Mt. Mitchell Raises Pay for Summer Workers to $12/Hour


After a special appeal to top state officials, Mt. Mitchell State Park has been given the go-ahead to pay seasonal employees $12 an hour this summer, an increase of 50 percent over last season’s wages.

Summer job openings at the park include maintenance, concessions and gift shop positions, all of which give employees the chance to minglewith park visitors while enjoying cool weather and spectacular views from the tallest mountain in the Eastern U.S.

“These jobs are a good stepping stone for young people interested in a career in outdoor recreation or for retirees looking for a summer activity and the chance to earn some cash in a unique environment,” said Park Superintendent Kevin Bischof. “They are also vital to the park’s revenue stream, as we get the bulk of our visitors in the summer months and rely on good sales in concessions and the gift shop to support our budget.”

Some workers drive to the park each day via the Blue Ridge Parkway, although dorm style park housing is available. Seasonal employees typically work a 40-hour week, with weekends the busiest time for the park.

In addition to the seasonal jobs, the park will soon be hiring a full-time Maintenance Supervisor (closing date May 7), along with an entry-level Park Ranger.

A summer at the park can be a life-changing experience, as a number of former seasonal employees can attest.

“It was the best summer of my life,” said Sean McElhone, who is now the Mountain Region Superintendent for North Carolina State Parks. Other former summer workers from Mt. Mitchell have gone on to become park superintendents and even the agency’s director.

The 14 summer jobs run from May through October, so folks interested in applying should contact the park immediately.

Call the Park at 828-675-4611, e-mail, or stop by the Park Office for information on seasonal jobs. To sign up for notifications on permanent jobs, visit:

Mount Mitchell is North Carolina’s first state park, and one of the oldest state parks in the U.S. Located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, it attracts about 300,000 annual visitors, making it an important tourist destination for Western North Carolina.

Photo Info: Seasonal worker Kevin Cox works on a sign at Mt. Mitchell State Park. Hoping to attract workers, the park has gotten approval to raise the pay for summer workers to $12 per hour.