1. Career Advice
  2. Career development
  3. Tired of working in an office? Check out these 16 amazing outdoor careers
Tired of working in an office? Check out these 16 amazing outdoor careers

Tired of working in an office? Check out these 16 amazing outdoor careers

Artwork by: Liza Perelman

  • What is a good career for someone who likes the outdoors?
  • 1. Travel blogger
  • 2. Forest officer
  • 3. Outdoor photographer
  • 4. Tour guide
  • 5. Conservation advocate
  • 6. SCUBA diving instructor
  • 7. Land management professional
  • 8. Astronomer
  • 9. Outdoor educator
  • 10. Wilderness Therapist
  • 11. Construction work
  • 12. Cartographer
  • 13. Archaeologist
  • 14. Surveyor
  • 15. Arborist
  • 16. Geologist
  • How do I start working in the outdoor industry?
  • Review the qualifications for the job
  • Create a compelling resume
  • Look for references
  • Key takeaways

While some people enjoy working from home, others love going outside and constantly seek lucrative outdoor career opportunities. Read more to learn about some of the best outdoor jobs.

At some point in our professional lives, we’ve all dreamed of working an exciting and well-paid outdoor job that keeps us active and physically fit. But what if it’s not just a fantasy? What if there are outdoor careers that help you connect with nature, give you a sense of purpose, and allow you to let go of that dreaded office cubicle?

If you’re looking for these alternate jobs, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we’ll discuss:

  • Outdoor career paths

  • How to get an outdoor job

What is a good career for someone who likes the outdoors?

Most outdoor jobs tend to be environment-friendly. This way, you get to enjoy working in nature and play your part in preserving the environment. Here are a few outdoor careers worth considering.

1. Travel blogger

If you’re interested in freelancing and traveling, and you’re on the lookout for outdoor career opportunities, then you should consider travel blogging. To be a successful blogger, you’ll need to work on your writing, editing, photography, and video editing skills. 

As a travel blogger, you’ll get to explore different countries and cultures and document your journey in a series of videos, and then share those videos on your social media accounts. Once your videos gain traction, you can approach companies for affiliate partnerships, sponsored content, collaborations, banner ads, destination campaigns, and other opportunities. You can also monetize your YouTube channel. This way, you’ll end up making money to continue your outdoor adventures.

2. Forest officer

Forest officers and park rangers often have some experience in law enforcement and environmental sciences. Many park rangers start their jobs as trainees and technicians and then go on to work high-paid jobs. In some states, park rangers are provided with housing in the park district. This means that you get to spend your summers in lush green conservatories where most people only dream of living!

Government park jobs may also include decent pay, extended health insurance, paid time off, and other perks. If you want to work as a park ranger, you’ll first need to decide which type of park you want to work in (state, national, or county). Having said that, the biggest drawback of park ranger positions is that they tend to be seasonal. This means that you’ll have to find another job during the off-season.

3. Outdoor photographer

Being an outdoor photographer is quite similar to being a blogger. Thanks to Instagram and stock photo websites that pay well for photos, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to showcase your artistic talent and make some money on your photographs.

To stand out as an experienced outdoor photographer, you need excellent photography and editing skills. You’ll also need to be creative and figure out different ways to take high-quality photos. Like all other freelance careers, you’ll need an active social media presence where you can share your photos and approach organizations for collaboration.

4. Tour guide

If you enjoy talking to people and have a passion for the outdoors, you should consider becoming an outdoor tour guide. There are plenty of options in this career depending on your comfort level. For instance, if you love trekking and hiking, you can become a mountain tour guide. Similarly, if you want to do something less risky, you can become a tour guide for a popular historical monument in your area.

As a tour guide, you’ll get to share facts, trivia, and historical anecdotes with visitors and tourists. You’ll need good communication and interpersonal skills to create an immersive experience for the tourists and keep them engaged throughout the tour. Start by asking yourself what type of tour guide you want to be, and then look for companies that offer the types of tours you’re interested in leading. 

5. Conservation advocate

If you care about nature and are passionate about making a difference by protecting land, resources, and wildlife, you can become an advocate for a non-profit that specializes in environment conservation. 

Nonprofits are often on the lookout for volunteers and advocates to help advance their cause. While some of these organizations have a large, field-based component, other companies simply offer a chance to go outside - such as trail volunteer organizations.

6. SCUBA diving instructor

Outdoor careers don’t always involve walking on land. Some of these careers, such as SCUBA diving, involve taking a deep dive into the ocean to explore the flora and fauna. If you want to explore the wonders of the sea, then a SCUBA diving instructor profession awaits you.

In most states, you’ll need to complete a rescue and divemaster certification before you train SCUBA divers. The certification will allow you to lead deep-sea dives, and the number of dives will be logged and recorded with the accreditation body. 

7. Land management professional

There are several land management companies across the United States that recruit for a wide variety of job roles, such as field staff personnel, researchers, resource assessment specialists, and fire management experts. Some of the most prominent organizations that offer outdoor career opportunities in land management include the United States Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

8. Astronomer

Astronomers focus on the sky, and they specialize in studying planets, stars, galaxies, and other celestial bodies. They use optical telescopes and other state-of-the-art equipment to observe the galaxy and study different objects in space. Some astronomers also specialize in monitoring and reporting space debris, which could affect satellite orbit and operations. 

