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Summer Is Prime Time For Part-Time Work

One person’s vacation is another’s job opportunity. Summertime offers a chance to take a break from work or school and enjoy your free time. But for many, the summer months provide the ability to gain work experience in a new field while earning some extra spending money.

Teachers have long used the summer months as a chance to work in new fields. But other professionals have seen great value in taking on a second job when the days are longer and summer vacation season increases the need for substitute employees. However, if you're looking for a second job over the summer, now is the time to get started.

“You have no idea how many seasonal jobs there are,” says Art Koff, CEO of RetiredBrains. com, which operates the site. “Resorts hire on a seasonal basis; national parks, cruise lines. You can’t ignore seasonal hiring. It’s substantial.”

Jobs in hospitality and leisure have an obvious need for additional staff to meet the demand of summer travelers. Every year since 2010, employment in the hospitality and leisure industry has increased from May to June, and peaked in August, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The only year in the past decade to deviate from this trend was 2009, at the height of the economic recession.

An increase in travel positively impacts the hiring landscape for other industries as well. Some are obvious, such as food preparation and service. Retail hiring also shows historic gains during the summer months. Both food service and retail are rife with part-time openings.

Travel’s hiring impact also is evident in less obvious fields, such as the automotive industry. Those channeling their inner Clark Griswold by packing the family into the station wagon and hitting the road need to perform routine maintenance on their vehicles first. And indeed, automotive industry hiring has followed the same summertime trends over the past decade as hospitality and retail, with gains over the course of the summer before taking slight dips into the fall. Oil change and tire service stores offer two possibilities to earn extra work and an additional paycheck this time of year.

In addition to increased travel, warmer summer weather and longer days mean more opportunities in outdoor jobs, such as the construction sector. Some of these positions, such as electrician and carpenter, require specialized training, but even laborers are needed as the industry as a whole climbs back from the housing sector decline that coincided with the recession.

Summer is also the prime time of year for students to jump into the labor force. Food service and retail are especially accommodating to part-time student employees. But for those seeking a different path, the Office of Personnel Management has its Student Educational Employment Program, which offers the Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP) and the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP), the latter of which can help a college student parlay part-time summer work into a full-time career.

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