Looking for a list of outdoor jobs? These outdoors careers, adventure jobs, and nature occupations may change your life. Whether you are looking to make extra money or if you are looking for a full-time career, this list of top outdoors jobs is a fun one.
Recently, I was helping someone I know come up with a list of outdoor jobs for them to look into after high school, and it was fun to think about all of the exciting paths a person could take for work instead of the more traditional route of an office job.
There are actually quite a few career paths that will allow you to spend time outdoors, doing something that you love.
Now, of course, things won't always be absolutely amazing because you still have to WORK, but you can be doing something that you love, helping a cause that you believe in, getting people more interested in the outdoors, and so on.
As someone who loves the outdoors, I would personally do a number of these outdoor jobs!
It was difficult to find exact stats on outdoor career paths as they can vary so much, but according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, outdoor recreation contributed over $370 billion to the U.S. in 2016, which is higher than utilities, mining, and more… (source: The Statesman Journal)
That same year, the industry saw growth of 3.8%, compared to the overall economy's growth of 2.8%.
You’ve probably seen outdoor careers growing without even realizing it was happening, like seeing busier outdoor spaces and parks. There is just a need for even more people to work in these spaces.
According to the U.S. National Park Service, around 330,000,000 visitors go to the parks each year, and people are enjoying them more than ever. In fact, parks are setting record visitation numbers because so many people are spending more time outdoors.
More people are RVing, traveling, hiking, and more.
And, this is where a lot of these amazing jobs come into play! As more people are doing these activities, outdoor and nature careers in those areas are just going to increase.
For some of these outdoor career paths, you may need a college degree, and others you may need some kind of experience or certification before you can be hired on. But, there are others that you can start and learn as you go. Some of these outdoor jobs are part-time and some are full-time. In the end, there is a wide variety of choices that may be more exciting options than “normal” office jobs.
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Here's my top list of outdoor jobs for you to check out.
Work as a park ranger.
If you’ve ever thought about becoming a park ranger, this website is a great place to start – ParkRangerEdu.Org. According to this site, earning a college degree in a relevant major is helpful to becoming a park ranger, and may include majors related to conservation, biology, botany, ecology, forestry, earth science, and anthropology.
If you're interested in an outdoor job, then I'm sure you know what a park ranger is. But, you may not know everything that they do.
Park rangers help protect the land's parks, wildlife, visitors, and more. The responsibilities and tasks that a park ranger can have will depend on where the position is and the needs of that park. You may be working in a visitor's center, be law enforcement within the park, protecting wildlife, conducting tours/programs for visitors, and more.
Become an environmental engineer.
Environmental engineers develop plans to address recycling, waste disposal, public health, and water or air pollution. This is definitely an outdoor job that you would need at least a bachelor’s degree to apply for, but I imagine it could be very rewarding.
And, environmental engineers spend a lot of time outside collecting soil or water samples, inspecting facilities and the grounds surrounding them, and more. This is also a great job if you feel strongly about environmental work.
Walk dogs with Rover.
This would be a great side hustle for anyone who loves being outdoors and who loves dogs. And, who doesn’t love dogs!?
Rover is a company who helps pet owners find dog walkers, pet sitters, and more. It can be a great job that lets you get in plenty of exercise outside in the fresh air. You can also find dog walking clients by listing your services on Facebook, Craigslist, your online community forum, and more.
Work on a cruise ship.
When we went on a cruise several years ago, we met a man who was sitting in the hot tub waiting for his wife to get off work. She was a balloon artist on the cruise ship, and he got to tag along for the ride. She didn't work a ton of hours, and they both seemed extremely happy with the gig that she had landed.
They were able to cruise around the world, for free, and earned a good salary.
And, there are lots of opportunities out there to land a job on a cruise ship.
Cruise ship jobs can include working in the ship’s entertainment area, salon, fitness center, onboard store, excursion planning department, restaurant, photography team, boat crew, cleaning, and the list goes on and on.
And, there are lots of cruise ships to work on too, from Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Princess, Norwegian, Disney, and more.
With a job on a cruise ship, you would live on the cruise ship and many of your expenses, such as room and board, would be included. You would also earn a salary and may tips too on top of that.
Work at a nursery or garden center.
If you love plants and being outdoors, working in a garden center or nursery could be a great option. Your tasks might include helping customers, watering plants, doing some landscape work, and more. Working in a garden center doesn’t necessarily require a lot of training, and this is a great option for both teens and adults.
Be part of a yacht crew.
I've only been around boats for around one year, but one thing I have learned is that people are always looking for help on their boats. In fact, just last week I was asked if I wanted to join a mega yacht and sail all over the world. And, that wasn’t the first time – Wes has delivered two sailing catamarans for a total of around 4,000 miles (that doesn't even include our boat), and we've been offered crew jobs on several other occasions.
Being a part of a yacht crew can include many different jobs, but if you like boats and/or are interested in learning about them, then this could be a fun career path to get into.
Working on a yacht may mean that you are a captain, a mechanic, a server, a cleaning person, a chef, etc., or you may even be all of those things if you are working on a smaller boat.
