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Steeplechase Luna Park

Steeplechase Ride at Luna Park. Coney Island’s amusement rides open for the 2015 season on Palm Sunday, March 29th. Photo © Tricia Vita

Want to get into the business of fun? An array of amusement park jobs including ride operator, bartender, games manager and online marketing coordinator are up for grabs. Coney Island’s first job recruitment events of the 2015 season are on Monday and Tuesday and some employers have started posting ads on Craigslist and specialized job boards. Coney Island’s opening day is early this year–March 29th–with the parks open weekends and school holidays until the daily schedule begins on Memorial Day Weekend. (Scroll down for updates on recruitment events and job offerings.)The February 23rd and 24th recruitment event is hosted by the Alliance for Coney Island in partnership with Human Resources Administration, NYCEDC’s HireNYC Program and Council Member Mark Treyger. It will be held at MCU Park, the Brooklyn Cyclones’ Stadium (1904 Surf Avenue) from 12 noon till 4pm. Representatives from Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, Luna Park, Nathan’s Famous, Ruby’s Bar and Grill, and Applebee’s will be among the businesses interviewing for ride operators, game operators, park services, food services and cashiers. The independently operated games of skill on West 12th Street are also seeking game operators for the 2015 season.

Deno's Wonder Wheel Park

Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park is among the Coney Island businesses seeking job applicants at this week’s workforce recruitment event. Photo via Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park

CAI Foods, the food division of Zamperla’s Central Amusement International, which operates Luna Park, will have a job fair next week on March 2nd and 3rd. CAI Foods operates Place to Beach, the Cyclone Cafe and kiosks in Luna Park. Food service jobs include cook, service assistant, kiosk operator, bar back, bartender and cashier. The job fair will be held at the B&B Carousell on the Boardwalk next to the Parachute Jump. All applicants must complete an online application before attending the job fair. Luna Park is also seeking an Online Marketing Coordinator to create and manage engaging content for the park’s website, social media and e-newsletters ($38,000). “This gig is unlike any other social media job,” says the job description. “You’ll be running around creating content with a small camera and your wits, coordinating with our photographers and videographers and pestering staff members for exciting information for our online audience. We won’t lie — it’s tough, you’ll be busy as heck during the summer (especially weekends) and we need someone who is just a little bit awesome.”

Cat Rack in Coney Island

A supervisor and game attendant practice “Downing A Clown” on Surf Avenue, Luna Park Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita

Managerial job openings at Luna Park include a Warehouse Manager to oversee a team responsible for stocking games, merchandise, photo booths, uniform inventory, maintenance spare parts and other items ($40,000-$45,000) and a Games and Retail Manager with experience in the amusement industry ($45,000-$50,000). Nathan’s Famous is hiring Restaurant Managers and Shift Managers for their Coney Island locations. Experienced RMS earn up to $865 per week and shift managers up to $15 per hour. Ruby’s Bar and Grill on the Boardwalk is hiring a manager and assistant manager, as well as a cook, counter help, and bartender, according to a new post on their website. The Alliance for Coney Island is looking for a Marketing and Corporate Partnerships Manager with experience in marketing, corporate partnerships, communications and media/press relations.

UPDATE April 17, 2015:

On April 23 and 24, Luna Park will have a job fair at the B&B Carousell from 10am-6pm. The carousel is located on the boardwalk bext to the Parachute Jump. There will also be a job fair at B&B on April 27 and 28 for cashiers, bartenders and food service workers. On April 21 and 22 another job recruitment event will be held at MCU Park, the Brooklyn Cyclones’ Stadium (1904 Surf Avenue) from 10am till 4pm. Representatives from Central Amusement International (Luna Park), Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, Eldorado Auto Skooter, Nathan’s Famous, Applebee’s and the Coney Island YMCA will be among the businesses interviewing for full-time and part-time seasonal positions. You can pre-register here. Lola Star Boutique is seeking Shift Managers. Aramark is still hiring for Catering Attendants and Food Service Helpers and Line Cooks at the Brooklyn Cyclones’ MCU Park.

UPDATE March 18, 2015:

Game of skill operators are needed for the 2015 season at the independent games on West 12th street off the Boardwalk. Apply in person or message @MissConeyIsland via twitter. Wahlburgers is hiring a Marketing and Events Coordinator for the franchise opening in Coney Island Luna Park is seeking Brand Ambassadors to work both in Coney Island and off-site. Additional positions listed on the job opportunities section of the park’s website.

