5 High-Paying Holiday Jobs That Do Not Involve Elf Costumes

Photo (cc) by C2 Montréal

Sure, you’d love some extra cash this holiday season, but you shiver at the idea of standing for hours refereeing while shoppers fight over hot toys or dressing as an elf?

The great news is that there are plenty of holiday jobs that pay high rates for temporary work and generally don’t require standing for hours, enduring extreme temperatures or reasoning with unruly shoppers.

The secret to finding those jobs is to think beyond the obvious places, such as retail stores and warehouses. Here are five great ideas to start your job search. Don’t delay! Start searching now.

1. Apartment rental agent

No one really wants to move into a new apartment or home in winter or during the holidays, of course, so business is slower than during other seasons. Still, the home ownership rates have fallen for the past eight years. That’s created a boom in rentals. Full-time apartment complex managers still want to take vacations during the winter holidays, so many call upon temporary and part-time employees. Duties vary among companies, but temporary or part-time agents generally explain offerings to prospective tenants, show them apartments, and collect completed rental agreements. Downtime is often plentiful, and agents are allowed to fill their time with personal tasks (think reading or online shopping or games), as long as they stay on site and readily available for prospective tenants’ questions. Average pay rates: About $14 an hour, according to Salary.com. You can visit or call apartment complexes and ask about employment opportunities or use one of the many nationwide apartment complex placement services such as AAA Apartment Staffing.

2. Parking valet attendants

High-end hotels and restaurants ramp up customer service during the holidays, of course, and parking valet attendants are in demand. In fact, the quest for valet parking is so high that some cities, such as San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Boston and Chicago, have valets-on-call that meet you at your destination, park your car and then return it to you when you request it. (Yes, they’re bonded, trained and reputable). And some of those companies, such as Luxe Valet, offer flexible schedules, according to The Wall Street Journal. Average pay rates: Anywhere from $6 an hour (plus tips) up to an estimated $15 an hour (plus tips), depending on employer, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

3. Hotel concierge

Love your city and enjoy helping others discover its high points? High-end hotels and resorts need help satisfying demand for their concierge services during the winter holidays. The duties vary, of course, but can include responding to requests and questions (where to eat, tourist attractions and transportation options), summoning maintenance teams to make needed repairs, and managing multiple phone lines, according to LoveToKnow.com. Of course, an outgoing, friendly personality and clean, modest appearance – always an asset for any job applicants – are especially key for those hoping to secure these positions. Average pay rates: Again, it depends on the employer, but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics noted the average is about $14 an hour.

4. Ambassador of Fun

OK, maybe the job advertised by Great Wolf Lodge in Poconos, Pennsylvania, has a one-of-a-kind title, but many hotels, resorts and recreational parks need help keeping family fun flowing in their recreational centers. Duties vary, of course, but include everything from leading certain events — think sing-a-longs and face painting — to keeping supplies stocked and maintenance notified when repairs are needed. These jobs are often at resorts, such as Great Wolf Lodge, but don’t forget local recreation centers, roller- and ice-skating rinks and even historic sites like George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate. Adults are needed to guide guests and even serve as character actors in some locales. Average pay rates: They range from about $9 an hour at Great Wolf Lodge (according to Glassdoor.com) to $30 an hour for character actors employed by Kaleideoscope.com

5. Professional line waiters

Those who want the latest Apple products or tickets to a popular event but just don’t have time to wait in line can be gold for those who have the time and patience to wait in line. The best-known line waiting service may well be Same Old Line Dudes (SOLD!) in New York, but a quick look in other cities show the demand has fueled services in most major cities. Average pay rates: As with other ad hoc jobs, it depends. A recent story in the New York Daily News spotlighted a line sitter who claimed he earns $1,000 a week. Of course, not everyone earns that. Last year, a round-up of Black Friday line sitter rates advertised on Craigslist – done by DailyDot.com — showed the market varies depending on location.

Do you have experience working the holidays? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
7 Gadgets Under $60 That Can Boost Your Health
7 Gadgets Under $60 That Can Boost Your Health

These Amazon finds can help ease foot aches, boost energy and even protect your heart.

3 Cable TV Companies Hiking Prices for 2020
3 Cable TV Companies Hiking Prices for 2020

Still married to your cable company? Hold on to your wallet!

3 Good Things About Recessions
3 Good Things About Recessions

We don’t wish difficulty on anyone, but there can be an upside to a down cycle.

8 Key Steps to Planning for Retirement as a Couple
8 Key Steps to Planning for Retirement as a Couple

Ready for retirement? Not so fast. You might be surprised at some of the issues that come up for couples when they plan.

How to Avoid Being Surprised by 7 Nasty Expenses
How to Avoid Being Surprised by 7 Nasty Expenses

Major expenses are difficult to predict, but there are ways to make sure you’re protected.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older
11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older

There is no need to wait until you’re 65 to take advantage of so-called “senior” discounts.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America
The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

9 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
9 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are all steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62
10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare
14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare

These services could save you money and help prevent costly health problems.

15 Products You Need — Even If You Didn’t Know It
15 Products You Need — Even If You Didn’t Know It

Discover some must-have products on Amazon that you didn’t even know you were missing.

Do This in the Car If You Want to Avoid COVID-19
Do This in the Car If You Want to Avoid COVID-19

It takes just seconds to take this simple preventive measure.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees
5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees

Retirees agree: These are the things that give them purpose and fulfillment in their golden years.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.