View Full Version : AT jobs in Maine available

01-17-2017, 12:00
It's that time of year again when MATC starts to find folks wanting to work as caretakers/ridgerunners on the 267 mile section of trail that MATC looks after. Anyone interested can find out more information on matc.org. I'm on the hiring committee and I look for those with extensive AT hiking experience as well as experience in dealing with the public. Guides, wait staff, teachers, retail clerks and the like are perfect. Basically the job focuses on imparting LNT principles to those using the AT.

01-17-2017, 12:39
If I could support my family with this I would literally get on my knees and beg you for it =D

01-17-2017, 13:18
It is a minimum wage job, or close to it. However if you love to hike, you're getting paid to do what you love.

01-17-2017, 15:02
Folks rarely if ever do these types of jobs to earn a living and if they try to they figure it out pretty quickly that it doesn't pencil out. Usually its a college graduate with an outdoor oriented degree that is building up their resume to eventually go for the very rare year round jobs in this field. Someone I ran into commented that it was 1 in 100 odds to pick up a year round outdoors job, so all he could do was build up the resume and contacts. On occasion folks like 20 year military retirees may use this as a transition to another career. On rare occasions the "black sheep" of affluent families end up in the area and live a partially subsidized lifestyle working the outdoor field.

I have run into plenty of great folks over in the whites over the years that do this type of work, start out as trail crew and caretakers in college then work the summer and fall when they graduate. Unfortunately unless they can score some transition work between late fall and snow season, they starve until the winter tourist jobs start up and then starve during mud season until the summer season businesses ramp up. If they have the right skills, some folks head to Antarctica and work the "summer season" over our winter. They seem to string things along until they get married and have children and then they most often disappear into the real world. I think fewer folks can afford to do this these days as student debt payments mean they have to figure out a way to make the payments. A few end up working for AMC year round but usually it only lasts a few years until they figure out that AMC will gladly let them do the dirty work up north but unless they have the right contacts at headquarters they rarely get promoted into a position with a livable wage. Either that or they pick up contracting skills and do contracting in the off season initially and then stick with contracting and hope there isn't a housing bust. You would be surprised how many well educated outdoor pros are swinging hammers, pulling wires or running piping in the area.

01-17-2017, 15:33
I enjoyed Carol Wellman's Of Moose and Men: Ridgerunning in Main's Hundred Mile Wilderness (https://www.amazon.com/Moose-Men-Ridgerunning-Hundred-Wilderness-ebook/dp/B00UOEC6WC), which gave me an interesting look into the job. Pretty neat, pretty tough. I did a summer at Palmer Station in Antarctica, and it was awesome. If I'd been a few years younger, I might have done the north / south summer bounce life for a while.

01-17-2017, 16:04
I just bought a piece of land from a retired state of NH employee who is down in Antarctica for his first "summer". A lot of the folks who work the Mt Washington Observatory end up heading down once they get a winter on Mt Washington on their resume

01-17-2017, 16:04
While it is 'about' minimum wage pay and in my experience you will be working many many more hours then you are paid for, but your expenses are also very low (being on trail 5 days, 4 nights - but this varies by region), so in that sense is it 'livable'.

The best deal I've heard, and the only one that really makes sense is the MA DEP Ridgerunners, 3 days out, then one meeting per week, realizing that spending days and nights on trail ridgerunning does not equate to 8 hr days in terms of payment or time. Not to mention it is a state job with benefits whoo-hoo!

01-17-2017, 17:57
The minimum wage in Maine is now $7.50 and next year it will be $9.00. Last season our folks all made more than $13.00 per hour for a 40 hour week. This seems to be somewhat more than barely minimum wage. Most people see the job not as a lucrative way to build a vast nest egg but as the beginning of a career path in resource management such as working for the Park Service. It is still a tough job because of the demands in dealing with the public but many of our past hires have admitted (after a few beers) that they would even pay us for the chance to live the dream.