There’s a whole category of job opportunities that is often overlooked: jobs that provide housing—for free.
They include entry-level jobs and seasonal jobs, and they cover the full range of industries and careers. What they have in common is a significant way to save money by allowing you to live where you work. These can be private rooms in a house or employee accommodation in a park or on a cruise ship.
You can find jobs that include housing in the US and even overseas, saving you money on other monthly bills and in some cases even getting free meals. .
What are examples of jobs that provide housing? We’re glad you asked.
16 jobs that include free housing
- au pair
- Cruise employee
- military member
- Private chef
- building superintendent
- Live-in caregiver
- Faculty in Residence
- Oil rig mechanic
- Seasonal employee in hotel/resort
- International English teacher
- ranch hand
- International civil engineer
- travel nurse
1. Park Ranger
Do you like the outdoors? Do you mind a bit of a rustic lifestyle? You might be interested in becoming a forest ranger. Your day job will be arranging tours, responding to emergencies, and patrolling the park – all with free accommodations in some of the most beautiful settings America has to offer.
Estimated salary: $38,660 per year (Park-Ranger.org)
2. Au Pairs
A what? An au pair is a young person – usually a woman – between the ages of 18 and 30 who takes care of the children of a foreign host family in exchange for accommodation, board and support. a free cultural exchange. As an au pair, you will be required to perform various household chores such as preparing meals, doing laundry, transporting children and doing light shopping.
Estimated salary: Depends on the country. Salary in Australia ranges from $580 to $720 per month on the high end, while Spain ranges from $311 to $364 per month on the low end.
3. Cruise ship employee
Maybe you love the adventurous nature of the park ranger, but prefer the open sea to forests and mountains. If so, you might like to work on a cruise ship. Job opportunities abound on cruise ships, with many industries represented – casino dealers, dancers and singers, as well as restaurant servers, chefs, deckhands, housekeepers, paramedics and many more.
Estimated salary: The average cruise ship worker earns $48,997 a year. The range of jobs varies greatly, which also widens the salary range – from $14,000 to $102,000 depending on the position. (ZipRecruiter)
4. Military member
Joining the military can be a life-changing decision and a years-long commitment. But it also has many advantages. Free room and board, food, health coverage, paid vacations, and great retirement benefits if you make a career out of it. Moreover, you can feel satisfied that you are serving your country.
Estimated salary: Varies widely by position, but the Army’s average private first class (infantry) earns $23,981 per year. On the other hand, an army sergeant major (infantry) will earn an average of $87,000 per year. (Wage scale)
5. Private chef
As a personal chef, you will prepare daily meals for family members and guests, possibly including gourmet meals and fancy parties. Chef jobs that include free housing mean you’re never far from the kitchen. Think “Downton Abbey”, but only 100 years later.
Estimated salary: $92,730 per year (Indeed)
6. Building Superintendent
Building superintendents live in apartment buildings or condo complexes in exchange for managing the property. They will be the first point of contact for residents for complaints and inquiries. Generally speaking, they are also in charge of cleaning, garbage collection and other maintenance work throughout the building.
Estimated salary: $54,274 per year (Indeed)
7. Live-in caregiver
For those who truly care about helping others, a job as a live-in caregiver could be a fulfilling career choice. You will help seniors or people with special needs with their daily needs, such as dressing, bathing and eating. In return, you will have a free room in the house or on the property to live. This job could also be ideal for someone who is considering a career in nursing but isn’t quite ready to commit to their studies.
Estimated salary: $36,855 per year (Zippia)
This is similar to an au pair, but without the overseas commitment. A live-in nanny will look after the children – making sure they get to and from school, do their homework and get good meals. Full-time live-in nannies will have access to sick/personal leave and healthcare options. If you want to take your babysitting game to the next level, then finding a full-time nanny job might be for you.
Estimated salary: The average gross weekly salary for a full-time live-in nanny is $670. Resident nannies earn an average of $766 per week. (Nanny Lane)
Some religious denominations offer free on-site accommodation to their clergy. Obviously, being a pastor or religious teacher is not a job you apply for overnight, but if you feel a spiritual calling in this area, you may eventually find yourself in a clergy role. You will teach and advise your followers, and you will even conduct funerals and weddings.
Estimated salary: $38,358 per year (ZipRecruiter)
10. Faculty in Residence
If a career in education is your calling, you could live on campus as a professor-in-residence. These professors teach and work as mentors for young students who live on campus and, in exchange, they receive free housing. Since they live on site, they become much more visible and accessible to students.
Estimated salary: The average salary for an Associate Professor in Residence is $86,775 per year. (Open Payroll)
11. Oil Rig Mechanic
If you don’t mind the harsh conditions, working on an oil rig certainly has its perks, including a very good salary. In fact, it is one of the highest paying jobs that provide housing. In addition to mechanics, rigs also hire engineers, divers, and general management. Rig workers typically work two weeks on and two weeks off, which can be problematic if you have a family.
Estimated salary: $150,901 per year (ZipRecruiter)
12. Hotel/Resort Seasonal Worker
Unlike clergy, chef, or mechanics, seasonal jobs often don’t require much or any experience, which means it’s a great entry-level job. If you’re looking for a career change, or you’re just starting out and don’t know what to do, seasonal resort jobs are good short-term projects.
Like on a cruise ship, jobs at resorts run the gamut – from bartender and waiter to dive instructor or receptionist. You agree to work for at least several months in exchange for paid accommodation on site. And, depending on where you are, you might have some amazing sights to see – mountain ski resorts or glamorous Caribbean hotels – in your down time.
Estimated salary: $45,732 per year (ZipRecruiter)
13. International English Teacher
English teachers are in high demand throughout Asia, making them a great option for a fresh graduate who is unbound and wants to experience the world while making a difference in the lives of young people. As part of a contract, it is common for many schools to provide accommodation and airfare. Other benefits may vary, so make sure you know all the details before signing a contract (just good advice for life in general!).
Estimated salary: The salary varies enormously depending on the country. See the full list of pay scales on TEFL.org.
14. Ranch Hand
Do you like wide open spaces and don’t mind getting your hands a little dirty? A ranch worker receives housing in exchange for caring for ranch animals, maintaining the property, hosting, and interacting with guests. These jobs are generally available in the western United States.
Estimated salary: $26,073 per year (compared)
15. International Civil Engineer
Yes, there is a good education that comes with being a civil engineer, but the rewards can be great. Some countries simply do not have many civil engineers among their population, so they recruit these positions from all parts of the world. The job pays a solid salary and comes with free accommodation and fully paid for return flights home.
Estimated salary: $86,053 per year (ZipRecruiter)
16. Travel Nurse
Traveling nurses are employed by placement agencies and take on temporary roles in clinics, hospitals, and other health care facilities. These positions have become increasingly popular during the Covid pandemic as they have helped to temporarily alleviate staff shortages. Traveling nurses generally enjoy many benefits, including very good pay – although their pay rate has dropped slightly since the peak of the pandemic.
Estimated salary: $117,490 per year (NursingProcess.Org)
Robert Bruce is senior editor at The Penny Hoarder.