There’s a diverse range of job opportunities in Swanage and the surrounding Purbeck area, from seasonal work to a variety of full and part-time employment opportunities across a range of sectors.

Whether you already live and work here and fancy a change, or if you’re planning to relocate here for your dream job or just to live a slower pace of life by the sea for a better work-life balance, employers in Dorset are always looking for the right people to fill both part-time, full-time and temporary positions.

Being a popular seaside resort, you’ll also find plenty of regular seasonal work in the hospitality industry and outdoor activity sectors during the summer, which is handy for students wanting summer jobs in between their studies, gaining them excellent experience for their future careers alongside an income.

If you’re looking for a job in Swanage here’s a handy list of some of the bigger employers and best places to look for work:

Employers and recruiters

Some of the major employers in the area are organisations that cover a wide range of job opportunities:

Councils

South Walks building, home to Dorset Council

Dorset Council building

Councils, such as Dorset Council (based in Dorchester) and BCP (Bounremouth, Poole and Christchurch) Council. And of course, there’s Swanage Town Council, which works closely with all matters relating to the town – a great way to get involved in the community through your work.

Education

With two key secondary schools (The Swanage School in Swanage itself and the Purbeck School in Wareham) along with various primary and pre-schools within Swanage and across outlying villages, teaching and support staff are also kept in demand.

In addition, there’s the Purbeck View School, a specialist residential school for students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis, in Swanage itself, as well as a number of independent schools across Dorset.

If you work in further or higher education, Bournemouth University and AUB (Arts University Bournemouth) are easily commutable from Swanage, and there are numerous colleges in commutable distance, for instance Weymouth College, if you’re looking for academic lecturing positions, or university support-related vacancies. Southampton and Winchester Universities are a little further, but a direct train journey from Wareham.

Jobs in the Education sector in Dorset can often be found on the Dorset Council website or on the school or institutions” websites themselves.

Police & emergency services

With Dorset Police’s headquarters in nearby Winfrith and stations throughout the county, there are numerous opportunities within the Force, including apprenticeships, PCSO roles, forensics, and the force command centre.

Explore recruitment opportunities with Dorset Police on their dedicated page: www.dorset.police.uk/recruitment/ 

You’ll also find opportunities with Dorset & Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service, South Western Ambulance Service.

Healthcare

The NHS and related healthcare providers, services and organisations are another major source of employment here in Dorset.

In Swanage specifically there may be job opportunities at Swanage Hospital or Swanage Medical Practice, and there are many doctors’ surgeries, dentists, mental health care providers and opticians throughout Purbeck.

Find out more and explore the latest vacancies on the Dorset Healthcare Trust’s website: www.dorsethealthcare.nhs.uk/work-for-us

Alternatively, get in touch with the recruitment team by email or phone;

  • 📥 dhc.careers@nhs.net
  • 📞 01202 277000

You’ll also find various homeware providers, who are often looking for both experienced and those new to the care profession, such as Bluebird Care Purbeck, based in Wareham.

Tourism & hospitality

One of the main employment sectors in the area is relating to tourism and hospitality.

Person making a takeaway coffee in a Purbeck café

Hospitality is a key industry in Purbeck

Swanage and Purbeck’s heart beats around its hotels, pubs, restaurants, holiday lets and campsites, so there are often job opportunities for both seasonal (summer) work and year-round, with some of the most popular searches being for front-of-house staff, waiting, catering.

Cleaners are often also highly in demand, especially in high season as there are a large number of B&Bs and self-catering holiday cottages that require a fast, efficient turnover in order to welcome visitors to the area in a timely manner.

Long-term jobs do tend to be listed on national and local websites, but in busy periods, such as at the start of the holiday season and around the Christmas holidays, pubs and restaurants often advertise on billboards outside their premises, so keep an eye out for temporary and casual work at these times.

Nature, environment & conservation

Much of the natural landscape of the Isle of Purbeck is protected by organisations and groups dedicated to conservation projects and the enhancement of important habitats to support and promote native wildlife in Dorset.

