Jobs That Offer Free Room and Board
Not everyone is looking for the same kind of job perks these days; health insurance, 401(k), and paid time off might be good for some, while others would benefit more from a warm meal and a place to crash. Many employment opportunities do offer some variation on “room and board”, although this may also entail long or irregular working hours. If you're willing to trade in the 9-to-5 for something more nontraditional, these gigs may be just what you're looking for. (See also: 25 Awesome Websites to Help You Get a Job)
A quick glance at the new reality TV show “Beverly Hills Nannies” will tell you that taking care of someone's children is not a walk in the park. For someone who is looking to save on rent, expand their work history, or who really enjoys working with kids, however, becoming a live-in caregiver for children definitely has some benefits. In addition to a sleeping room, meals with the family, and occasional access to transportation, some of the better nanny jobs include an extra ticket to the next family vacation. Not all nannies have a live-in situation, but for those that do, the decent weekly salary helps make it an attractive option for college-aged adults.
Adult Care Service Provider
On the other end of the age spectrum is the role of care-giving for grown-ups. Whether you are providing services for an elderly client, an adult with special medical needs, or someone with developmental disabilities, many of these jobs will let you stay on the premises through your resting hours. Not all jobs that offer room and board will pay you additionally during your sleep time, and those that do usually pay at a discounted rate. Some jobs at group homes, for example, allow you to eat with the clients, and in some cases, catch some shut eye when everyone else goes to bed.
Farm or Ranch Hand
Working in an agricultural setting is hard work; so much so, in fact, that many large farming operations rely on their employees to be available 24/7. Someone with the right skills and an excellent work ethic could get a job at a farm, dairy, or ranch for decent pay and the benefit of living in a farm-owned residence. While usually not as posh as many farm-owner homes, these arrangements do allow for you to be close to your work (no commute) with no extra rent check to pay.
Tourism Industry Worker
The tourism niche is so broad that it literally encompasses about every job you can imagine. Cooks, waitstaff, massage therapists, medical professionals, personal trainers, housekeepers, retail associates, and management are just a few of the jobs available at lodges, cruise ships, and vacation destinations worldwide. Many of the positions include completely free room and board for the duration of the season; others offer deeply discounted or subsidized housing.
While not always comfy, serving your country does take care of the how, when, and where of your living arrangements. Many will not be up to the challenge of sleeping in a cramped sub or taking on the tent life that overseas duty can entail; some military families have thrived in base housing, however, even in spite of the modest accommodations.
The face of America's churches is changing daily, but the “preacher's house” is still a perk available in some parts of the country for those in the profession of faith. Many full-time head pastors get a modest salary and use of the nearby home on church property, in addition to benefits typical employees get (life and health insurance, for example.)
As the population of our country ages and people start thinking outside of normal employment traditions to get the services they need, room and board arrangements are likely to get even more common. Be sure to use discretion when applying for any job that offers it, however; sharing your abode with your employer is a personal decision — not to be taken lightly.