UPDATE March 8, 2015:

On Monday, March 9th, from 10am – 4pm, there will be an additional workforce screening event for jobs with Luna Park, Eldorado Skooter and others. The location is Gargiulo’s Restaurant, 2911 West 15th Street off Surf Avenue in Coney Island. Samuel Adams’ Alchemy & Science division, which is opening a brewery on Surf Avenue for their line of Coney Island Beer, is seeking an account manager. “Coney Island Brewing Company is a local New York brewery and we need you to join our team to sell our beers. We need you promoting Coney Island beers in the New York market. Adult alcohol industry experience strongly preferred.” Seasonal positions with Aramark’s food and beverage operation at MCU Park, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones, include a concessions supervisor . They are also hiring cashiers, food service helpers, and maintenance workers as well as experienced retail store associates and store supervisors for the team store. The season at MCU starts June 20th. Lola Star Boutique, which has locations on the Boardwalk and in Stillwell Terminal, is seeking shift managers in Coney and a studio production manager in Sunset Park.

12th street games

The independently operated games of skill on West 12th Street are seeking game operators for the 2015 season

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January 29, 2015: Coney Island 2015: Subway Cafe, Sushi Lounge, IHOP, Checkers, Johnny Rockets January 20, 2015: Coney Island 2015: Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park Adds Scrambler, ‘Twist & Shout’ Drop Tower December 5, 2014: Wahlburgers Burger Franchise to Open in Coney Island May 19, 2014: New Thunderbolt Loops the Loop Again in Coney Island

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New York Aquarium

Cotton Candy Vendor in front of New York Aquarium. Photo © Tricia Vita

UPDATE: See post for 2015 season here: “Coney Island Amusement Park Jobs from Entry Level to Managerial Up for Grabs,” February 22, 2015

Imagine having a summer job in Coney Island, where you can eat cotton candy for lunch and go for a swim after work. Coney’s amusement parks and attractions, which open for the season on April 13, generally hold their first job screening in late February (Scroll down for an update on registering for this year’s first screenings on March 4th and 6th. The second series of job screenings will be on April 21 and 22.) A few businesses and non-profits are already advertising for year-round and seasonal help.

The New York Aquarium is seeking Teaching Fellows for a 12 week program from June through August. “The WCS Education Department’s Conservation Education Fellowship program is a unique opportunity for current undergraduate students, recent college graduates, and graduate students to explore conservation education,” according to the job description. Fellows teach summer camp programs for children. One year prior teaching experience and educational background in ecology, environmental science or education is preferred. Pay is $12/hr. Check the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Careers page for details.

Coney Island Lifeguard

Coney Island Lifeguard. Photo © Joe Fishman. All Rights Reserved

If you want to be a New York City Parks lifeguard, you’ve got another week to take the qualifying test for the 2014 summer season. The test is being held on January 17th at Abraham Lincoln High on Ocean Parkway. Additional dates and sites in the five boroughs are listed on the “Become a Lifeguard” page of the New York City Parks Department’s website. A Parks spokesman tells ATZ that assignments are by seniority, but lifeguards may request a preferred or convenient location such as Coney Island Beach. Lifeguards work 48 hours per week and earn a minimum of $13.57 per hour for a weekly salary of over $650.

Pool at New Coney Island YMCA

The Coney Island YMCA has a four-lane lap pool and a recreational pool. Photo courtesy YMCA of Greater New York

The beautiful new Coney Island YMCA on Mermaid Avenue opened in December and still has many year-round job openings. They are hiring lifeguards and fitness coaches, as well as instructors of swimming, ballet, tae kwon do, and group exercise. Other positions include property manager, child watch aide and porter. The Coney Island facility houses the largest aquatic center of any YMCA in New York City and offers some pretty nice perks. YMCA part-time and full-time employees receive free individual memberships and are encouraged to use all parts of the facility when they are not working to support a healthy lifestyle. Full-time employees receive a family membership, and part-time employees receive a discount for all family members. Visit the YMCA’s career opportunities page to apply.

lola star

Lola Star Boutique, Coney Island Boardwalk. Photo © Tricia Vita

Lola Star Boutique, which has locations on the Boardwalk and in Stillwell Terminal, is hiring a store manager. “Our sales associates are more like Hosts and Hostesses at a party rather than a conventional sales clerk. We are looking for a store manager that will go above and beyond in maintaining our shops, welcoming guests, managing employees and creating a unique and delightful experience,” says the ad on Craigslist. “You’ll spend your days by the ocean meeting a diverse array of people from all over the world. Everyday is a new adventure! You’ll also be encouraged to express your stylistic individuality. You’ll spend your days by the ocean meeting a diverse array of people from all over the world. Everyday is a new adventure! You’ll also be encouraged to express your stylistic individuality.”

