6 Seasonal Jobs for Summer and Fall in California

California orange groves and vineyards

Summer and fall are peak tourism seasons in California, and they also mark the grape harvest season, which powers the booming wine industry. It’s a busy and exciting time in the Golden State, and the complicated choreography of the season means all hands are on deck. It’s a great time to be a job seeker, and many seasonal jobs open up during these warm months.

Those job seekers looking for seasonal work for the summer, fall, or both know the advantages of short stints: flexibility, the ability to try things out, and the freedom to have a job without a long-term commitment. Seasonal work is also an excellent option for people with jobs that have summers off (like teachers) who need to bring in an income before work starts up again. 

Summer and fall seasonal jobs in California vary from entry-level to advanced-training-required, and most include some sort of on-the-job training. Most fall under the agriculture or wine-making umbrellas — and for those of us hoping for seasonal work that will end by the winter, these five options more than fit the bill.


1. Grape sorters

Grape sorters are the front line of quality control in a vineyard. They inspect grapes from the harvest to ensure they’re ready to move on in the winemaking process. Grape sorters will toss out any grapes that don’t make the cut, such as moldy, unripe, discolored, or generally damaged grapes. 

Different wineries have various tools at their disposal: While some grape sorters will hand-sort grapes, others can rely on equipment. Grape sorter roles rarely require any particular training or experience — you’ll receive training specific to the winery once hired. 


Star Tip: California vineyards typically hire seasonal grape sorters early in the summer. Check our jobs board for current temp and seasonal openings around California, and sign up for an account to receive new job listings in your inbox.  


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2. Cellar workers

Cellar workers wear many hats during the winemaking process, and depending on an employee’s expertise, they might have a hand in receiving and processing grapes — including inspecting for quality, overseeing the fermentation process, managing the aging process, bottling and packaging, maintaining sanitation standards, or even performing administrative duties like recordkeeping. 

Prospective cellar workers can certainly gain employment without formal training, but having at least some knowledge of the winemaking process is helpful. Depending on the specific duties of the cellar worker role, you may also benefit from sanitation training and equipment knowledge. 


Star Tip: If you’ve never worked a seasonal wine job before, it’s worth spending a few hours reading about the winemaking process to better prepare for cellar job interviews. We also have a round-up of common wine industry job interview questions worth reviewing.  


3. Farm stand attendant

In the summer and fall, almost every farm in California sets up a stand — either on the premises or at various farmers markets around the state — to sell its produce. Working as a farm stand attendant is primarily a retail job. You will maintain stock, provide customer service, and manage transactions. Farm stand attendants might also transport produce from the farm to the retail location. 

Having some retail experience is ideal, but farm stand attendants are entry-level seasonal jobs, and you’ll receive on-the-job training about the specific products. 


Star Tip: A seasonal job as a farm stand attendant is not unlike a hospitality job in that you’ll work with customers all day. When preparing for a job interview, you can use some of the questions from our hospitality job interview list — particularly those under Front Desk Associate and Server. 


4. Winery tour guide

When tourism kicks up in the summer and fall, wineries often increase their staff to support the influx of visitors. A winery tour guide is a customer-facing role that also provides education and a deep understanding of the winery’s history, product line, and processes.

Winery tour guides are the welcoming crew of the winery. They greet guests who come in for tastings and lead the winery’s tours, which could include all stages of production, including the vineyards. Winery tour guides should have friendly personalities and be experts at customer service—they’re tasked with answering questions and keeping visitors engaged to drive sales. (An extra note: Winery tour guides must also consider safety protocol as they lead visitors through the facilities.)

Winery tour guides should have a basic working knowledge of the winemaking process, but they’ll get on-the-job training about anything specific to the winery.


Star Tip: Check our tip under #2—the same advice applies to seasonal jobs as winery tour guides. 


5. Harvester operator

The grape harvest season in California spans late summer to fall, and growers will likely hire extra help to ensure the harvest goes smoothly. While some harvesting is done by hand, several tools and pieces of equipment make harvesting more efficient. Most farms nowadays use harvesters — which have multiple varieties depending on the crops — and those harvesters need humans to operate them.

Harvester operators do need special training — and requirements vary based on local regulations. 


Star Tip: If you haven’t created a job seeker account with Star Staffing, now’s the time! We will post dozens of seasonal jobs from our clients throughout California in the coming weeks. 


6. Nut sorter / Nut sorting

California agriculture may mostly summon visions of orange groves and vineyards, but our state is also home to a major crop: almonds. During the summer and fall, almond farms throughout California need support in their nut processing plant or warehouses. A nut sorting job involves overseeing a convey belt to pick out defective nuts and foreign matter, such as leaves and rocks.  Most of these positions are entry-level making them ideal for those seeking seasonal employment in California with little or no experience in the almond industry.