20 outdoor jobs you’ll love

Last updated: June 23, 2024
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Michael Frash
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20 outdoor jobs you’ll love
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Do you prefer to spend your time working outdoors rather than in a cubicle? If so, you might want to consider a job working outdoors.

Thankfully, there are plenty of high-paying job opportunities that’ll get you working in nature. And there’s something for everyone, whether you work in construction or are a scientist.

This article will cover some of the highest-paying outdoor jobs to help you get started in your dream career.

We’ll give you a rundown of each role and share the average annual salary. Plus, we’ll give you insights into the top skills you’ll need for the outdoor industry.

Why work an outdoor job?

Working outdoors can be a blessing or a curse, depending on who you ask. But when we look at the health benefits associated with an outdoor job, it’s clear that we should all be getting a bit more fresh air and Vitamin D.

Believe it or not, our natural habitat is the outdoors. Being outside is proven to be a mood booster and stress reliever.

You can get these health benefits and make money. And working outdoors doesn’t mean lower pay — many outdoor jobs have highly competitive salaries. There are jobs in a range of industries, including forestry, construction, and winemaking.

Plus, working inside all day in an uncomfortable office chair is sure to cause problems.

Outdoor jobs are often full-time, but part-time and seasonal roles may also be available.

Skills needed to land an outdoor job

If you’re looking for an outdoor job, the following skills will help you stand out to potential employers:

Problem-solving skills

One of the top skills for any job, problem-solving, is critical in outdoor jobs. You never know when you’ll be faced with a challenge, so it’s important to be able to think on your feet and come up with creative solutions.

Problem-solving and analytical skills are important for outdoor jobs. These skills show that you can work independently and that you have the initiative to complete tasks.

Decision-making skills

Decision-making skills are also important for outdoor jobs. You can be faced with split-second decisions that can have a big impact.

This skill is important in any job, but it’s especially important in outdoor jobs because of the potential risks involved.

Adaptability

Outdoor jobs often come with a lot of change and uncertainty. For example, the weather can be unpredictable, so you need to be able to adjust your plans on the fly.

Without adaptability, succeeding in an outdoor job is challenging.

Leadership skills

Many outdoor jobs require you to take on a leadership role, even if you’re not in a formal management position.

For example, you may be tasked with leading a group of volunteers or employees on a project. Outdoor jobs typically require teamwork, so it’s also important to be able to work well with others.

Independence

Some outdoor positions will require you to work independently. With the remote environmental conditions of some areas, it’s easy to see why employers value this skill.

If you’re interested in an outdoor job, highlight your ability to work independently on your resume and in your cover letter to stand out from the competition. Every person’s skills vary, so be sure to focus on those in which you excel. Your unique experiences can help you land the outdoor job of your dreams.

What to consider when applying for an outdoor job

With any new job, it’s important to do your research and know what you’re getting yourself into. This is especially true for outdoor jobs, as there are a few extra factors to consider that you may not have thought about before.

First, you need to consider the climate and weather conditions of the job’s location. It may be tough to adjust to the job if you’re not used to working in extreme heat or cold. You’ll also need to be mindful of the dangers of working in such conditions, including heat stroke and frostbite.

It’s also necessary to understand the job’s physical demands and their associated risks. Many outdoor jobs require manual labor, and you must be physically fit for these types of roles. Injuries are also more common in outdoor jobs, so safety should be a top priority.

Some roles require you to work at heights or in tight spaces.

Finally, when applying for an outdoor job, you should be prepared to work as part of a team. Whether you’re working with other employees or volunteers, teamwork and collaboration are the keys to success in many outdoor jobs.

If you’re considering an outdoor job, it’s important that you think about all of these factors. With a little bit of research and dedication, you’ll set yourself up for success.

20 of the highest-paying outdoor jobs

Here’s a list of 20 high-paying outdoor jobs for you to consider, along with the median salary for each.

1. Park ranger

National average salary: $63,750 per year.

A park ranger protects the land and wildlife in state or national parks. It’s a broad term describing someone who does anything from figuring out how to protect the land from fires and harmful insects to choosing and preparing new areas in which to plant trees.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), park rangers generally have a college degree in forestry or agricultural science. These degrees prepare students for a challenging new career path.

Find park ranger jobs on Jobcase.

2. Geographer

National average salary: $85,220 per year.

A geographer studies the land through field observations, maps, satellite imagery, and other sources of information.

