Which are the best summer jobs?

Make hay while the sun is shining

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Nobody really wants to have to work at all during the summer. But most of us have to; and for some people, such as students, the season can be the best earning opportunity of the year.

Many summer vacancies are already filled, but there are always more as companies gear up for a busy time of year or need cover for full-time employees who are off on their holidays.

As Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, points out, "There are plenty of exciting job opportunities out there at the moment and for some workers, having a seasonal job could be the ideal next step in their career."

If nothing else, a summer job will give you experience for your CV and show commitment and enthusiasm. And it can often lead to a full-time position, either now or in the future.

When it comes to enjoyment, though, some are better than others. There can't be many of us, for example, who'd yearn to flip burgers in a steaming kitchen or push papers in a stuffy office when the sun is blazing outside.

And in a survey of over 2,600 UK workers, CV-Library has established what we'd really rather be doing - from working at festivals to being a zookeeper.

"While summer jobs are often viewed as a precursor to a more permanent position, all of the roles highlighted in our survey provide meaningful experiences that can offer promising career prospects or help workers to accelerate towards their chosen profession," says Biggins.

"Seasonal positions can also be a great a way for workers to expand on their personal hobbies, whether that be water sports, travel writing, gardening and so on, enabling them to take something that they really enjoy and work at it in an exciting job role."

The UK's top ten dream summer jobs

1. Music festival steward (14%)

You're unlikely to get paid for this one - but at least you'll get the chance to watch your favourite bands for free. Festaff matches volunteers with over 30 events a year, and Oxfam provides stewards for festivals large and small, from Glastonbury to Boomtown Fair.

2. Travel writer (9.8%)
This is another summer job that is unlikely to bring much in at first. The best way to get work, says Don George of Lonely Planet, is to find a niche and set up your own website or blog.

"In the ever-more-congested world of travel content creators, this site is your multi-layered, multimedia portal to the readers, viewers – and editors – you're trying to reach," he says.

3. Dog walker (9.8%)
Getting paid for a stroll in the sunshine must sound pretty good to anybody - and it can be pretty lucrative too. According to Direct Line Insurance, pet owners are paying an average £11.50 an hour, netting the average dog walker £26,496 a year. Try advertising on Gumtree, or leafleting the neighbourhood.

4. Bartender or waiter (8.9%)
The real merit of bartending or waiting on tables is the flexible hours - as well as the social side of the job. Many bars and restaurants need extra staff in the summer, especially in tourist areas.

5. Gardener (7.7%)
You'll need to know what you're doing, but for many people there really is no better way to spend the summer. And as well as permanent positions there are plenty of temporary jobs to cover the peak growing season. CV-Library has several hundred here.

6. Summer camp counsellor (7.3%)
If you love the outdoors and are good with kids, working at a summer camp could be right for you - as long as you don't mind spending time away from home.

7. Zookeeper (7%)
One for real animal lovers, being a zookeeper doesn't necessarily require any special qualifications. Your best bet for work is to approach zoos directly to find out about vacancies.

8. Yacht staff (5.9%)
It's much harder work than you might think, and you could be stuck with the same people for months on end. But what other summer job can give you quite this much glorious travel?

9. Lifeguard (5.1%)
There's plenty of demand from both indoor and outdoor pools - but you'll need to be a strong swimmer and hold a lifeguarding certificate. However, many pools and leisure centres have positions for assistants of various types who don't need experience or qualifications.

10. House Sitter (4.9%)
Fancy making money doing very little whilst staying in luxurious homes? With people jetting off throughout the summer, this is your chance.

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The UK's top ten dream jobs

The UK's top ten dream jobs