Looking for work this summer? The Department of Environmental Protection says applications are now being accepted for hundreds of seasonal jobs at 34 of New Jersey's parks, forests and historic sites in 14 counties.

DEP spokeswoman Caryn Shinske says available include lifeguards, nature and history educators, maintenance workers and visitor service assistants. They're also looking for trail stewards at three state parks.

You need to be at least 16 years old for most positions and at least 18 years old to be a trail steward.

Starting salaries begin at $10 an hour.

Peak season for these jobs is typically Memorial Day to Labor Day but there are some positions available from April through October, particularly for those that involve camping. Shinske also says the Park Service will work with applicants such as college students and teachers whose availability may be limited during certain periods of the year.

To be a lifeguard, you must be 16 years old but no prior experience is necessary, said Shinske. They are looking for lifeguards at 14 swimming areas across the state. Areas from Island Beach State Park in Ocean County to Wharton State Forest in Burlington County to Spruce Run Recreational Area in Hunterdon County are looking for lifeguards.

Lifeguards must pass swimming and running tests.

"The state park service will train lifeguards in things like CPR, using automated external defibrillators, first aid and other medical matters and we will also help applicants get their U.S. life saving association certification," she said.

You must be 18 years old to be a trail steward. Shinske said there are two shifts available, either 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. or from noon to 8:30 p.m. Trail stewards must be able to work 40 hours a week. You need to hike strenuous distances every day. Shinske said they are looking for applicants who are both assertive and professional because in addition to the hiking, they are going to be handling crowds and educate visitors on the Leave No Trace concept and park regulations.

The deadline to apply for any of these positions is Friday, March 1. Shinske said you should check in with the park office of your choice about what specific positions are available, scheduling and any other job related questions. You can also learn about specific positions at www.nj.gov/dep/workinparks. The link also has the lifeguard testing schedule available.

Applicants must be available to work weekends and holidays. Salaries start at $10 an hour.

To learn more about New Jersey Parks, Forests and Historic Sites, visit www.njparksandforests.org.

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