It is a tough time, jobs and economy-wise. Part of the problems with jobs, in general, is the low pay that refuses to grow to keep up with the cost of actual living. People cannot find a job that will pay for housing. One possible alternative is a job with employee housing.
Free employee housing can be year-round or seasonal. It can also be one of the biggest possible perks an employer can offer. If you want to learn more about job opportunities with guaranteed hours, some free time, and housing provided, read on.
What kind of jobs provide free housing?
Jobs with housing included can be seasonal, temporary jobs, travel jobs where you have an assignment for several weeks or months at a time, or more steady employment where housing may be included as part of the compensation package.
In some areas, the only payment that you may receive will be a home to live in while you work random hours. Many people who work these types of jobs may work additional jobs from their homes to pay for food, clothing, and extras. An example would be a building maintenance/super that lives in a building or complex to be available for repairs and emergencies but has the rest of the time free.
Other jobs provide housing as a necessity. Cruise ship employees cannot commute to work obviously, so they will get a cabin or shared rooms with other employees and crew members. Cruise ship employee salaries can vary by the type of position. Entertainment may be given higher pay especially if they are part of the “main attraction” of the cruise.
Here are other jobs that may provide free housing or give some type of compensation directly related to moving/living expenses:
- Hotel or resort workers.
- Camp counselor.
- Campground supervisors.
- House Mother for a dorm or sorority house.
- Boarding School or international educator.
- Park Ranger at a national park.
- Live-in caregiver.
- Personal chef.
- Traveling nurse.
- Circus or carnival worker.
- Oil rigs.
For some of these jobs, the option to have company housing will be the only one. For others, you can choose between the free housing option or finding your own home.
Are there year-round jobs that include housing?
Yes, you can find year-round jobs that provide housing. Some of these jobs may have seasonal bursts of activity followed by a drop off in job duties. For example, if you are working in a national park there will be times when you will have a lot of people to deal with and lots of work. Then there will be quieter times where you may be able to just take quiet hikes to check on the park itself and spend time in nature’s classroom.
In a seasonal hotel, you may live in the housing and get paid a “season bonus”. If you are one of the few staff members that remain when the hotel has closed, you may do things like check on the vacant units and keep up basic housekeeping and repairs until it is time to reopen.
Other year-round jobs may be less exciting. A live-in nanny or health care worker may get housing but at a lower rate per hour than others working a similar job. The hours may also be erratic and may depend on what is needed or what the family asks of you. Some of these types of jobs do have flexible schedules with paid time off (sometimes). Some au pair jobs will have a vehicle provided so that you can take the kids to various events, activities, and appointments.
Remember, this can always be negotiated and you should never accept a job with housing unless you are fully comfortable with the situation that is being suggested.
How do you find a job that includes free housing?
Finding a job with free housing is as simple as finding any other type of job. Sign up for alerts on job sites like Indeed.com or ZipRecruiter and include the filters that will help you find your perfect job. You will get a job alert whenever a new position that matches your preference becomes available.
In addition to requesting employee housing, you may want to filter jobs by location, job responsibilities, whether you are open to work evenings, and if you are okay with working weekends occasionally.
You can also find jobs by searching “housing provided jobs” directly. This search will be much broader and you may find a lot of jobs that are repeat postings for different areas. You may also find that there are a lot of jobs that are out of the country. If you are interested in working in the Middle East, South America, or other locations, you can find many positions, especially for young people.
What are the most common types of jobs with housing included?
The most common types of jobs with some form of employee housing are:
- Park Ranger.
- Live in Nanny.
- Security Guard.
- Building Super.
The required skills for each of these and similar jobs will vary. A family who is hiring a nanny or au pair may want a specific set of skills for their children. They may want someone who speaks at least one other language or may need someone who has medical experience. A building manager may need the ability to make minor repairs especially when they happen late at night when other professionals are not available.
What skills do I need for a job with free housing?
The skills you need will depend on the type of job you are applying for. Some jobs will have straightforward requirements. For example, if you are a desk agent at a resort, you will need general front desk skills such as answering phones, time management, problem-solving, organization, and computer skills.
A park ranger will need entirely different skills and may need to learn to deal with everything from angry bears to angry campers, poisonous plants, unpredictable weather, and other potentially dangerous situations. Some of these skills can be taught while others will only be mastered by practice and in some cases, only by sheer good luck.
Did you know that ranger jobs have a requirement for a formal education in most states? You can get a bachelor’s degree that is specific to this type of work. Other jobs that may require advanced education but still offer housing may include a head coach for sports teams at the college or professional level, instructors at ski resorts, international educators or tutors, and language instructors.
Will I have to move to find a job with housing?
You will certainly have to move if you find a job that will provide housing, but you should not have to move to find the job. You can search for the right job from nearly anywhere in the world. If you have certain types of degrees, your college may also send you information on these types of jobs as well. If you have trained in Natural Resources, you may receive the latest job postings for a park ranger or other positions in places like the Grand Canyon, Grand Teton national park, and others.
Do jobs with housing included pay well?
Housing-provided jobs may pay well in some cases or may rely heavily on the appeal of the housing and other perks instead. If you live and work in a ski resort you may be able to get some free skiing during your time off. A personal chef may get the chance to try out new recipes or learn new skills with equipment and ingredients they may not have had access to.
There are other benefits that go beyond a salary when it comes to these types of jobs. If you work for the peace corps, you will develop skills and be a part of the best possible public service. You will be able to work in various locations all with housing provided. Peace corps jobs look good on a resume, give you a living stipend for expenses plus at the end of your service, you will be given a lump sum.
Perks of Jobs with Housing
For some people a job is a job, for others, a job with good benefits plus housing can be a lifesaver. In addition to the free or reduced rent, shared housing, or other living situation, here are some of the perks you may have with this type of job:
- Paid time off or paid leave. This might include free weekends occasionally.
- Free skiing. (Or swimming, scuba diving, etc.)
- Health care benefits.
- The chance to visit beautiful locations like Death Valley.
- Valuable skills that will help at any other position you apply for in the future.
For people who are struggling to keep up with rent payments plus food on the table, the idea of a job with some level of housing provided can be an attractive one. There are plenty of these types of jobs for every skill level including those who only have a high school diploma or GED.
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