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5 Top Outdoor Jobs For People Who Love to Be in Nature

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While today’s world revolves around industries forcing you to work indoors for a long time, making you sick and sedentary, it’s no secret that humans greatly benefit from staying in touch with nature.

If you’re thinking of going against the tide and starting an outdoor job, then this article is for you. We’ve listed and reviewed the best 5 outdoor jobs and where to find them. 

Why Should You Consider an Outdoor Job?

Not only does spending a lot of time outdoors positively impact your overall well-being, but making it a core part of your job has also other perks:

  • Physical Activity: Outdoor jobs are usually physically intensive, hence helping you maintain a healthier lifestyle by staying constantly active. 
  • Skill Development: Depending on the type of job you choose, you may learn different skills, such as plant and wildlife expertise, problem-solving skills, or how to communicate your passion for nature with others and promote environmental awareness.
  • Unique Experiences: By working outdoors, you’ll expose yourself to new experiences and unforgettable moments by witnessing nature in its raw form. 

Top 5 Types of Outdoor Jobs

Listed below are the top 5 outdoor jobs you can choose to pursue today.

1. Park Ranger

Park rangers work in national or state parks or other protected places. They’re responsible for the maintenance and conservation of these natural wonders.

They make sure visitors adhere to park regulations, provide information by acting as guides, conduct educational programs, and oversee the preservation and care of wildlife.

To become a park ranger, you must have a bachelor’s degree in environment- or biology-related fields. These include wildlife and forestry or biological sciences.

The average salary for park rangers in the US is around $50,000 per year, but it greatly varies depending on your qualification, state, and type of park you work at.

2. Adventure Guide

Adventure guides lead outdoor activities such as rock climbing, skiing, or hiking. They provide adventurers with instructions on how to engage in these activities to ensure their safety and contribute to creating memorable experiences for them.

You can work in recreation centers, outdoor adventure companies, or even as a freelancer.

According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary for adventure guides is $16 an hour.

3. Landscape Architect

Wild nature is stunning, but curated outdoor spaces can be fascinating and eye-catching as well. If you have an eye for beauty, you may consider becoming a landscape architect who designs parks, gardens, and urban landscapes.

This job requires you to simultaneously consider environmental factors, aesthetics, and functionality of the spaces you conceive. To do so, you’ll work closely with environmental engineers and construction workers.

To get a job in this field, you’ll first need a bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture (BLA) or in the Science of Landscape Architecture (BSLA). Then, you should get some internship experience and, finally, pass the Landscape Architect Registration Examination to obtain your license.

According to statistics, the average annual salary for people working in landscape architect jobs is $98,100.

4. Environmental Scientist

Environmental scientists conduct research on the environment and its components to assess their current health condition and identify potential risks to a specific ecosystem. They work with institutions to elaborate and implement conservation strategies based on their research findings.

This job is for those who can perform well in teams, love to study, and truly believe in preserving the environment. Of course, to become an environmental scientist, you need at least a bachelor’s degree in a science-related field.

The average annual salary for an environmental scientist is $73,104, according to Salary.com.

5. Wildlife Biologist

Are you fascinated by how animals and plants interact to create a perfect equilibrium in wildlife settings? As a wildlife biologist, you get to research and learn about different animal behaviors, habitats, and populations.

Wildlife biologists work in the field to gather crucial information and insights to understand how the animal kingdom functions.

These biologists also analyze how the actions of humans affect wildlife, and they work closely with governmental organizations to contribute to the preservation and management of wildlife habitats.

To get an entry-level job, you should have a bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology, conservation, management, zoology, or any other life science-related subject.

The average salary for a wildlife biologist is $61,155 per year.

Top 3 Places to Find Outdoor Jobs

Now, here’s an important question: where does one find outdoor jobs? Here are the top 3 platforms where you should look for an outdoor job. 

1. CoolWorks

a screenshot of the coolworks_homepage

CoolWorks is a specialized job board that focuses on connecting job seekers with the niche industry of outdoor and seasonal work. It mostly has job listings for positions in national parks, resorts, and camps.

Pros of CoolWorks

  • The platform has a specific focus on outdoor and seasonal jobs, making it perfect for those who are especially searching for an outdoor job.
  • It features diverse, valuable opportunities for positions in iconic national parks and scenic locations.
  • CoolWorks provides the ability to connect with like-minded outdoor-oriented individuals.

