Be an Amusement Park Attendant: Career Roadmap

Research the requirements to become an amusement park attendant. Learn about the job description, and read the step-by-step process to start a career as an amusement park attendant. View article »

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Video Transcript

Should I Become an Amusement Park Attendant?

Amusement park attendants manage rides, games, sideshows and other booths in theme parks, fairs and carnivals. They perform a number of duties related to safety, sales, customer satisfaction and entertainment.

Because rider safety is a huge component of the job, these park attendants must be aware of all safety measures taken on amusement park rides and the risks of these mechanical contraptions. They also should have good social skills, since they will be interacting with large groups of people daily. The job requires several hours spent standing and possibly lifting heavy items.

The median annual income for amusement and recreation attendants, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, was $19,280 in May 2015.

Career Requirements

Education Required High school diploma or equivalent
Key Skills Customer service; interpersonal communication; physical stamina
Training On-the-job training with ride and safety equipment
Salary (2015) $19,280 (median for amusement and recreation attendants)

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

You'll only need a high school diploma or equivalent to begin a career as an amusement park attendant. However, you will receive on the job training to learn the different job duties and to learn about ride and safety equipment. You'll also need customer service and interpersonal communication skills and need to have physical stamina.

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Steps to Become an Amusement Park Attendant

Let's look at the steps you'll need to take to become an amusement park attendant.

Step One: Earn High School Diploma or GED

A high school diploma or GED certificate is generally an acceptable level of education to attain a position as an amusement park attendant. Office courses can help in learning to maintain paperwork, for positions that require it. Hospitality classes, where available, can train you in dealing with a variety of customers in a polite manner.

Consider first aid training. If a park patron is injured, the ride attendant is often nearest to the incident. Familiarity with basic first aid procedures and an understanding of the things stocked in a first aid kit may be a desirable skill to many potential employers.

Step Two: Choose a Career Area

Amusement parks offer different types of positions: games, rides, food service and customer relations. Pick one that appeals to your personality, although most appeal to individuals with confidence who are relatively outgoing. Game attendants are required to be bold and showy in order to entice patrons to participate in the game and generate revenue for the park. Ride attendants must be detail- and safety-orientated to operate rides, while customer service attendants must be friendly and patient.

Step Three: Complete on-the-Job Training

Operators of amusement rides must be well versed in the mechanics, safety and emergency procedures of their particular machines. Individuals working in a food kiosk must be familiar with safe food standards and practices. Food attendants must also possess skills in basic math in order to give correct change.

Because most training for this occupation occurs on the job, you need good listening skills and the ability to retain the information in order to perform your jobs correctly. You must take an interest in their particular assignment and learn all the details of your facet of the amusement park, whether that is a ticket counter, game booth, food kiosk or amusement ride.

Step Four: Add Training and Education to Advance Career

Amusement parks, especially stationary parks, offer management, marketing, sales and other career advancement opportunities. Enroll in business management, marketing or sales degree programs to qualify for new positions. Some colleges offer amusement park management degree programs as well. Many amusement park operates hire management from within existing workforces. Take advantage of internal corporate management and training programs to move up within the corporate structure.

A high school diploma and on the job training are the requirements to work as an amusement park attendant, but you may consider an advanced degree if you wish to qualify for management positions.

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