As an astronomer, you’re likely to spend most of your time outdoors or in a space conservatory. If you enjoy stargazing, then you should consider becoming an astronomer. You may require education in physics to become an astronomer. 

9. Outdoor educator

Working outdoors is definitely a rewarding experience, and it makes up for some interesting stories to share with other outdoor enthusiasts. One of the best ways to share these stories with like-minded people is to consider outdoor education opportunities.

There are several wilderness therapy programs and scouting opportunities for teenagers and young adults looking to explore the outdoors. If you’re familiar with these programs, you can look into an organization that’s offering these services and check out any full-time, part-time, or volunteer opportunities. 

Several colleges are also offering outdoor education degrees, as well as outdoor teaching circles and learning programs. Whether you’re looking for a new outdoor career or planning to take your existing outdoor career to the next level, outdoor education is definitely worth considering. 

10. Wilderness Therapist

No, it doesn’t mean providing therapy to animals! Wilderness therapy is a relatively new career, and it involves providing a therapeutic experience in the outdoors. There are quite a few wilderness therapy organizations out there that provide an immersive residential or background outdoor experience to troubled teenagers, young adults, as well as seniors.

In order to work as a wilderness therapist, you need to be a certified counselor, registered therapist, or social worker. Some organizations also hire non-clinical professionals, but they would give preference to licensed therapists. 

11. Construction work

If you think about it, construction is also a type of outdoor job that keeps you away from regular office work. Whether you’re building a house or a commercial space, you’ll get to work with your hands and collaborate with others to design a marvelous structure. 

Most construction jobs do not require specialized education and training. However, you need to be in good physical health and willing to work long hours for this job. Also, you should be able to lift weight easily. 

12. Cartographer

Cartographers are responsible for making maps. Their job is to conduct outdoor research and evaluate data to create up-to-date maps. They’re also responsible for interpreting and analyzing geographic data to design digital and conventional maps for various technical activities and projects. Think of it as a type of field survey job. 

13. Archaeologist

If you’re interested in studying the history of human activity and exploring lost civilizations, then archaeology might be a good career option for you. As an archaeologist, you’ll get to perform and supervise excavation activities to identify and locate relics from the past from key historical sights. Archaeologists are also experts at collecting and handling historical data. 

14. Surveyor

Surveyors are primarily responsible for studying and identifying boundary lines for different properties. As a surveyor, you’ll get to use precise instruments to assess the curve and shape of the earth’s surface to determine the feasibility of new construction and engineering projects. 

15. Arborist

This is a good outdoor career choice for plant lovers. The job of an arborist is to select and plant suitable trees for the environment. They are also tasked with providing care and maintenance for trees by pruning, trimming, and applying fertilizers for growth. As an arborist, you’ll also get to diagnose trees’ health levels and suggest treatment, if necessary.

16. Geologist

As a geologist, you’ll get to spend most of your time outdoors to study the physical structure and composition of rocks, fossils, and earth minerals. You’ll rely on scientific methods to test and sample the physical attributes of soil materials. To work as a geologist, you’ll likely need a proper degree and/or professional certifications.

How do I start working in the outdoor industry?

Now that you’ve decided to pursue an outdoor career, the question is where do you start? How do you find an outdoor job and stand out among other applicants? Here are a few tips on helping you get started.

Review the qualifications for the job

Being passionate about nature is important, but it might not be enough to help you get your foot in the door. You may be able to find an entry-level position, but if you want to advance in your career, you’re likely to need some relevant qualifications and certifications.

Also, there are some specialized jobs with certain required credentials and skills. For instance, cartography is a highly specialized field. When you’re looking for outdoor careers, look for opportunities for which you’re a good fit.  

Create a compelling resume

Just because it’s an outdoor job, it doesn’t mean that they have a lax hiring process. There are people at every organization who are responsible for reviewing resumes, conducting interviews, hiring people, and completing the onboarding process for new hires.

Before applying for an outdoor job, make sure to create a compelling resume with the right mix of keywords, as well as a cover letter that showcases your strengths, objectives, and values. Take the time to write, edit, and format your resume so that it clearly includes your work experience, education, key skills, certifications, and other particulars that will help you land the job.

Look for references

Some outdoor jobs require references, especially if you’re planning to work as an outdoor educator, guide, therapist, or instructor. For this reason, it’s important to look for people who can vouch for you and your work ethic and dedication. 

If you don’t have any relevant professional references, you can talk to one of your college professors and request them to provide a reference. Alternatively, you can obtain a reference from a past job, internship, or volunteer experience. Some organizations also accept non-professional references, so you can request a close friend to attest to your character. 

Key takeaways

  1. Unlike traditional office jobs, outdoor careers provide an opportunity to explore the outdoors, and these jobs are ideal for people who are looking for alternatives to the 9-to-5 grind.

  2. There are several outdoor career opportunities. Some of them require specialized education and training, while others can be obtained without any relevant training.

  3. Before applying for an outdoor job, it’s important to review your resume and cover letter and make sure they’re aligned with the job you’re applying to. 

Share this article