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5 Tips for Scoring a Last-Minute Dude Ranch Job

cowgirl looking at horses

Summer is almost here and while most dude ranches are currently staffed, there are a good number still filling last-minute vacancies! While urban summer jobs have become less desirable in the past two years, there are more opportunities in 2022 for last-minute job seekers to land a position at a guest ranch.

Check Your Bucket List

For job seekers who don’t know where to start, identify locations of interest or activities you’ve always wanted to try. Interested in seeing Glacier National Park or the Grand Canyon in your time off? Love the water and want to be near it? Use these interests to help narrow down focus to a few locations and start looking for ranches in those areas.

chef cooking on the grill


Think Adventurously

Don’t be afraid to explore outside your comfort zone. Sure, a dude ranch job may be across the country but it offers perks that many summer jobs won’t such as on-site housing and meals. Many employers even throw this in as part of the package.

woman on the phone


Be Flexible

Consider a variety of positions and locations. Those who approach the job hunt with an open mind and a willingness to do anything are likely to score a job in a great place. Taking a position as a Kids Counselor, Server, or Housekeeper is a great way to get your foot in the door and open up opportunities to explore other positions within the ranch.

person holding horse in traditional attire


Exude Professionalism

Just because this is a summer job doesn’t mean you can take the application process casually. Slang and short-form won’t go far with ranch employers. Fill out applications using proper grammar, spelling and punctuation – and be willing to download and fill out PDFs if necessary to submit an application. Additionally, provide reputable references on each application – workers with limited experience can turn to a teacher, former employer or coach who can speak to work ethic and aptitudes – avoid using friends or peers.

young girl holding rope


Be Able to Commit

A good majority of ranches operate from mid-May into September or even October. Your ability to be on-site and work through a full season will put you ahead of the other applicants, and some ranches offer bonuses for staying! If you are still in college, consider taking classes online in the Fall and seeing if the ranch will be flexible with your school schedule. Your efforts to make it work will go far with ranch employers.


man fishing



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Dude Ranchers’ Association

Not sure where to start? Unsure of what ranch is right for you? That’s why we’re here to help! Contact us today to help you narrow down your options, so you can find your next job at a dude ranch!

Contact: 307-587-2339 |