How Much Can You Make Workamping?
How much you can make depends on how much you want to work. And, of course, state and federal minimum wage laws are a factor.
The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour and that supercedes any state minimum wage rates that are lower. However, some states have minimum wages higher than the federal rate (up to $9.50 per hour) and the higher state rates apply.
You can check out the U.S. Department of Labor Minimum Wage page for more information on wage laws.
Most workamping positions that pay a wage of $7.25 - $9.00 per hour. However, there are positions out there that pay $12, $15, or even $20 per hour.
Typically, the higher wages come with quite a bit more responsibility and more intense work hours. In other words, if you want to make all or most of your expenses for a year, be prepared to work hard and lots of hours.
Let's look at the math for a hypothetical workamping position.
Say you are a couple and you are both working 40 hours per week helping out at a private campground. You are with a good employer that is paying you $9 per hour and they pay you for all hours worked (i.e. they don't deduct any of your hours out for the "free" campsite).
So that's 80 hours per week at $9/hour or $720 a week. Let's just say that you have committed to a year. That means you will make $37,440 - before payroll taxes. Well, you've done it! You can certainly live on that as a full-timer (especially with no campground fees).
BUT, that's a lot of hours!
First, most people that full-time don't want to work anywhere near that many hours.
Second, it's hard finding continuous employment in one location as a workamper, so it might require a month or two of traveling to find similar employment.
Third, if you are going to work that many hours, you might decide you would be better off financially to be back in a sticks & bricks home and making substantially more money.
So, if you don't have supplemental income, and you need to earn all of your expenses on the road, and you don't want to work that hard, what do you do?
Well, obviously, you need to make a higher wage to work less. Here are some examples.
We know people that have made $3,000 - $4,000 in a month selling Christmas Trees.
We know couples that have made $14 - $18 an hour as managers and assistant managers for See's Candies during the holidays.
We know people that have prepared tax returns during the three and a half months of tax season and earned almost all their expenses for the year.
We know a couple that brings in somewhere in the range of $15 - $20 an hour in wages and tips dealing blackjack at casinos.
We have personally worked a four-month job paying us both $12 per hour for 40 hours per week each in addition to our free, full hook-up campsite.
Now those positions often come with intense hours and responsibilities. But they also allow folks to travel and play more during the year or save more so they can work less in the future.
Regardless, earning your full-timing expenses completely is no easy thing to do.
I suppose the ultimate question for you is this:
Is the full-time RVing lifestyle, even having to work "real job" hours, going to be better than what you are doing now?
Only you and your family can answer that question. Our job is to encourage you, but also to help you understand the challenges before you make a decision that is hard to reverse.
We recommend that folks have at least some supplemental income before they venture out as full-timers. Workamping, as your sole source of income, is not the easiest way to full-time, and you can become discouraged if you don't know what you are getting into.
We know a few folks that found it to be harder than they thought. So they either got off the road until they could put more money in savings, or they resigned themselves to living on the road for less so they could take positions requiring less time and commitment.
We have often said that working "real job" hours on the road may be a lot better than what you are doing now. The atmosphere out here on the road is different, as are the people. So, while we want to caution folks, we certainly don't want to dissuade anyone from giving full-timing a try to see for themselves.
The good news is that you have come to this website. And maybe, just maybe you have found enough information to make better decisions regarding full-timing and how to pay for such a wonderful lifestyle.
Click on the links below for more.
What are the types of jobs available?
What kind of commitment is required?
What if I just want to volunteer for a campsite?
What are the Pros & Cons of working for pay vs. volunteering for for a site with no pay?
What are the tax implications of workamping?
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