GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Looking to hire seasonal workers, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has increased its hourly pay rate.

The DNR has increased the rate for its 1,300 seasonal workers to $15 per hour, up from the old starting rate of $10.20 to $12 per hour.

“We found that our wage rates… just wasn’t sufficient to be competitive with other, similar kinds of jobs that were made available,” Ron Olson, chief of parks and recreation, said.

He said the funds to cover the pay raise are coming from the increased revenue that the DNR has acquired over the last few years due to a 30% increase in park usage. In future years, the DNR is looking to increase its budget to cover the pay raise. It has submitted a 2023 budget, which is pending.

This increase in the pay rate is for seasonal workers only. They’re on the job during the “highly anticipated summer travel season,” which runs from April through Oct. 15, the DNR said. They will do things like answer visitor questions, register campers, clean park buildings, mow grass, etc.

Previously, if workers returned for a second or third year, their pay rate would increase. After this first year of the increased rate, return workers would again see an increase.

“Next year, if our budget gets adopted, it will be a $15 base rate then $15.50 (for a second year) and $16 an hour for a third year a returner,” Olson said.

As of Friday, Olson said that the DNR was still looking for about 200 additional summer workers.

The DNR said that seasonal workers should be 18 years old or older or have a high school diploma or equivalent. They are also required to pass a pre-employment drug test and background check.

Anyone who is interested in applying for a seasonal job can click here.