There may also be opportunities in careers such as land management, including rural conservation, farming and agriculture.

If you have relevant skills and experience to share, or would like to find out about training or volunteering in this sector, these are some of the key organisations to check in with for local opportunities:

  • The National Trust – The main areas in Purbeck that are managed by the National Trust are Studland Bay and surrounding heathland and Corfe Castle. Visit the Trust’s website for the latest vacancies both here and at its sites across Dorset: www.nationaltrustjobs.org.uk
  • The RNLI – There is a vibrant community around the RNLI Lifeboat Station in Swanage, and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s central headquarters are just across in the nearby town of Poole – easily commutable from Swanage by road or by catching the No.40 bus. You’ll find opportunities with the RNLI such as media engagement, lifeguard operations assistant and many more
  • The RSPB – With one of the RSPB’s most well-known areas of conservation in Purbeck at RSPB Arne, it’s a great charity to be involved in. Check their website for any forthcoming vacancies: www.rspb.org.uk/about-the-rspb/about-us/rspb-job-vacancies/
  • Butterfly Conservation – The Butterfly Conservation charity has its HQ in East Lulworth, which is around a half an hour drive from Swanage.  butterfly-conservation.org/jobs

Temping agencies & national searches

If you’re looking for jobs in Swanage and Purbeck or further afield in Dorset, keep an eye on the larger, national job search websites such as Indeed and Guardian Jobs, which will send you alerts for your chosen career in this area.

There are also various employment agencies for temporary and full-time positions, with many based in Poole and Bournemouth to send your CV off to.

Another key site to keep an eye on is charity job.co.uk, which allows you to search by both location, job type and charity cause.

Volunteer work

Many people in Swanage supplement their main job with a voluntary role within the community, which is a great way to get to know like-minded people.

There are also plenty of opportunities for retirees to get involved in volunteering across all the localities of Purbeck – if you want to see what’s going on in your town or village a good place to start is by checking the relevant area’s parish councils.

Pots in the garden area of the Shed at Durlston Country Park

The Shed’s garden

Volunteering covers a really interesting and diverse range of what makes up Swanage town and community – from the local coastguard unit and RNLI to various environmental and conservation opportunities, such as beach cleans for the whole family, or getting involved in the newly-established Planet Purbeck Festival.

Helping out with stewarding or the organisation of annual events is a fun way to give something back – the Swanage Carnival, Swanage Fish and Folk festivals are always looking for individuals or groups of friends to lend a hand. Usually no special skills or experience are required – simply a willingness to muck in and spare a bit of time.

Other great Swanage organisations to volunteer (and work) for include the Swanage Railway and Durlston Country Park, which has its very own volunteer ‘shed’ – an accessible community work and social space, which holds various workshops and get-togethers throughout the year.

Commuting

Many people travel from Swanage and the surrounding towns and villages of Purbeck to jobs further afield.

It’s an increasingly popular location for people to make the most of living in a beautiful seaside town on the south coast whilst commuting to larger towns further afield, such as Poole, Bournemouth, Dorchester and Weymouth and Southampton.

South Western Railway train pulling in to Wareham Station

Train arriving into Wareham Station

There are two direct ways to travel to Poole and Bournemouth (via the A351 and across the Sandbanks Ferry), as well as regular buses to the more major towns, including Bournemouth, Poole, Dorchester and Weymouth with stops at places such as Wareham on the way.

You’ll find an excellent rail link at nearby Wareham, which connects you to the London-Waterloo South Western railway line.

Latest traffic and travel for your commute: Check out our handy Local News information for the best ways to keep up to date with the latest travel and transport news for your journey.

Access courses and vocational training

If you think your skills need a boost, you want to get back into work after a break, or perhaps you have additional needs or fancy a career change, there’s a range of different places around Purbeck and the wider Dorset area where you can take a short course, brush up on existing skills, or retrain for a new career.

Try these Further Education providers:

 

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