If you like the sound of an amusement park job, but there are no Disney locations near you, then perhaps a Six Flags application may lead you to an interesting job. So then, let’s have a look at Six Flags, and see what they’re all about.
The Six Flags story began in 1959, when a group of investors in Texas formed the Great Southwest Corporation, in order to open an amusement park called “Six Flags Over Texas”. The six flags theme refers to the six nations which have at various times ruled, (or at least claimed), part or all of Texas.
The first amusement park opened in 1961, and featured an Indian village, Wild West shows, a pirate show, (which predated Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean by six years), along with train, riverboat and gondola rides.
With its purchase by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1966, the company began a period of rapid growth, acquiring a number of independent theme parks over the next 18 years, while at the same time opening two new Six Flags parks. With the buyout of Magic Mountain in 1979 came the other half of their now-famous name. And with the purchase of the Great America theme park in 1984 came the rights to the use of Warner Brothers’ Looney Tunes cartoon characters.
The years from 1984 to 2010 saw a dizzying series of financial deals involving Six Flags, with mergers, buyouts, a shareholder revolt and even a Chapter 11 bankruptcy included in the melange. The details of all this would fill pages, and really need not concern us overmuch for job-seeking purposes, as the company emerged from its Chapter 11 reorganization in 2010, and seems to be going stronger than ever.
Today the Six Flags corporation has almost 2,000 full-time employees, and 27,000 seasonal workers. Note this ratio carefully; chances are, any job you find with Six Flags will be a seasonal one.
Six Flags Jobs
Now let’s have a look at some of the various job categories at Six Flags –
Ride Operator – You run the rides, take the tickets, help elsewhere as needed, and keep everything courteous, orderly and safe.
Food Service – Food carts, catering, banquets, and full service restaurants, Six Flags always has need of courteous workers in these vital areas.
Games and Arcades – You keep things safe and fun at the many such attractions in any given Six Flags park.
Retail and Rentals – Store, rollcart, or gift shop, you help Six Flags guests choose souvenirs to recall their special day.
Park Services – You keep things clean and safe around the park.
Lifeguard – Six Flags will train you to be a great lifeguard, keeping guests safe at one of the many water slides, wave parks or children’s water playgrounds
Costume Characters – You get to wear a costume and be a cartoon character.
Security – Six Flags’ uniformed security is the visible presence, and their undercover Loss Prevention agents are the other branch of this effort.
Finance – Hands-on experience for the Accounting and Finance majors out there.
Landscaping – Keeping it all green and growing, while maintaining a safe environment for guests.
Safari/Education – Part zookeeper and part tour guide, you keep the animals and guests both safe and happy.
Anonymous feedback from current and former Six Flags employees shows a solidly respectable level of employee satisfaction, above average but not exceptional. A similarly good-but-not-great 65% of employees “approve of” CEO Jim Reid-Anderson.
Getting That Job At Six Flags
Be warned that you should turn your speakers down or off before going to the Six Flags career site (http://www.sixflagsjobs.com/index.html). Better yet, just spare your ears and go directly to the listing of jobs (http://www.sixflagsjobs.com/apply.html). At the top you’ll see a listing of all the current job openings. If you scroll down a bit, you’ll see a text-entry box for keywords; I suggest you leave that blank. Below that is a list of the 9 US states in which Six Flags operates, as well as a category for overseas locations. To the right you can choose either Six Flags jobs only, or All Jobs; I suggest you leave that set to All Jobs. And lastly you can choose what type of employment status you’re looking for. When you have all the settings chosen, click the orange “Search For Jobs” button, and you’ll see a listing of what’s available.
And now here are some bits of information that you may find useful –
- Average wage for a Ride Operator is $7.43 per hour, with reports varying from a low of $6.00 to a high of $8.00 per hour.
- Average wage for Food Service is $6.50 per hour, with reports varying from a low of $6.00 to a high of $8.00 per hour.
- Average wage for a Performer is $10.00 per hour, with reports varying from a low of $7.00 to a high of $13.00 per hour.
- Most applicants report a very simple, single-interview hiring process. Group interviews are common.
- Applicants report an interval as long as two weeks between applying online and being contacted for a face-to-face interview.
- Sample interview question – “How can you make a park-goer’s experience better?”
- Sample interview question – “What skills do you think you can bring to the company?”
- Sample interview question – “What would you say to a customer who complains of long lines?”
- Sample interview question – “Do you work better independently or with a group?”
- Sample interview question – “What type of animal would you like to be?”
One thing that comes up over and over in reviewing these applicant reports is the issue of enthusiasm. Six Flags likes to hire enthusiastic people, even if their interviewers are sometimes anything but enthusiastic. Keep your game face on in the interview, keep smiling, and show them an eager side of your personality.
So, there you have it, a quick collection of what you need to know to help you make the most of your Six Flags application.