DESTIN — Instead of flipping burgers, Ella Wright is flipping sand this summer.

Ella, 16, of Niceville, is teaching people how to build sandcastles on the beach in Destin this summer as part of Beach Sand Sculptures.

“I saw it online ... is that like a real job?” she said. “I contacted the people and they said yes, it totally is.”

She applied and went through the interview process, and now she’s teaching lessons on the beach in Destin.

“As you can see, I’m enjoying myself even on my day off,” Ella said.

She was on the beach Sunday with her family at Henderson Beach State Park showing her father, David, what she can actually do.

“I’m excited to finally see it,” David said. “But she’s actually making me do some of the work.”

The sandcastle lessons are about two-hours long and costs $25 per lesson.

“I’m going to be here all summer and show up to whatever beach the clients are on,” Ella said.

In the last couple weeks she’s done as many as three lessons in a day.

Some of the tools of the trade include buckets, shovel, hacksaw blade and brush.

But the main ingredient is water and sand.

“I like where I work,” Ella said. “I like being on the beach. It’s a lot better than flipping burgers for a summer job, and I get to interact with people and have a lot of fun.”

For more information about learning to build your own sand castle, go to