An amusement attendant is responsible for the operation of rides, maintenance and safety inspection of rides at theme parks and attractions. It is a popular choice as a seasonal or part-time job. Attendants can work together or alone to operate a ride, but will interact with people of all ages who attend the attraction or ride. They may also run booths, which range from selling concessions to managing small games and prizes.
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The duties of an amusement attendant will vary depending upon the type of ride, attraction or booth. Some attendants are trained to work at only one location for the entire shift, while others may be trained to work at several or all locations at the park.
Some general duties that an attendant has are:
Attendants may also use the following tools and equipment:
Attendants must be comfortable with interacting with strangers. A clear speaking voice is required for patrons who may be inattentive or hard of hearing. In addition, an attendant must have excellent hearing skills to pick up the speech of different people that may be arriving from different parts of the country or even the world. There is a lot of customer interaction, and an attendant must be able to deal with an unruly patron should the situation arise. Sometimes attendants will operate a booth or ride together, and cooperation is needed in order to run the operation smoothly. Attendants should be able to handle stress well as amusement parks tend to get busy, especially during vacation times.
They must be able to stand for long periods of time and will often interact with customers. An energetic and outgoing person is usually the best for this job. Occasionally attendants may be asked to carry heavy objects such as sporting equipment, or perform physical activities to operate rides or handle materials. Walking may be required for travelling between locations on the job. There is a lot of sound and noise, which may be distracting, and attendants usually have to stay outside for long periods of time. There are irregular office hours and weekend work.
There are no specific guidelines for this position. Typically, a high school diploma or equivalent is enough to become an amusement attendant. Most of the required skills will be learned in job training, usually provided by another employee.
However, there are opportunities for special interests at certain theme parks. Some courses that may be useful to take include business, hospitality, theater arts, and photography. Most of these courses can be taken at local junior or four-year colleges, as well as at local community centers.
Amusement attendants are found at major theme parks around the country, such as Six Flags, Disneyland, Disneyworld, Legoland, Orlando Studios, Seaworld. They are also found at recreational facilities such as ski resorts or water parks.
These places are usually packed with patrons, making for a very busy workplace. There is also a lot of staff to accommodate for patrons and their special needs, as well as directing and managing large crowds.
Amusement attendants typically receive a little bit higher than minimum wage, around $7-$10 dollars an hour, which leads to roughly $18,000-$20,000 a year. Keep in mind that this salary will vary if the job is seasonal. Some theme parks are open all year, while others are only open during certain seasons, such as the winter or summer. Attendants who are specialists, such as theme park photographers or performers, have the potential to earn more than the standard wage. However, this is a very rare case.