The Washington Post

’Tis the season for temporary work

Ah, spring brings with it thoughts of vacation plans and summer, filled with visions of beaches and barbecues — and if you’re a job-seeker, hopes of seasonal work.

The federal government is one of the largest employers of seasonal workers.

All the better if you love the outdoors.

USAJobs recently posted an ad with this headline: “U.S. Forest Service Hiring over 12,000 Fire & Aviation Management Seasonal Employees Nationwide.”

The ad notes that the Forest Service manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the world’s largest forestry research organization. Applicants are being sought for temporary opportunities across 1,300 locations nationwide during the peak fire season months, May to September.

Learn more at

The National Park Service also offers seasonal work. It’s looking for park rangers, visitor use assistants, archeologist, lifeguards, maintenance workers, park guides and even a sculptor. Go to

The Bureau of Land Management oversees about 253 million acres — which is more than any other federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The bureau is hiring, too. It has similar positions to NPS, such as recreation assistants and park rangers, but it also seeks people for positions in forestry, engineering, surveying, physical science and cartography. Add to that wildland firefighters, fire ecologists, laborers, motor vehicle operators and more. Learn more about BLM at

Those interested in working with children may find opportunities with the Department of Defense Education Activity, which runs the schools for children on military bases at home and abroad. DODEA has many seasonal positions as educational aids working in places such as Germany, Korea, Japan and other locations. Go to

Is heavy machinery your thing? Maybe a place to check out is the Naval Sea Systems Command. Its operation at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va., specializes in repairing, overhauling and modernizing ships and submarines. Here you will find seasonal, on-call and permanent positions, including marine machinery repairers, mechanics, painters, engine and pump operators, crane operators and more. Go to

Many other seasonal positions are out there. Some federal agencies don’t hire large numbers, but they offer some posts.

The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, for example, is looking to hire a lock and dam operator for eight months.

If you are interested in these positions, do a search on USAJobs under the keyword “seasonal” and see if you can find that perfect job for the summer.

Derrick T. Dortch, president of the Diversa Group, is a career counselor who specializes in government job searches and military transition. Send your comments and questions to



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