By Lydia Dishman
Looking for your next big adventure or simply looking to make extra cash? Consider seasonal employment. It could even be your ticket to discovering a new career while earning money for the holidays. Though unemployment continues for many, the good news, according to a trend report from SimplyHired.com, is that available holiday jobs have increased by 30 percent since 2009.
But that doesn’t mean you have to apply to the nearest mall retailer. In fact, Roberta Chinsky Matuson, president of Northampton, Mass. based Human Resource Solutions, suggests, “Go left while everyone else is going right. Look for jobs where few people are looking.”
The following is a list of holiday job options and their median, hourly salaries according to online salary database, PayScale.com.
Credit Card Customer Service – Median Hourly Compensation $12.80
People are out shopping during the holidays, says Chinsky Matuson, “This means credit card businesses are busy and may be in need of additional help.” If you like working directly with people to help resolve inquiries such as pricing disputes or facilitate credit applications, working with a financial institution could be right for you. Telephone customer service reps help build customer loyalty with card holders by providing prompt and accurate service.
Telemarketing – Median Hourly Compensation $10.30
If you are enthusiastic and dependable, with a good clear phone voice, and basic computer skills, you may be a good candidate for a telemarketing job. Companies that do a brisk business in holiday gift products often need extra help seasonally to explain goods, deliver prepared sales pitches, and take orders. Some businesses even allow representatives to work from home or a virtual call center.
Restaurant Server – Median Hourly Compensation $4.80
Don’t let the hourly wage fool you, wait staff can earn a tidy sum in tips, provided they are personable, efficient, and eager to please. Chinsky Matuson suggests seeking out restaurants located in busy commercial areas or malls catering to weary shoppers.
Ski Patrol – Median Hourly Compensation $11.32
You don’t have to restrict your seasonal job search to companies in your local area. Each year ski resorts from the Alps to the Rockies employ hundreds of people as ski guides. In addition to living and working in a dream location, staff can often take advantage of discounted lift tickets and reduced prices in ski shops. Some resorts even help their employees find apartments, a boon when most ski town accommodations are flooded with vacationers.
Childcare Staff/Babysitter - Median Hourly Compensation $8.84
A recent survey by outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray and Christmas found that only 62 percent of companies planned holiday parties last year, down from 77 percent in 2008. Among those still enjoying the festivities, there’s going to be an increased demand for childcare. If you like spending time with children and have taken a CPR course, you could start by providing babysitting services to little ones in their homes or at local houses of worship during services. If you’d prefer to work at a childcare center or in a nursery at a gym or resort, you may need a license. That would involve passing a background check, getting your immunizations up-to-date, and meeting a minimum training requirement.
Tax Preparer - Median Hourly Compensation $25.24
Though Uncle Sam doesn’t demand payment until April 15, the best time to start work as a new tax preparer is well before the deadline. Chuck McCabe, CEO of Peoples Income Tax, Inc. notes that preparers are compensated based on performance and production. “It takes a few years to develop a following of satisfied clients,” says McCabe and it takes time to become skilled in tax knowledge and interview techniques.
Source: All salary data is from PayScale.com. The salaries listed are median, hourly salaries for full-time workers with 5-8 years of experience and include any bonuses, commissions or profit sharing.