Top Jobs With Free Room and Board

Tired of paying for rent and groceries? Trade in your current job for one of these jobs that include free room and board, and you can put all of that in your rearview. Whether you're looking for a short-term gig or a permanent position, an unskilled job or a professional occupation, this list has opportunities for you to consider.


Security Guards
Security Guards. faithhoca/E+/Getty Images

Lots of businesses hire after-hours security. Some of those companies opt to have their security guards live on site. One example: storage facilities. Land a night security job at a storage facility, and there's a good chance it will come with a free apartment on the property. Just keep an ear out for any problems, and you're free to do whatever you want with your time. This is a great way to score free rent while maintaining a day job or going to school.

Touring Shows

Circus. Martin Child/Photolibrary/Getty Images

Go on the road with a touring show, and enjoy free room and board and travel. Theater groups, circuses, bands, carnivals and other traveling acts require lots of support staff — and you don't have to be an entertainer to land a spot on the crew. It takes everything from lighting and sound specialists to caterers, accountants and hair stylists to keep the show going. If you've grown bored with your current profession, this is a fun way to shake things up, while drastically reducing your living expenses.

Where to Find Touring Show Jobs:

Tourism Jobs

Cruise Ship
Cruise Ship. Holger Leue/LOOK-foto/Getty Images

Visit popular travel destinations during peak season, and let someone else pick up the tab for your meals and lodging. There are loads of seasonal jobs available within the tourism industry, and many of them come with free room and board. Wait tables; lifeguard; lead hikes; work the front desk; perform in live shows. There are all sorts of jobs up for grabs. In fact, there are even positions for doctors, massage therapists, chefs, and other skilled professionals. 

While these types of jobs are typically seasonal in nature, many people make their living by hopping from one tourist location to the next. Work at a beach resort in the summer. Then, move on to a ski resort for the winter. Once you get your foot in the door, it's usually easy to get hired back year after year.

Possible Places of Employment: Cruise ships, resorts, retreats, conference centers, National Parks, casinos and summer camps

Where to Find Seasonal Tourism Jobs:

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Live-In Caregiver/Caretaker

Home Health Worker
Home Health Worker. Cultura RM Exclusive/Tim MacPherson/Getty Images

Live-in caregivers will always be in high demand. If you enjoy caring for others, don't mind a workday that stretches past the typical 9-5, and are comfortable living with the people you work for, there are lots of opportunities to explore. Seek out a job as a home health worker; secure a position in a group home, halfway house or shelter; apply to be a resident director or house parent at a college, university or boarding school; or take work as a housekeeper or butler.

Prefer to care for buildings, rather than people? Then look for a job as an apartment manager, mobile home park manager, campground manager, house sitter, maintenance man or groundskeeper.

Another perk that comes along with this type of work: you can often find positions that are open to couples. Check out for current job openings.

Peace Corps

Peace Corps Volunteer
Peace Corps Volunteer. Ann Summa/Corbis/Getty Images

At a place in your life where you can carve out two years to volunteer in another country? Then, you may want to check out the Peace Corps. While this isn't a paying gig, your room and board will be covered for the duration of your assignment, and your travel expenses will be, too. This is a great opportunity to take a break from your bills and day-to-day life, while making a big difference in the world. And when you complete your assignment, they'll send you on your way with $7,425 to help you land on your feet.

Like the idea, but looking for a shorter time commitment? They also offer 3-12 month assignments for experienced professionals and returning volunteers, as well as one-year assignments for U.S. licensed doctors and nurses.

Au Pair/Nanny

Nanny. VOISIN/Getty Images

Like kids and want to spend time in a foreign country? Then working as an au pair could be a good fit for you. You would be hired by a family who needed help with their kids and perhaps some of their housework, and in exchange for your services, you would receive a room, meals and a bit of spending money (handy for exploring the area on your off days). An au pair's hours can vary greatly from one family to the next. If this is something you decide to pursue, be sure to set clear expectations with your employer before accepting the position. 

Like the idea of caring for kids, but prefer to stay in the country? Then, working as a nanny may be a better fit. You'll enjoy the same perks — room, meal and wages — but you won't have to deal with any of the challenges that come with living in a foreign country. And you still may get to do a bit of traveling. If the family goes on vacation, you'll probably be expected to go with them. Not a bad job perk.

Farm/Ranch Hand

Farmer. Hero Images/Getty Images

Like hard work and getting your hands dirty? Then, hire yourself out as a farm or ranch hand. Use the Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WOOF) website to find short or long-term jobs in the United States or abroad. The site makes it easy to drill down to the opportunities that fit your requirements. Want to take your family with you? You can! Just enter how many people you plan to bring with you, and it'll show you all of the available options.

It's important to note that all of the farm opportunities on the site come with lodging and meals, but do not include pay. If you want to be paid for your time on a farm or ranch, use a website, like to track down seasonal planting, picking and packing jobs, or talk to local farmers. Often these types of jobs come with basic lodging and meals. To maximize earnings, seasonal farm workers often follow the seasons from location to location, picking strawberries at one farm, peaches at another and apples at still another. 

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Teach Abroad

Teaching English Abroad
Teaching English Abroad. Ken Seet/Corbis/VCG/Getty Images

There are loads of teaching jobs for English speakers abroad, and you don't have to have a teaching degree or certification to land many of them. Spend a year teaching English to non-native speakers, or secure a long-term position in an international school or Department or Defense operated school that caters to U.S. citizens. A good number of these jobs come with free room and board, plus other perks. The biggest perk of all: having enough time to really immerse yourself in the local culture and become fluent in another language. That's life-changing stuff.

Jobs With a Spot for Your RV

RV. Paul Sutherland/DigitalVision/Getty Images

Live in an RV? All of these jobs come with a free place to park it. Just pick a new job each time the wanderlust kicks in, and you'll have a new spot to hook up and call home. Not a fan of the cold? Then, chase the warm weather from place to place.