But first, we have to clarify once again that we are NOT camp hosts.
Camp host (or "workcamper") jobs are much more common than campground manager jobs. Campground hosts typically work for zero pay and only work enough hours in the campground (at a minimum wage rate) to pay for their campsite. Most campground host jobs are at government run parks, although some private parks offer these types of positions as well. Essentially, you are a volunteer. Which is fine if that's what you're looking for.
Here is a perfect example of a campground host opportunity...
Some private campgrounds offer extra hours (again, usually paid at minimum wage) once you have worked enough to pay for your site.
So for anybody thinking of doing this, you need to decide if you are doing it for the money or if you are doing it because you want to volunteer your time and service. If you are doing it for money, but you like living in your RV, you are probably better off paying the monthly or seasonal rental for your site, and getting a job outside of the campground.
Sunset last night.
In comparison, we are full time paid employees. These types of campground jobs are available, but you may have to be flexible about location.
Back in July, we wrote a piece about what it's like being campground manager and what duties we have taken on. You can read that here...
So when we started looking at these types of jobs, we were looking anywhere in Canada. Ideally, we wanted to be located in the mountains of British Columbia, or close to our daughter in Nova Scotia. So we did a LOT of research into the different pay structures and obligations that you take on with one of these commitments. We're the type of people who are serious about commitment...if we sign on to something, we will see it through to the end. So we wanted to make sure we knew what we were getting in to.
Same sunset, different view. Only 10 minutes later!
What we found is that there is a wide variance in pay for these types of jobs. Anything from a monthly stipend, to minimum wage, to over $24 an hour with bonuses and benefits working as a unionized employee of the government in one of the provincial parks. And of course a wide variance in your time commitment. Some start May long weekend and end at Labour day. Some start May 1st and end October 15th.
A lot of variance in pay by province as well. Saskatchewan currently has very low unemployment, coupled with higher wages. This is the reason we chose Saskatchewan. That, and the regional park system in this province offers a lot of opportunity for the type of job that we were looking for. On the other hand, we found that British Columbia offers a lot of campground jobs, but at much lower pay.
You'll also want to be aware of different employment regulations that vary by province (or state, for our American friends). Another reason Saskatchewan stood out is that we receive 6% vacation pay on top of our salary while many other provinces are 4%.
Plus of course, we wanted to find a place where both of us would be employed earning a full time salary. Many of these opportunities are not advertised as "couple" jobs, so that's one of the things you may need to ask about.
So, are we coming back?
Odds are good that we will. We have some negotiation that will have to take place with the campground board (issues other than money), but if we can come to terms then we will be back next year. Even then, we probably won't make the commitment until the beginning of the new year.
Plus, we get really beautiful sunsets here!