Top 3 Thursdays!If you’re a coaster enthusiast then you’re probably always planning your next trip and thinking about what new roller coasters you hope to ride. And, if you’ve entered the workforce full-time you’ve realized that work seems to be getting in the way of your theme park plans. Paid time off is limited and sometimes weekends aren’t long enough for a full-fledged theme park outing especially if the amusement park you’re visiting is far away. So, I thought about what the best professions are for roller coaster and theme park fans.

Unfortunately, I came up with this list a little too late for myself. I’m kidding, I love what I do. But, I do find myself envious of the theme park fans who call the jobs below their day jobs.

3 – Amusement Industry (Theme Park Front Office, Maintenance, Ride & Roller Coaster Designers)
Theme park fans with full-time, year-round jobs in the amusement industry areBryn - Carowinds PR Manager the closest to their passion that they can be. They can ride new attractions before the public and may be privy to future plans while the rest of us are left speculating for months. On the downside, they work long hours during the summer months and don’t necessarily get to go to other parks as often as the rest of us may. Lastly, there’s a very limited number of jobs in this field. Your average theme park only has so many marketing, front office, and ride maintenance people.

Becoming a ride designer is dream for thousands of coaster enthusiasts. Like kids who aspire to make it to the NFL or NBA, aspiring designers should make sure they have a plan B or another profession they could go into with their engineering or math degree. There just aren’t that many ride and roller coaster designers.

2 – Airline Industry (Pilots, Flight Attendants, etc)
Those in the airline industry get flight discounts and perks that the rest Pete Trabuccoof us don’t. Plus, they can plan so that their work takes them to destinations that they want to visit for personal reasons. Pete Trabucco is a pilot that merged his professional and personal lives racking up tons of theme park trips over the years.

He’s now ridden more than 300 roller coasters. And, he’s written a book, “America’s Top Roller Coasters and Amusement Parks – A Guide for Those who Ride Them and Tips for Those who Fear Them” that he’s promoted on talk shows all over the country. I wrote a bit about the book and his great tips for overcoming coaster fears here. Some of the proceeds from the book’s sales go to charity.

1 – Education Field (Teachers, School Administration, etc)
Nothing beats the amount of time off that those in the education system enjoy. I just googled the first and last day of school for my local school system and I’d kill to have that much time off for theme park Teacher at a White Boardtravel. In the Charlotte area, the last day of school for 2010 was June 10th and the first day of school was August 25th. My Dad’s a teacher so I know that you’d have to report back to school a few weeks before the first day, but to basically have two months of freedom sounds amazing.

Of course the huge consideration, is that you have to love working with children or teens. Teaching’s definitely not for everyone, but for a theme park fan like long-time reader Judy, having that time off allows her to hit a number theme parks every summer with ease.

So, my list basically boils down to being able to be: A) Closer to theme parks B) Being able to travel easier or C) Having ample time off. Teenage roller coaster fans take note. If you’re truly a theme park addict, these may be professions that you’ll want to consider.

Read more Top 3 Thursdays posts.

What’s Your Take?
What do you think about my list of the best professions for theme park fans? Did I miss any professions? Leave a comment below.

About The Author

Founder of My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.

23 Responses

  1. Prof.BAM

    What about ride operator? There's the Looping Starship at Valleyfair! that is probably the best scream inducer. I'd love working that.

  2. jjhobo

    Not sure about the teacher one, lets not forget the fact that the time off you get is exactly the same as the summer holidays etc so you actually have to go to the theme parks when they are at their most busy and we all know how much of a pain it can be to go to park to have to wait hours for just one ride. I think there would be alot of other jobs that would be better as they would have time off during the school year and the parks would be empty. I cant speak for american teachers but over here I know that the job doesnt just end in the classroom, theres marking and planning to do and during most of the holidays (summer holidays excluded) they have marking and other things to do and so they dont have as much free time as it appears.

    • The Coaster Critic

      Like I said, my Dad's a teacher and at least from my view he didn't seem to do ANY school-related work in the middle of the summer. But, you've got a point about time off while everyone else is vacationing. Still, I'd take my chances. If I could do mid-week Tuesday to Thursday theme park trips (week after week if I wanted to) without having to use vacation time I think that'd be awesome.

      • Judy P in Pgh

        As a teacher, I have definitely learned to do the summer weekday thing! I travel with 2 former students, young adults who qualify for autism passes, but we have only ever used the passes at Cedar Point and Disney World. At other parks, the lines aren't long enough on weekdays to justify waiting in Guest Relations to pick up the passes! I've also found that crowds on weekends in March, April, Sept. and Nov. are pretty light. (Oct. brings out the Halloweeners!) We're already marking the calendar with park opening dates and it looks like Carowinds will be first this year, unless I squeeze in an impromptu trip to Dollywood prior to that. I'm going through some serious withdrawal here!!

  3. Mike

    Sometimes I imagine when I get to be older I'll take a job in a theme park. Maybe I can operate a coaster and tell the kids stories of when I rode the best coasters. I'm very happy because my company just decided to give us 4 day work weeks so I am going to have 3 day weekends starting soon. I'm even more pumped for some trips now and might take more than I planned.

    • The Coaster Critic

      That's sweet Mike. Three day weekends and your proximity to so many cool parks in the East mean you'll be able to hit a lot of parks if you want to. Excited to hear how your trips go this year.

  4. Quil

    I realy want to hear what ADavis has to say on this matter. Is being an author a good career for the likes of a coaster fanatic?

  5. Gearhart

    I'd do just about anything for an airline if they gave sweet travel deals! something to look into….

  6. Cassandra

    Once I was in line for Millennium Force in front of a truck driver who said they get all sorts of discounts at parks, and talked about how many parks he gets to hit while on his route. Probably depends on the trucking line, but I was still impressed.

      • Judy P in Pgh

        How about a school bus or motor coach driver? I'm surprised at how many of these people take groups to the park, get free admission for being a driver and spend the day SITTING ON A BENCH!!!

  7. DC

    I guess I'm one of the lucky ones. I work for a university, although it's a 12-month job. However, summers are very slow and I always seem to have at least 5-6 weeks accrued vacation. If only I were rich enough to spend all of that time traveling from park to park. Anybody know 6 good lottery numbers? LOL!

  8. OSM

    Front office for a theme park company sounds interesting, if it was a big chain there would be a variety of parks you could get perks at, like six flags or cedar fair. Only problem is that you could lose your job if you got caught at a rival park haha.

    • Quil

      It has to depend on the job. What's so wrong about doing a bit of "Reaserch" at Cedar fair every once in a while?

  9. Nessie

    You wrote about airline pilot being a good job and didn't mention Joel Rogers over at Coaster Gallery?

  10. Kathryn Aguiar

    The best job for rollercoaster enthusiasts in my aspect is the one I chose =) A travel Agent!!! I get to send people to their favorite parks for a great price, plan their day at the parks (so they get the most rides in the least amount of time) and create long lasting memories =) Plus…I get to go see the parks at a discounted rate. I have worked at all the theme parks here in Orlando in the past and they never get old!!! I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to help anyone who loves this blog as much as I do plan their next trip =) I specialize in Orlando but get great deals on the whole USA. Check out my website or send me an email if you are planning a trip to one of the parks…I would love to help you get a better rate =)

  11. Cpguy

    I think that being a roller coaster designer is #1 because if you love coasters it is fun to design them

  12. David

    I have to add one. Charter bus driver. The pay can be very good and when you go to the parks you get free admission. It’s also a much easier field to get into than ride engineer, teacher or pilot.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.