Working at a theme park is a dream job for many people, while for others, it might be their worst nightmare. The reality is usually somewhere in between. Theme parks are just like any other job in many respects, and they come with unique perks, pratfalls, and quirks.
This post will help you understand the types of career paths available in theme parks, what they pay, the requirements you’ll need, and more. For instance, like any industry, sanitation is essential, but it is especially important in amusement parks. Trash Cans Unlimited can help make operating an amusement park easier by offering great deals on a large selection of indoor and outdoor trash cans to meet sanitation standards.
1. Types of Jobs at Theme Parks
There are many different jobs available within a theme park, as many of them function as small cities. Customer service is an aspect in most of the jobs, if not the primary function.
Here are some of the jobs to consider:
- Janitorial/Custodial/Sanitation Staff - One of the most important jobs in any business is the cleanliness and sanitation, which is especially important for amusement parks. These workers have the vital job of keeping everything clean, from emptying trash cans to cleaning different areas of the park. Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, it’s these folks’ job to keep things neat and tidy, so everybody can be comfortable and enjoy the park.
- Concession Staff - Concession staff can work as individual vendors within a park (for instance, selling ice cream) or as waiters and hosts in in-park restaurants. Generally speaking, these folks are in charge of food. Sanitation is an important part of food service, so these jobs are made easier with the proper equipment, like restaurant trash cans.
- Ride Technician - Ride techs are responsible for cleaning, maintaining, and operating the various rides and amusements within a park.
- Admissions Attendant - The admissions attendant’s job is to control traffic in and out of the park, including checking tickets and making sure people are behaving appropriately in lines.
- Lifeguard - For waterparks and amusement parks with a wet zone. Lifeguards have the responsibility of keeping swimmers safe in and around pool areas.
- Game Attendant - Like admissions attendants, game attendants keep the games that park goers experience running smoothly.
- Costume Characters - If you’re working in the type of park that has a licensed property (Like Disney parks) you’ll likely have actors and actresses whose job it is to pretend to be famous characters from movies, comics, and other cultural works. They’re job is to interact with guests, be cute and friendly, pose for pictures, and basically make the experience for kids a little extra special (while also reinforcing the brand).
- Merchandise/Gift Shop/Retail Staff - These folks are responsible for maintaining and selling merchandise at gift shops and other retail locations.
- Security Personnel - Security protects people and property from anyone who might want to damage it.
These are just some of the entry level professions available in the amusement park industry. LIke any industry there is a slew of jobs to be filled, ranging from human resources and payroll, to marketing and sales.
2. What Theme Park Jobs Pay
Jobs in amusement parks can have varying levels of pay, depending on how important the job is to the functioning of the park, how many people have the expertise to perform job functions, and so on and so forth. But, the hourly range goes from $10-28 dollars an hour, and the yearly salaries available can range from $21,000-$57,500.
3. Theme Park Job Requirements
The good news about working in an amusement park is that most jobs are entry-level or do not require previous experience. Many of them do on the job training. However, some jobs require more training. Lifeguards, for instance, have more vigorous requirements. In general, lifeguards must be certified in CPR, complete safety programs, and be at least 15 years old.
Other requirements that these jobs require include customer service skills, the ability to tolerate heat, loud noise, being on your feet all day, and difficult customers. Additionally, background checks and drug tests are often issued before an employment contract is signed.
4. Theme Park Work Environment
A lot of employees place emphasis on the importance of a positive work environment, rightfully so. The job condition of amusement parks can vary, but they do share certain similarities.
Working on Your Feet
Most theme park workers walk around the park or stand on their feet for many hours. It’s great for people who don’t like to sit at a desk for hours and enjoy getting physical activity.
Pro Tip: Comfortable shoes are a necessity for working in a theme park. Your feet will thank you for it.
This particular working condition could be seen as either a pro or a con for working at an amusement park. Most amusement parks are outside environments, thus most jobs are performed outside. Depending on the location, some theme parks are seasonal, while others remain active year round. Depending on the season, you’ll be exposed to the elements, rain or shine. This usually means working in the sun and heat. Risks include sunburn, and overheating, especially for mascots in heavy costumes. Be sure to stay hydrated, regularly apply adequate sunscreen, and take a break when you need it.