Working on a yacht or large sailing vessel is usually hard work, but you will be able to travel around the world with most expenses paid, plus you are often paid a salary too. The terms vary depending on the boat and what type of work is available.
Networking is extremely important in this line of work, and who you know goes a long way when it comes to getting one of these jobs. Now, it isn’t only about knowing the right people. Just hang out around the docks and/or other boaters long enough and jobs just seem to be floating around. There are also websites that you can join which connect potential crew to boats, and there are even agencies that can find yacht jobs for you.
Become an outdoor photographer.
We have met so many amazing photographers in the years that we've been traveling full-time.
We've met National Geographic photographers, people who are traveling around the world photographing crazy races, people publishing amazing photos on Instagram, and more.
As far as outdoor jobs go, this could be a really exciting one that allows you travel to all sorts of places that you never imagined you could go.
Related content: How I Made Over $1,000,000 in Photography Without Being a Pro
Work at a campground.
Work camping (or workamping) is when you work at an RV park or campground.
Many, many campgrounds (including ones on the beach, at national parks, national forests, and more) are looking for workampers, and this can be a good way to get your stay for free.
I've met many very happy workampers. People who work at campgrounds get to stay for free in some the most beautiful places. What's not to like about that?!
The outdoor jobs available for workampers may include:
- Working in a campground office office
- Helping clean up RV sites and the RV park
- Cleaning bathrooms
- Guiding RVers to their sites
- Making food
As a workamper, the way you are paid can vary. Workampers can be paid with an RV site to stay in, at an hourly rate, or a mixture of the two.
Related content: How To Make Money While RVing
Become an outdoor guide and/or instructor.
There are so many outdoor jobs that involve being a guide or instructor, and it really just depends on your skill level and/or what you may be able to learn (such as if someone is looking for an apprentice).
Ideas for these kinds of outside jobs may include:
- Hiking guide
- Rock climbing guide
- Diving guide
- Kayaking/canoeing guide
- Fishing guide
- Skiing guide
- Surfing instructor
- Caving guide
- and so on
You may work for a private company, be self-employed (with your own company), a park (such as a national park), a summer camp, and so on. In fact, I know someone who has one of the many hiking guide jobs that works for the military giving tours to visiting families. He also manages the equipment and does mountain biking tours as well.
As far as room for new workers, The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that outdoor jobs in this area are expected to grow by 14% between 2012 and 2022.
Study to become an agronomist.
Agronomists are scientists who study plants and soil to find ways to help plants grow better. You might be helping plants grow for food, fuel, or land reclamation. You will need a degree in agricultural science, biology, chemistry, or physics for to become an agronomist.
You will spend a lot of time outdoors collecting samples, conducting experiments, and checking on the plants that you are working with. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects this job to continue growing at an average rate of 5% until at least 2022. And, because of climate change and food insecurity, jobs in this field will likely continue to grow even more in the future.
Become a marine biologist.
When I was a kid, I dreamt of being a marine biologist. Not sure what happened with that, haha – probably because I've never been very good at science.
A marine biologist is one of the outdoor jobs that may have you working for a university, the federal or state government, a tour company (such as a whale watching charter), a nonprofit organization protecting wildlife and the water, and so on. You may be working as a guide, naturalist, researcher, a teacher, a consultant, and so on.
Marine biology is so very important, and this could be an amazing and impactful career path to get into.
Find a job as a landscape designer.
Landscape designers are people who are knowledgeable about plants, the climate they live in, and have a good eye for designing home and/or commercial gardens. Not only do landscape designers develop the plans for gardens, they may do some of the planting and care depending on the job you find.
You can work for yourself, a nursery, or a large landscaping company. This is one of the outdoor jobs that doesn’t always require professional training, but it can be helpful.
Work as a commercial fisherman.
Commercial fishing reality TV shows are more popular than ever. These jobs are pretty much what you think – fishing and bringing in hundreds of pounds of fish, crab, etc. If these jobs are anything like what TV shows make them look like, they could be incredibly dangerous but exciting too.
Work in the sports industry.
Outdoor jobs in sports are more than just being a professional athlete. There are trainers, coaches, referees, groundskeepers, and more. I was recently talking to someone who’s teenage daughter was being $35 an hour to ref club soccer games. She gets to be outdoors, spend time doing what she loves, and gets paid a really good hourly wage for a part-time job.
The type of training you need will depend on the field you are going into, but this could be a very fun job if you love sports.
Outdoors travel blogger.
Blogging is what I do to make money while sailing and RVing. Like I always say, I never realized I would be earning as much income online as I do now. While this job may feel unattainable because making money simply for traveling seems like an unbelievable opportunity, but just know that everyone has to start somewhere.
Also, blogging is not a way to get rich quickly, but it can be a way to make side money or even a full-time income if you put enough hard work and time towards it.
You can make money through advertising, affiliate marketing, sponsorships, reviews, partnerships, e-courses, ebooks, and more. You can read all about how I earn a living online in my monthly online business income reports, where I describe how I make over $100,000 online each month.
You can create your own blog here with my easy-to-use tutorial. You can start your blog for as low as $2.95 per month, plus you get a free domain name when signing up through my tutorial.
Are you interested in working outside and having an adventurous career? What do you think of this list of outdoor jobs?
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