Want to work on Mackinac Island this summer? Here’s how to find the best jobs

MACKINAC ISLAND, MI – If you’re looking for a summer job that comes with a side of island breezes and can be done to the clip-clop backdrop of horse traffic, hiring season is underway on Mackinac Island.

More than 5,000 seasonal employees are needed each year to make Michigan’s favorite tourist destination run smoothly. The summer workforce typically is a mix of college students, retirees, people who have a few months off from their regular jobs, and international workers.

This year, job-seekers have a couple easy ways to find the type of job that might be right for them.

First, check out the “Jobs” page on the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau’s website. It allows people to enter their contact information, upload their resume and select the types of jobs they’re most interested in. This includes retail openings, bike rental jobs, working with horses or even spending the summer on the water with boat-related work. Once uploaded, this information is shared with all the tourism bureau’s members on the island, so job opportunities can be matched with people’s preferences.

Another spot for job hunters to follow is the Mackinac Island Job Posting Page on Facebook, where island employers post help-wanted messages.

If you want more information about working for a specific spot on the island, it’s best to connect with businesses directly. You can find out more details about the different businesses by checking the tourism site’s member directory.

Omnibus at Mackinac Island's Grand Hotel

An Omnibus driver wearing the hotel’s signature top hat, vest and boots.

Some of these seasonal jobs are filled via the United States’ H-2B visa program, which allows international workers to come here for temporary employment. But this year, it’s expected even more domestic workers will be needed than previous years, given the pandemic and other issues, tourism officials said.

Island jobs may last a few months, or stretch into the fall, depending on the positions each employer is looking to fill.

“Seasonal jobs on Mackinac Island run from April through the end of the tourist season after Halloween, with college students taking many of the spots during the busiest summer months when they’re on break from school,” tourism staff said. “It’s full-time work, but there’s plenty of time to explore the island’s beauty and enjoy the nightlife.”

Many positions offer the option of dorm-style housing for a weekly fee. Sometimes, meal plans are available. Workers can get discounts to island attractions, and some jobs offer discounts on ferry travel for trips to the mainland.

In the last few years, there’s been a shift with more retirees joining the seasonal workforce. Some want to find part-time work, while others want to try their hand at working in a place where they’ve loved vacationing for years.

For more information about the island, vacation-planning and employment, visit the tourism bureau’s website.

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