Outdoor Careers: Enjoy a Job Working Outside

By Jordan Fabel •  Updated: November 15, 2022  •  6 min read  •  Recreation
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Maybe you’re not the type to sit in an office all day long. There are many outdoor careers you can choose from. Many of these careers pay well, along with allowing you to work outside.

Working outside allows you to enjoy the sunshine. You will also likely get to work with your hands and in a new setting regularly. Here are some of the top outdoor careers to choose from.

Top Careers Outdoors

10 Most Common Outdoor Careers to Consider

1. Careers in Forestry

The forestry industry offers several careers to choose from. You can enjoy conservation and using the land responsibly with this outdoor career path.

Forestry offers the opportunity to work in national parks, private companies, or even a nonprofit organization. You might focus on logging, or you might focus on cultivating trees. It’s even possible to work with a conservation agency.

Reforesting land, maintaining tree health, thinning forests, and harvesting are all a part of the forestry industry. This outdoor career path offers several options, including:

Many other positions are available within the industry. It’s possible to enter this outdoor career with just a high school diploma. Some positions will require a bachelor’s degree, and others will even require a doctoral degree.

2. Marine Biologist

The field of marine biology is unique and offers an exciting outdoor career to pursue. You’ll be able to study different plants, animals, and organisms found in the oceans and seas. Many career paths are found within this field for research projects, studying plants, and making recommendations about marine life factors.

Some of the outdoor careers in this field include:

It’s possible to enter this industry without a degree, but many positions will require a bachelor’s degree or even a Ph.D.

3. Surveyor

If you have a mathematical mind, you can work as a surveyor and enjoy this outdoor career. The field is expected to grow by about 10% over the next decade and offers quite a bit of flexibility.

Maybe you prefer a job where each day is a bit different. This is a good option as you’ll find the job is at a new location each day, from residential areas to corporate buildings.

As a surveyor, you can earn an average salary of about $57K per year. You can become a Geodetic Surveyor and earn a slightly higher salary each year. Technology is growing in this field, which means a bachelor’s degree is often necessary.

4. Archaeology

One of the most interesting outdoor careers, working in archaeology, offers plenty of opportunities. This field includes performing archaeological digs, exhumed civilizations, or working in a museum with artifacts. While there may be some indoor time with this job, much of it is found outside.

You can specialize in a specific area of archaeology, including linguistics or culture. It’s also common to concentrate on a specific time period. Maybe you’re fascinated with the Iron Age or the Paleolithic era.

Archaeology is growing faster than the national average, with predictions that it will have grown by 19% by the end of 2022.

The most common outdoor careers in archaeology include becoming a physical archaeologist or a biological archaeologist. Both positions have an average annual salary of around $60K. A master’s degree in Archaeology is often required, but a Ph.D. is preferred.

5. Mason

Becoming a mason means you will work with concrete blocks, natural stones, and bricks. You will create structures, such as walls, walkways, and fences. This occupation doesn’t require a degree, but you will need to complete some classroom training and an apprenticeship.

The average salary for a mason is about $43,000.

6. Wildland Firefighter

While some of the duties of this job will be indoors, the actual action is found outside. It’s a very hardcore job. You’ll need to have incredible physical skills and courage.

As a wildland firefighter, you’ll need to hike into a burning fire, carry a lot of weight, and fight fires where machines cannot go.

7. Park/Forest Ranger

A rewarding outdoor career with plenty to offer, you can work as a park ranger or forest ranger. These jobs are found at state parks and national parks. You’ll be able to work in a location you will love and help to preserve the beautiful parks found across the country.

8. Geographers

With a median salary of about $80K, this job offers the ability to enjoy an outdoor career. As a geographer, you’ll be responsible for gathering data, taking photographs, and studying satellite imagery.

You may need to use the data to adjust maps or other types of geographic data. Entry-level positions will require a bachelor’s degree. If you want to work as a more advanced geographer, you’ll need a master’s degree.

9. Landscape Architect

Developing and executing the design plans for public spaces and private spaces is the job of a landscape architect. You’ll be responsible for preparing models and creating beautiful landscapes. If you have an eye for detail and love working outside, this is a good outdoor career choice.

Landscape Architects make, on average, about $68K per year.

10. Outdoor Guide

Individuals looking to share beautiful natural areas can become outdoor guides. This outdoor position can work in a national park, camping facility, nonprofit organization, or one of many other facilities.

Some of the duties you may perform include organizing activities, leading hikes, educating people about nature, and communicating with the public.

Some of the jobs you can enjoy as an outdoor guide include:

You can also become an actual guide and take people out on hikes, rafting trips, or other outdoor tours. Most of these jobs don’t require more than a high school diploma.

Is an Outdoor Career the Right Choice for You?

These are ten of the most common outdoor career options. If you want to enjoy the outdoors and you want a decent annual salary, there are plenty of options on this list and so much more.

There are many other outdoor careers you can enjoy, including:

There are several great outdoor careers to choose from. Some start with just a high school diploma, while others require an advanced degree. Whether you just don’t like the idea of working in an office or you just prefer to be outside, these careers offer great options and good annual salaries.

Jordan Fabel

Jordan Fabel

Covering different 'paths' that people's lives can take. Creative, foster parent, ticket dismissal, you get the idea. Exploring the requirements, certifications, exams, and obviously, approved courses along each path.