Coney Island Bar & Grill

Coney Island Bar & Grill, Surf Avenue, coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita

Coney Island Bar and Grill, formerly known as Bratva Bar, is on the north side of Surf Avenue near West 12th Street. They’re seeking a cook with at least three years experience as a line or lead line cook who has experience working all stations in the kitchen. “We are looking for someone who is willing to grow with us, share ideas and most of all have a passion for the kitchen,” says their ad. “You must also be very RELIABLE; looking for someone we can count on. Be available for lunch, brunch, late night.”

Across Surf Avenue, arts organization Coney Island USA, which runs Sideshows by the Seashore and the Mermaid Parade, is seeking a Book-keeper/Office Manager with a B.A. in Accounting or Business Management. “Responsibilities include day to day financial management through Quickbooks, running weekly payroll, preparation of financial reports, maintenance of files and overall administrative support for the organization. Experience in the not-for-profit sector preferred.”

UPDATE February 23, 2014:

The Alliance for Coney Island has partnered with HireNYC, Brooklyn Workforce1 and NYC Department of Small Business Services to host this year’s screenings for seasonal jobs in Coney Island. The first round of screenings are for jobs at Luna Park, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park and Nathan’s. Among the new employers at the Coney Island job fair will be Rita’s Italian Ice, which is set to open this spring on Surf Avenue. Available positions include Ride and Game Operators, Food and Beverage Service, and Customer Service/Retail Sales. Candidates must register online prior to attending one of the screening events scheduled for Tuesday, March 4th and Thursday, March 6th in Coney Island. More information regarding the available jobs and a link to online registration is available here. You can see a listing of Luna Park’s open positions here.

Coney Island USA

Neon sign at Coney Island USA. Photo © Bruce Handy via flickr

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February 24, 2012: Summer Jobs: From Coney Island to the Carnival Midway

December 22, 2011: Wanna Be A Coney Island Lifeguard This Summer?

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Employees at Luna Park Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

UPDATE: See post for 2015 season here: “Coney Island Amusement Park Jobs from Entry Level to Managerial Up for Grabs,” February 22, 2015

Running away with the carnival is easy but sticking with it through the end of the season is hard work. Once upon a time it was a rite of passage for American kids who wanted to see the world beyond their hometowns. Nowadays, the amusement industry still recruits high-school grads and college students, as well as retirees and others with merry-go-round memories and itchy feet. If you’d like to work in Coney Island or travel across the country with a carnival, now is the time of year to apply for a job.

Next week, Central Amusement International, operator of Coney Island’s Luna Park and Scream Zone, and Nathan’s Famous, together with the Coney Island Development Corporation, will begin recruiting for seasonal positions. “This is a unique opportunity to become a part of ‘The One and Only Coney’ by joining the team of dedicated employees that make Coney Island an entertainment destination worldwide,” says the CIDC event flyer for the upcoming screenings. (Update: If you are viewing this post in 2014, check out this season’s job information at “A Head Start on Summer Jobs in Coney Island”

The job screenings are February 28, March 1, April 24 and April 26, 2012 from 12 noon till 6 pm at the Brooklyn Cyclones’ MCU Park, 1904 Surf Avenue in Coney Island. In past years, nearly a thousand people have shown up on a single day, so we recommend getting there early. Qualified candidates, who must be 18 years of age or older, will be referred for an interview. Seasonal jobs include Ride and Game Operators, Food and Beverage Service, Park Service, Customer Service/Retail Sales and Ticket Sales Associates/Cashiers.

Lunatic Dance Team, Luna Park Coney Island. July 15, 2011. Photo © Jim McDonnell. All Rights Reserved.

