11 Cool Jobs for Outdoorsy Types


Do you absolutely loathe the idea of sitting at a desk all day and dream of outdoorsy adventures? Then think beyond the cubicle, and check out these awesome jobs you can do in the great outdoors!

1. Park Ranger

There are a number of local, state, and national parks that need rangers to patrol both land and water. You'll supervise different park initiatives, check for hunting and fishing permits, and investigate different issues within their park's boundaries. Most rangers need a bachelor's degree in biology, ecology, forestry, natural resource management, or a related field.

Median salary: $35,075

2. Tour Guide

Whether it's taking people through a historic landmark, city, or country landscape, tour guides are employed in various locations across the globe. I just did a quick search, and it turned up a sightseeing job in San Francisco, CA, a bike tour guide gig in Madison, WI, and a nature guide position in Honolulu, HI. These jobs don't pay a ton, but they're anywhere you want to be.

Median pay: $11/hour

3. Ski Instructor

Get paid to ride the slopes with a seasonal ski instructor job. You'll teach adults and children basic skiing or snowboarding skills. Killington's job page details that having Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) or American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI) certification gives you an advantage. Not into teaching? You can also check out ski patrol positions that provide emergency service up the mountain.

Median pay: $12/hour

4. Ornithologist, Entomologist, Zoologist

If you work in the biological sciences, there's a good chance your job might take you outdoors. My friend is an ornithologist, and spends months at a time on a remote island recording migratory habits of different species. Entomologists do similar work, just with bugs. Zoologists work with all different critters in the animal kingdom, and they spend much of their time outdoors. You'll need specialized degrees for these positions, but a job interacting with nature may very well be worth the time in school.

Median salary: Varies

5. EMT

Emergency medical technicians' jobs are surely intense. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the outlook on EMT jobs growth is above average. You'll care for the sick and critically injured, respond to emergency calls, and transport patients to nearby hospitals after performing basic care tasks like CPR. To get this job, you'll need to complete an EMT program and some states also require licensing through the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians.

Median salary: $30,316

6. Farmer

If you like getting up before dawn, working with the land, and enjoying the fruits of your labor, farming might be for you. There are farms of all focuses and sizes across the United States. Some people may fall into the family farming business, while other choose to get degrees in Agricultural Sciences to get their start. Whatever your path, this is a diverse field with a number of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors and working with your hands.

Median salary: $33,653

7. Landscape Architect

Ever wonder who designs parks, gardens, playgrounds, and other lush, green areas? Landscape architects take on these projects — and more. You'll spend some time in the office using different technologies to help plot out your plans. Otherwise, you'll spend most of your days in the space and checking out different plants and shrubs to enhance your creations. You'll need a bachelor's or master's degree to do this type of work. If that's not in the cards for you, consider being part of the landscaping team.

Median salary: $53,028

8. Environmental Scientist

I have a number of friends who work as environmental scientists in the hills of Pennsylvania. They are outdoors most every day — no matter the weather — evaluating different issues with soil, pollution, water, and and other environmental concerns. Some specific careers in this field include climate change analysts, environmental health specialists, industrial ecologists, and environmental chemists. You'll definitely need a college degree to get these jobs. Once you do, you'll get to focus your time on the environment from your (mostly) outdoor office.

Median salary: $49.048

9. Postal Worker

Speaking of working in the rain, sleet, and snow, most postal carriers are outside every day, all day. The United States Postal Service (USPS) has a few requirements before employment. You need to be 18 years old, or at least 16 with a high school diploma. You'll also need US residency, a safe driving record, and be able to pass a criminal background check. After that? You'll spend your days walking door-to-door, breathing fresh air.

Median salary: $51,381

10. Archaeologist

Do you like digging up stuff? Archaeology gives you plenty of opportunities to do just that. You'll need a degree before picking up your shovel. Beyond doing academic research, archaeologists are employed by a variety of domestic and international agencies. For example, the National Park Service employs a team of archaeologists to help preserve, conserve, and protect different sites and artifacts within its park boundaries.

Median salary: $49,029

11. Lifeguard

I have a friend who is a professor but spends his summers lifeguarding on the NJ coast. Depending on where you live, lifeguarding can even be a full-time job. You'll spend your days around lots of people, sand, and surf. You'll perform drills, ride around on different equipment (jeeps, boats, jetskis, etc.), and maybe even save a life or two. And while pay varies, in 2011, the salaries of some Californian lifeguards raised more than a few eyebrows: many in Newport Beach were making over $100,000 in total compensation per year! While this is the exception to the rule, it's still pretty amazing.

Median salary: Varies

Do you have an outdoorsy job?

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