In 2011, more than 250,000 people were employed as amusement or recreation attendants in the United States and 2,860 people were employed in Oregon. Due in part to the popularity of theme parks, California and Florida employ the most amusement and recreation attendants. Although Oregon is not among the states with the highest employment levels for this occupation, we do have a healthy recreational economy. Geographically, recreation employment in Oregon is concentrated within metropolitan areas, with the highest concentration in the Portland Metropolitan Area.
Nationally, the mean (or average) annual wage is $9.60 an hour for amusement and recreation attendants. Locally, the statewide average hourly wage is slightly higher at $9.84 an hour. Within the state, there are five regions paying higher than the statewide average hourly wage (Graph 1). Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson counties pay the most at $10.57 an hour.
Required skills involve basic cash handling, ability to use a cash register, and knowledge of sales techniques. Of course, specialized knowledge and skills can come in handy when working at a ski facility, golf course, marina, or other recreational venue. Those job seekers who can demonstrate conflict resolution and customer service techniques have a competitive edge. Amusement and recreation attendant skills are most transferable to the entertainment field including ushers, lobby attendants, and gaming workers.
Employment in this occupation is expected to grow at a somewhat faster rate than the statewide average for all occupations. Reasonable employment opportunities exist, largely due to the need to fill replacement openings created by workers permanently leaving the occupation. Multnomah and Washington counties expect the most annual openings by 2020 (Table 1). Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson counties are projected to have the next highest, followed by the Salem Metro Area, and Clackamas and Lane counties, respectively.
The minimal work experience and educational requirements required to step into this type of work combined with availability of seasonal employment can make this occupation appealing to job seekers entering the job market for the first time.
|Regional Employment Projections for Amusement and Recreation Attendants, 2010-2020|
|Employment||Percent||Projected Annual Openings|
|Gilliam/Hood River/ Sherman/Wheeler/Wasco||45||50||11%||1||3||3|