worked in resort areas of the country. Also, pay ranged from $8.15 to $13 per hour for each hour worked after the weekly requirement.
10. Remember, Workamping is about enjoying the RV lifestyle to its fullest. It is recommended that you base your final decision on your answers to the following questions: Do I like the location? Do I like the duties? Am I satisfied with the compensation being offered? Do I like the employer? Am I physically and psychologically suited for this job?
11. Do not accept a position unless you are committed to fulfilling all aspects of the agreement! When an agreement is reached, be sure to show up on the appointed day. The employer is counting on you!
12. Key factors in landing and keeping any job: preparation, attention to detail, flexibility, positive attitude, maturity, integrity, and the ability to get along with customers and co-workers.
In our opinion, the best source of work camping jobs is found at Workamper News. Their resources make it the easiest way to stay on top of what jobs are out there, and to keep your resume in front of folks looking for you! To be an active member costs $33 for one year. They have other plan options as well if one just wants to investigate the lifestyle, or commit to longer memberships.
I hope this information has been helpful as you consider work camping jobs as a way to support the full time RV living lifestyle.
Please leave comments if you want to share your feelings on this topic!
Howard and Pam