Cons of CoolWorks

  • It has a limited number of job listings compared to more popular job boards (since it’s specialized).
  • There are mostly temporary and seasonal job positions listed on CoolWorks, making it an unfeasible option for those looking to find full-time employment.
  • The platform has geographic limitations, with specific regions and locations having more opportunities than others.

2. Occupation Wild

a screenshot of the occupationwild homepage

Occupation Wild is another specialized platform dedicated to individuals seeking outdoor and adventure jobs. It connects job seekers with environmentally sound organizations which provide outdoor industry opportunities.

Pros of Occupation Wild

  • Occupation Wild specializes in adventurous outdoor jobs, making it a lucrative option for thrill-seekers.
  • Many of the job listings are unique, like adventure therapy and wilderness therapy, providing memorable experiences.
  • It offers a variety of jobs catering to different outdoor interests, which leads to diverse experiences.

Cons of Occupation Wild

  • This job board focuses more on adventure jobs, offering lesser conventional outdoor jobs.
  • The nature of the work associated with jobs in the adventure sector means there’s a higher risk of physical harm.

3. Indeed

a screenshot of the Indeed homepage

Indeed is a general job search board that compiles job listings from various places, including outdoor jobs. It has a huge database of listings catering to different industries and sectors.

Pros of Indeed

  • Indeed features advanced search filters, allowing you to narrow down your search to find outdoor-specific positions.
  • There are various opportunities for both entry-level and experienced outdoor professionals.

Cons of Indeed

  • With millions of users applying for jobs, there’s a huge amount of competition on the platform.
  • Some jobs may be a mixture of indoor and outdoor work. This may work for some, but not for those exclusively seeking outdoor jobs.

What You’ll Need to Do Outdoor Jobs

If you want to take on an outdoor job, make sure you have the following skills, traits, and qualifications to succeed in this career.

1. Get a Relevant Degree

Not everyone can become a park ranger or environmental scientist. You’ll need a degree to qualify for these jobs and have the necessary knowledge and skills. For example, you must have a conservation, ecology, zoology, forestry, or natural sciences degree to become a park ranger.

2. Have a Great Physique

Outdoor jobs are generally physically-demanding roles. Even if you don’t run or lift heavy objects daily, you must have the stamina and strength to work in different environments. Exercise regularly to keep your body fit and ready for the outdoors.

3. Love the Outdoors

Do you truly enjoy being outdoors? Remember that you’ll likely experience harsh weather conditions, unpleasant environments, and dangerous situations, which aren’t for everyone. Unless you don’t mind experiencing them, consider these factors before jumping into an outdoor-related job.

Tips to Succeed at Outdoor Jobs

Consider trying the following tips to thrive in outdoor-related jobs.

  • Choose an In-Demand Outdoor Job: Consider choosing a role with high demand and high growth opportunities to get a higher chance of getting in and succeeding. High-demand and top-paying outdoor jobs include landscape architects, marine biologists, and park rangers.
  • Continue Learning: Invest time in a master’s degree, training, certification, or other relevant courses to deepen your work knowledge. You need to stay up-to-date with the latest research findings and methods to preserve the environment. 
  • Volunteer: Exposing yourself to the outdoors by volunteering in nature centers, zoos, state parks, and local outdoor centers is a great way to learn more about nature, your desired outdoor job, and the community you want to serve.
  • Know and Apply Safety Rules: Learn, understand, and apply safety precautions and protocols relevant to the outdoor job you do. Anything can happen in the wild, and your safety and survival skills can protect your life and help you succeed at work.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Balance Work-Life Commitments in Outdoor Jobs?

Maintaining a balance between your work and personal life can be challenging, especially with irregular schedules or seasonal employment. Make sure to prioritize self-care, plan and organize around your schedule, and make the most of your downtime.

Can Outdoor Jobs Lead to Long-Term Careers or Advancement Opportunities?

Yes, many outdoor jobs can lead to long-term career paths and provide opportunities for advancement. Gaining experience, acquiring additional qualifications, and demonstrating commitment can allow you to advance in the field.

Wrapping Up

There are various types of outdoor jobs that you can consider pursuing. You’ll need to ask yourself what you enjoy doing and what your priorities are.

Nature is a wonder, and what better way to connect with it than by opting for an outdoor job? Let us know what you think in the comments below, and share this with your favorite outdoorsy person!

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