Summer. Three months of blissfully sweaty beach days, painfully satisfying sunburns, and more events, concerts, and costly opportunities for extracurricular fun than any other time of the year. And although we'd all love to be blessed with a bank account that never slipped into the red, the truth is, this is the time of year when an extra source of cash flow may become a necessity. But funding your ever-expanding lineup of activities doesn't have to send your summer spiraling into humdrum employment-ville. Below is a list of ten summer jobs that’ll fuel your habits as well as ceaseless search for amusement.
The large pepperoni with mushrooms will be there in 30 minutes. But who's counting? No one will really notice if you've made a quick stop for a surf check, or went by your buddy's house on the way back. And when you consider the added benefits of free meals, driving around listening to music in your own car, and partaking in all sorts of adventures that ensue when you're sent knocking on random people's doors, working for the local pizza joint doesn't seem like all that bad a gig.
Summer is the primary vacation season. And although it would be ideal to be the one actually going on vacation, enjoying someone's Jacuzzis and big-screen TVs while they're away comes in as a close second. When it comes time for the high-rolling jetsetters to pack their backs and head off to exotic locales, leaving pets and expensive homes in their wake, they need someone (i.e. you) to swoop in and watch over them for the week. When you can call feeding a few spoiled cats and watering some cycads "work," you know you've found a good deal.
Adventure Camp Counselor
Okay, so maybe you don't need the extra cash (maybe you're a trust-fund kid, or you robbed a bank, or your investment in some pyramid scheme actually paid off—and maybe we're all pretty jealous of you), but summer jobs may also be seen, not as a hindrance to your playtime, but as an opportunity for adventure. There are companies who hire surfers as camp counselors to go abroad internationally (to places like Costa Rica, Peru, and Tahiti) to chaperone teenagers on a surfing/camping/whitewater-rafting/ scuba diving adventure. All expenses are included AND you get paid. Not a bad way to spend six weeks of your summer.
Work at box office/concert venue
Aside from the monetary benefits of summer work, there is one more compelling reason to join the employment club: The Perks. Many arenas and theatres hire seasonal staff for concerts, and although the pay may not boost you into the next tax bracket, the added bonus of seeing your favorite bands for free when they roll through town (plus having your days free to surf) makes this job one to seriously consider.
How about a job where you get go to the beach, relinquish your lost love of hide-and-seek, play Marco Polo in the pool, bide your time at mini-golf or Chuck E. Cheese, and eat free food—all in the name of "work"? If that sounds appealing, and you can handle being with little kids all day, then being a nanny/manny is the ideal job for you. And with many coastal families willing to pay top-dollar for a responsible childcare-giver to take their kids surfing, you may find yourself in the ocean with a few groms, "working," getting paid more than your friends who are sweating their days away doing manual labor.
Peanut butter sandwiches aren't that bad. Neither is Ramen. And if you're the kind of person who doesn't mind eating them for three meals a day, and showers aren't really your thing, and you happen to like the way a hardwood floor or worn-out sofa makes your back feel, then couch-hopping and meal-mooching may be the occupation of choice for you this summer. If you've managed to accumulate a lot of friends over the years (preferably friends of the generous variety), it's possible to remain rent-free for months on end—that is, if you don't mind using your car as a closet, the cold showers at the beach as your primary source of cleansing, and day-old coffee-shop bagels as breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Cruise Line Worker
Get your sea legs, with cruise lines like Carnival or Discovery you can sail the open seas and live on board as staff.
Surfers pay thousands to sample the exclusive perfection of Tavarua. But, if your sea legs are adequate and you’re willing to spend long hours under the intense South Pacific sun, then signing on as a boatman might be the job of choice for you. Aside from salt-encrusted skin that never quite loses the subtle scent of sunscreen and living quarters which may be considered a far cry from luxurious—and although you may end up spending more time transporting others to wave perfection rather than actually surfing— being a boatman might just be the best way to escape the horrendous summer crowds on your local beaches. And being a boatman is not limited to Tavarua, there are islands all over the world where opportunities for able-bodied System-dodgers are aplenty.
SURFER Mag Intern
If you can't beat 'em then join 'em. Let's just say that when the south swell swept Southern California for the last week, the cricket chatter was deafening in the SURFER office. It was a ghost town. I'm sure the same can be said for every other surf business selling the dream in So Cal. The surf industry is the place to be for people who need money, but don't want a job.
This is as close to becoming a professional surfer as most will ever get. Sure, you may have to save a few lives and keep a watchful eye over the pack of kids with floaties who’s parents passed out belly up, but you’re getting paid to be on the beach. This includes sneaky surf sessions…and oh yea…being on the beach.
*According to me (clearly NOT an expert…on anything).
Did we miss one? Write us your summer job suggestions in the Comments Section below.