Lighthouse keeper might not have been a sought-after position twenty years ago, but it might be just what you’re looking for in 2019. New year, new you, maybe also a new job, if you can get it.
The East Brother Light Station, on an unspoiled island in the San Pablo Bay, part of the larger San Francisco Bay, is seeking a new pair of lighthouse keepers. It’s not only a lighthouse, but a lighthouse turned bed and breakfast and for a salary of $130,000, split between two people, you’ll be expected to keep the historic tower up and running.
The Light Station dates back to 1874, when it was built to help sailors navigate the misty waters surrounding one of California’s largest cities. The lighthouse was automated in the 1960s and is still operating, though it’s owned by the U.S. Coast Guard and maintained by a nonprofit group called East Brother Lighthouse Inc.
The bed and breakfast was established in 1979, and local mayor of Richmond, California, that, “It’s in a unique location, it’s in San Francisco Bay on an island and it’s one of the few—maybe the only—bed and breakfast inns that operates in a lighthouse on an island.” He is also head of the nonprofit that runs the lighthouse.
Accessing East Brother Island requires climbing from a boat up a vertical ladder that is sometimes twelve feet high, depending on the tide. Adding to the experience is the fact that water is in short supply—showers are only available for guests staying more than one night. Funds earned by the inn go toward the restoration and maintenance of the historic building.
Of course there would be requirements, this isn’t your average job posting. Applicants will need experience in hospitality and a seafaring nature, along with a U.S. Coast Guard commercial boat operator’s license. It’s not like getting a driver’s license, to obtain a you must have a recent physical, drug test, and CPR and first-aid certification, along with up to 360 service days. You also need the right to work in the United States. Lastly, you’ll need to be able to serve high-quality food, housekeep, and ferry guests to and from the mainland.
The two keepers don’t have to be a couple, but it may help as you will be sharing close quarters. The outgoing lighthouse keepers are Jillian Meeker and Che Rogers—the former a skilled cook, the latter a talented boatman who’s sailed the world over. After two years living and working on the island, they are ready for new opportunities.
The new keepers will start in mid-April 2019, following two weeks of training. You better act fast if you fit the bill, because Butt says that “for some reason this went viral; it’s getting inquiries from all over the world—Asia, Russia, Ukraine.”
You never know when an opportunity will present itself. If you’re interested in applying for one or both of the positions, fill out the and send it to Tom Butt.