🏞 NJ DEP is looking to fill hundreds of summer jobs at state parks and forests

🏊‍♀️ You can be a lifeguard, a naturalist, or a history educator

🏞 Salaries are higher for the 2024 season

Need a job this summer?

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has begun accepting applications for more than 800 part-time jobs throughout state parks, forests, and historic sites, Commissioner Shawn LaTourette announced.

Available positions include lifeguards, naturalists, history educators, general maintenance workers, visitor service assistants, and office staff.

Peak season usually runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. However, select state parks may extend positions from April to October.

Even better news is that salary rates for all positions have been increased for 2024.



Lifeguards are needed at swimming areas across the state, with salaries starting at $18.50 per hour. The rate for oceanfront guards at Island Beach State Park starts at $19.50 per hour. Experience is not necessary. However, candidates must pass running and swimming tests before employment. State Park Service officials will train lifeguards in CPR, automated external defibrillator use, first aid, and other safety skills. Each lifeguard will also receive a U.S. Lifesaving Association certification upon successful completion of training.

In the northern part of the state, lifeguards are needed at High Point, Hopatcong, Swartswood, and Wawayanda state parks. In the central region, they’ll be needed at Cheesequake State Park and Round Valley Recreation Area, and Island Beach and Parvin State Parks, Atsion Recreation Area (Wharton State Forest), Bass River, and Belleplain State forests in the south.

Junior lifeguards who are at least 15 years old will also be hired at $17 per hour.


Other Positions

Other available positions include maintenance personnel. Applicants should expect to assist full-time staff in a variety of tasks that include mowing lawns, cleaning facilities, and removing trash. Salaries start at $16 per hour.

Naturalists and history educators work with park naturalists and historians at interpretive centers and historic sites. Typical activities include leading or assisting with interpretive programs, teaching visiting camp groups, and demonstrating a craft. Salaries start at $16 per hour.

Naturalist opportunities are available at Liberty State Park, High Point State Park, Stokes State Forest, Leonardo State Marina, Cheesequake State Park, Washington Crossing State Park, Batsto Village Historic Site and Island Beach State Park.


History educator positions are available at Ringwood State Park, Waterloo Village Historic Site, Twin Lights Historic Site, Washington Crossing State Park, Batsto Village Historic Site, Double Trouble State Park, and Island Beach State Park.

Visitor service and office assistants help register campers, collect entrance fees, answer phones, provide recordkeeping, and conduct other customer service duties. Salaries start at $16 per hour.

“A seasonal position in a state park or forest is not your average summer job. The diversity of positions offered gives applicants the opportunity to connect with nature, foster a sense of stewardship, and make a positive impact on some of New Jersey’s natural treasures, while also gaining invaluable knowledge and experiences that may build a foundation for a career in environmental protection and conservation,” LaTourette said.

Applications should be submitted as early as possible.

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Gallery Credit: Jen Ursillo


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