Despite the common misconception, not all Workampers are retirees who work in campgrounds. Workampers are adventurous people from all backgrounds who basically work as they travel. Many travel in RV’s of various sizes and work in the outdoor hospitality industry, but so many more choose digital careers, freelance gigs, sales and other income generating careers to source their wanderlust.
Six Things You Need to Know About Workamping
#1: What is Workamping?
We trademarked the word “Workamper” back in 1987. Workamping is accomplished by individuals that travel the country and work. Some people try to limit the definition by saying, “Well, I’m only a Workamper if I’m working in a campground or if I live in an RV.” That’s not technically the definition. If you are living and traveling, (which usually means in an RV) and you are doing any kind of part-time or full-time work - you are a Workamper!
So think about any work that you might be doing. If you are also living full-time or part-time in an RV, then you are truly a Workamper in the simplest form of the definition. But if you’re living onsite while you manage a property such as a cattle ranch, or you travel fulltime and write an adventure blog or sell your photography- well you’re a Workamper too, and we welcome you to our community with open hands!
#2: Why would I want to be a Workamper?
Freedom of Place - that is being able to go wherever you want and stay as long as you want because of your Workamper income and perks.
For instance, it takes months to fully explore places like Yellowstone Park, yet due to the high cost of living and campground stay limits, the average visit lasts only a few days. Workampers who spend the entire summer in Yellowstone leave knowing the park as well as the locals! Freedom of Place also means warm winters, cool summers, time with the grandkids, time away from the grandkids and a million other enticing benefits!
Experienced Workampers also report on the joy brought to their lives by the lifelong friends they make while living the lifestyle. You will immerse yourself in a community of like-minded folks, who are mostly friendly and helpful. And if you happen to not really like your neighbors…you can move!
#3: Where should I go to Workamp?
Ask yourself this question, “Where have I vacationed in the past where I enjoyed it so much that I would have loved to stay longer?” That is key in thinking about where you might like to go and Workamp. A location that you enjoyed on vacation where you would have loved to have explored more trails, eaten at more local restaurants, learned more about the local history and people, etc. is a perfect area that you should be researching and thinking about for a Workamping opportunity. Workamping can provide an experience that just isn’t possible on a short-term vacation. That is one of the best ways to determine where you should be Workamping.
#4: What type of work is available for a Workamper?
Workamping is most enjoyable from the standpoint of what type of work is available that a person could do and actually enjoy. While the majority of the operations that utilize Workampers are in fact campgrounds, there's really a vast assortment of opportunities available for someone who is able to think outside the box. From amusement parks, retail shops, fulfillment centers, restaurants, lodges, water parks, shooting ranges, state and county parks, U.S. Forest Service and Fish & Wildlife Service, Christmas tree stands, blueberry farms, campground map ad sales, and more- the jobs available for travelers who are willing to relocate to different areas of the country and take on jobs of all types, are endless in supply! We've provided SAMPLE JOB LISTINGS for more examples of ads we've run, from employers offering all types of opportunities for those who wish to work while they travel! Active Workampers work for large companies, for small, mom-and-pop operations – and everything in-between!
Question: “So, if I was to find a job working at Walmart and I was living in my RV, would I be a Workamper?”
Answer: “Yes, you would be!”
Two things you don’t want to do:
- Don’t get buried in the definition.
- Don’t make the definition so strict that “I’m only a Workamper if I’m doing this.”
That’s not the case. There are all types of opportunities out there for the Workamper. So keep your mind open to the possibilities!
#5: How much income can I earn?
First, please understand that the majority of the Workamping opportunities out there are not going to provide the type of compensation that will replace your career income. What you’re going to find is a mix of positions that provide an hourly wage, provide no hourly wage, and those that provide some hourly compensation/benefit combination.
Many Workamping opportunities out there are work in trade for a campsite. So you’re getting the value of the campsite (and often other perks like WiFi, propane, laundry) for your time, yes, but you’re not receiving a paycheck. The employer may just simply say, “We need you to work X amount of hours per week to trade out for the campsite.”
In other situations, the employer will provide you a campsite as well as an hourly wage, and that wage can run from minimum wage up to $12+ an hour.
Workampers can best determine the value of these types of opportunities by evaluating how much value the employer is placing on the provided campsite and perks, along with the personal value he/she places on being in the location of that job.
There are opportunities out there with organizations like the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that have contract opportunities that you can bid on. These provide campsites as well as a contractual wage for a season. You submit a bid, and if you win the contract, your bid amount would be the monies that you earn for that period.
Workampers living the lifestyle range in age and budgetary needs. Some find theat they only need minimal pay and enjoy workamping for non-profits and other charities, while many others enjoy the lifestyle by taking positions that offer larger compensation packages. Luckily there’s a wide variety of compensation available to help meet those needs. If you’re in need of a more regular income, there are opportunities that pay commissions or provide career-like benefits on top of a campsite or housing. View this SAMPLE WORK AGREEMENT to see how just one Workamper Employer might structure their compensation package.
#6: How do I find a job?
So now you are thinking, “Well, I know where I would like to Workamp! But how can I find a Workamping position in that area?” How do you find a job that will allow you to stay for an extended period of not just weeks, but for months in your desired location? Consider these tips and words of advice for finding a Workamper job.
For about 30 years, Workamper News has been helping people just like yourself take this journey. We have many educational resources to help you determine if the lifestyle is for you and once you make that determination, we provide resources to help you find a job and start your adventure. Tools like our Jobinars, Hotline Email System, Article Database, and Media Library will prove to be very useful as you sort through the vast amount of employment opportunities available, in your search for the perfect position. Visit the Job Resource to get started!