If you’re reading this after the screening events have taken place or can’t make it, visit the Career Opportunities pages at Nathan’s Famous and Luna Park and also check Craigslist. Luna Park currently has an ad on Craigslist for dancers and performers for the Lunatic Promotion Team, which pays $10 per hour. According to the ad, “the team will attend offsite promotions to inform new guests about the park and all the amazing things Coney Island has to offer. The second task will be to handle on-site events, promotions, photo opportunities and guests experience surveys.” Performers, including singers, dancers and DJs, will take part in the Cyclone roller coaster’s 85th birthday celebration and Coney Island’s first end of the summer concert.

Game operator

Game operator with North American Midway Entertainment. Via Facebook.com/Namidway

A dozen years ago, homesick for the midways of my carnival childhood, I went on the road with S & S Amusements, touring the Pennsylvania fairs. Since then, I’ve worked as a game agent with Wade Shows at New York City’s “Big A” Fair, the Delaware State Fair, the Michigan State Fair and the Central Florida Fair, and on Coney Island’s Jones Walk. One advantage to working in Coney is being able to sleep in my apartment at night, though when I got home from being on the road all summer it took a bit of getting used to having townhouses across the way instead of a Tilt-A-Whirl.

“The carnival business, which supports America’s state and sounty fairs, festivals and community events, needs seasonal workers who are willing to travel, work nights, weekends and Holidays,” Bob Johnson, President of the Outdoor Amusement Business Association tells ATZ. A look at the websites of OABA member carnivals shows that these carnivals are hiring ride operators and attendants, food and game agents, maintenance, electricians and welders. “Weekly pay is based on State and Federal minimum wage rates, and other State regulations, such as overtime pay,” notes Johnson “Over 5 million seasonal workers support this industry and many come back year after year as they love to travel and entertain over 300 million patrons who visit the carnival midways.”

North American Midway Entertainment

Ride operators with North American Midway Entertainment. Via Facebook.com/Namidway

If the idea of traveling to 20 states and 4 Canadian provinces, including 10 of the top 50 fairs in North America is appealing, then you may want to check out North American Midway Entertainment’s Careers page.

ATZ talked with Ed Dame, Director of Operations for NAME, “the world’s largest traveling outdoor amusement park,” about opportunities with his company. “Eighty percent of our employees are locals,” he said. “We advertise in newspapers and state workforce agencies.” The carnival company has an Employee Appreciation Program, which rewards workers with gift certificates, iPads and computers.

Group activities include day trips to Major League baseball games, Banff, Niagara Falls and New York City, as well as BBQs, bowling nights and jamborees. Among the fairs played by NAME are The Eastern States Exposition in Massachusetts, Toronto’s CNE, the Calgary Stampede, Miami-Dade County Fair & Expo and State Fairs in Mississippi, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois.

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January 10, 2014: A Head Start on Summer Jobs in Coney Island

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January 26, 2010: Scoop: Zamperla’s $24M Coney Island Park to be Named Luna Park!

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Luna Park

Luna Park Coney Island, Surf Avenue Entrance. June 6, 2010. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

If you’re seeking a career in the amusement industry, Central Amusement International, the operator of Luna Park Coney Island, has listed five plum jobs on Craigslist. They’re hiring an Assistant Operations Manager to help oversee the park operation (salary of $30,000-$40,000 per year) as well as a Seasonal Assistant Operations Coordinator and a Seasonal Assistant Administrative Manager (pay rate of $14.45-$19.25 per hour). The seasonal positions are late March through early November. Luna Park and the new Scream Zone are expected to open for the 2011 season in mid-April.

Luna Park is also looking for a Maintenance Coordinator with five or more years experience and NAARSO and/or AIMS certification (salary of $50,000-$70,000 per year) and a Maintenance Technician with vocational or technical training (pay rate of $12-$18 per hour).

Information about entry level jobs such as ride operator, game operator, ticketseller and retail sales is available on the park’s website. When the new park opened last May, the City announced “in its inaugural season Luna Park is projected to create 247 new jobs in Coney Island, increasing to 330 full and part time positions in 2011, with an emphasis on local hiring.” The amusement park is a public-private partnership with the City of New York.

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January 10, 2014: A Head Start on Summer Jobs in Coney Island

February 24, 2012: Summer Jobs: From Coney Island to the Carnival Midway

December 13, 2010: Video: Alberto Zamperla Talks Luna Park Coney Island

August 28, 2010: Video: Grand Prize Winner of Luna Park Coney Island’s Film Contest!

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