16 jobs that provide housing | pennyhoarder


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 provide housing in the United States 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 offer free housing


Do you like the outdoors? Do you mind a bit of a rustic lifestyle? You might be interested in being a 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.

au pair

A what? A 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 free accommodation, board and 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.

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 $48,404 a year. The range of jobs varies greatly, which also widens the salary range – from $17,000 to $105,000 depending on the position. (ZipRecruiter)

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)

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: $94,239 per year (Indeed)

building superintendent

Building superintendents live in an apartment building or condo complex 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: $52,994 per year (Iin effect)

Live-in caregiver

For those who truly care about helping others, a job as family help at home could be a rewarding 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: $36,410 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 way)


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.

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)

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.

Seasonal hotel/resort worker

Unlike the clergy, the chief or the mechanic, seasonal employees don’t often require much experience, if any at all, 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 free time.

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 salary scales at TEFL.org.

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 – and jobs for summer 2022 are currently open.

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.

travel nurse

Travel nurses are employed by placement agencies and hold temporary positions 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. Travel nurses typically have a slew of benefits, including extremely good pay — so much so that some lawmakers are looking to cap their rate of pay.

Robert Bruce is senior editor at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally posted on The Penny Hoardera personal finance website that empowers millions of readers across the country to make smart decisions with their money with practical, inspirational advice and resources on how to earn, save and manage the money.


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