Pro Tip: Stamina and sunscreen are a necessity for working in a theme park.
5. The Challenges of Working in a Theme Park
We’ll give the bad news first. There are some difficult and challenging things about working in a theme park. But, none of them are that terrible after you think about them.
The Three P’s
As one might expect when talking about working at an amusement park, and anyone who has worked in customer service will probably know, a part of the job is cleaning up after guests. More specifically, cleaning up waste that has been evacuated from the body—pee, poop, and puke, to put it precisely and bluntly— from a variety of locations within the park— bathrooms, rides, pools, and any public space within the park.
Handling Difficult Theme Park Guests
A difficult part of any customer service job are the difficult customer interactions. No matter how nice you are to the guests, some people will just want to make a scene or get free stuff.
Pro Tip: It takes well-developed social skills and firm problem-solving abilities to withstand guest tantrums and negotiations.
Amusement Park Ride-Related Injuries
Let’s face it, some of the rides at amusement parks can be suspicious. Most ride-related injuries occur due to failure to follow instruction, or poor maintenance. As long as you’re paying attention and following the rules, the rides are safe, and if you notice any maintenance problems with a ride, report it immediately before you or someone else gets hurt.
Amusement parks are noisy places— crowds of people talking and laughing, rides running with motors rumbling, engines humming, gears turning, and of course, screams of glee (or terror) coming from those rides. On top of that, there is usually music, whether it’s from the rides or a part of the ambiance of park attractions. Some musical numbers are more pleasant than others, which are annoying from the start, but after a while, hearing the same music over and over can drive anybody crazy.
We understand the temptation that some amusement park employees may have to block out the noise with some earphones playing their favorite tunes, or even just a regular pair of ear plugs, but this is not recommended. Amusement park employees need to have all their senses available while on the job to be able to recognize possible threats and safety hazards. This also means limiting distractions like mobile devices.
Pro Tip: Limit distractions, stay aware of your surroundings, and immediately report any safety threats or hazards to prevent anybody from getting hurt.
6. The Perks of Working in a Theme Park
Working in a theme park can be a dream job for many. There are some people who truly enjoy the excitement and ambiance of the amusement park.
Theme Parks are a Fun Work Environment
As an employee, you’ll be constantly around fireworks, special events, and festivities. Happy music, bright colors, and happy guests make shifts more enjoyable. Most would agree it’s a lot less boring than other jobs. Even the trash cans aren’t as boring at theme parks. Trash Cans Unlimited offers a variety of custom trash cans and furnishings to help make theme park more attractive.
Theme Parks Employees have Positive Guest Interactions
Customer service is hard, but as some amusement park employees may point out, a lot of visitors are in good moods when they go to amusement parks. That positive energy permeates the park and puts things in perspective. It’s easier to do a job when everyone all around you is happy. You got to admit, seeing the smile on children’s faces sounds like a pretty great perk, especially if you got to be the one to put it there.
Theme Park Employee Discounts
Depending on the theme park, you’ll likely receive complimentary park admission, hotel discounts, merchandise discounts, and dining discounts. There are limitations to the free stuff and discounts, but it’s a great perk.
Trash Cans Unlimited is Key to a Working Theme Park
The final and most important thing to know about working at a theme park, is the importance of sanitation and trash cans. Trash cans are vital to help keep the park clean and safe for visitors and employees. It’s important to make sure of three things:
- There is an ample number of trash cans around the park.
- That the trash cans are conveniently located and accessible to visitors.
- The trash cans are large enough to store trash between emptyings.
At Trashcans Unlimited, we do our utmost to serve our customers, selling the highest quality trash cans on the market at great prices. If you’re looking for some new trash cans, or need a bulk order of trash cans to fit an unmet need, we’re the place to look. Get in touch with use or start browsing our inventory.