They then connect this data to information regarding a region’s health, politics, economics, and environment.

Geographers need a bachelor’s degree for most entry-level positions. A master’s degree is mandatory for many senior positions related to this career path. Most geographers work full-time.

Find geographer jobs on Jobcase.

3. Landscape architect

National average salary: $67,950 per year.

Have you ever visited an educational campus or business and been blown away by its exterior design? That’s the work of a landscape architect.

They design outdoor spaces and plan the layout of greenery and structures. They may also use computer software to bring their designs to life.

This can be a full-time job, and landscape architects can work on both domestic and commercial projects. To start landscaping, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree, with many jobs requiring a master’s.

Find landscape architect jobs on Jobcase.

4. Construction manager

National average salary: $98,890 per year.

A construction manager oversees construction sites from start to finish. They’re in charge of managing the budget and ensuring the project is completed on time.

The job involves more than physical labor. Construction managers must be comfortable working with cost estimates and budgets, as well as managing schedules and sometimes hiring.

Many construction managers have a bachelor’s degree, while others are promoted based on years of experience.

Find construction manager jobs on Jobcase.

5. Civil engineer

National average salary: $88,050 per year.

A civil engineer oversees the design plans and construction of infrastructure projects. This includes things like roads, buildings, dams, tunnels, and bridges.

This is usually a full-time job, and civil engineers may be required to travel.

You’ll need a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering as well as co-op experience to land your first full-time job.

Find civil engineering jobs on Jobcase.

6. Farmers and ranchers

National average salary: $73,060 per year.

Farmers and ranchers are in charge of crop production, including planting, fertilizing, and harvesting all crops. At the same time, you’ll be taking care of livestock.

Farmers also maintain and operate a lot of different equipment.

Most ranchers have a high school diploma. Many states offer agriculture programs, which could make you more appealing to employers.

Find farmer jobs on Jobcase.

7. Surveyor

National average salary: $61,660 per year.

A surveyor measures property boundaries in relation to the earth’s surface for mapmaking and engineering purposes. It’s a career requiring a lot of travel, as well as research and writing abilities.

A large part of being a surveyor is preparing reports and presenting them to clients and the federal government.

You’ll need a bachelor’s degree followed by four years of supervised experience.

Find surveyor jobs on Jobcase.

8. Environmental engineer

National average salary: $96,820 per year.

Environmental engineers work to solve problems like climate change, unsafe drinking water, and sustainability issues.

It’s a challenging career that requires a background in chemistry, biology, engineering, and environmental science. Most entry-level jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree, but a master’s is recommended.

Find environmental engineering jobs on Jobcase.

9. Wildlife biologist

National average salary: $64,650 per year.

A wildlife biologist is an exciting career involving the study of animals and their ecosystems. They look at animal behavior to see how it affects their environment and other natural resources.

Many wildlife biologists also look at how wildlife is affecting public health. This is usually a full-time job with some travel required.

A bachelor’s degree is required for some entry-level positions, with a master’s degree or Ph.D. being required for more senior-level roles.

Find wildlife jobs on Jobcase.

10. Environmental scientist

National average salary: $76,530 per year.

Environmental scientists conduct research and offer solutions to problems related to the environment, such as air and water pollution. They can work in laboratories, offices, and in the field.

These professionals strive to find ways to protect the environment and human health. They use their chemistry, biology, and physics knowledge to develop solutions to environmental issues.

A bachelor’s degree is required for entry-level environmental scientist jobs. Many environmental scientists also have a master’s degree or Ph.D.

Find environmental scientist jobs on Jobcase.

11. Conservation scientist

National average salary: $63,750 per year.

Conservation scientists work to protect and conserve natural resources like soil, water, and forests. They often work for ‌government or environmental organizations.

Training for this type of role usually includes a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as biology, forestry, or agricultural science.

Find conservation scientist jobs on Jobcase.

12. Atmospheric scientist

National average salary: $94,570 per year.

An atmospheric scientist is a type of meteorologist who studies the atmosphere to understand and predict weather patterns. They collect data using instruments such as weather balloons and satellites.

Atmospheric scientists work in laboratories, and they can also spend time outdoors tracking unusual weather events.

Most atmospheric scientists have a bachelor’s degree in meteorology or a similar area of study, and some roles may require a master’s degree or Ph.D.

Atmospheric scientists should also have a solid grasp of computer programming and engineering.

Find atmospheric scientist jobs on Jobcase.

13. Zoologist

National average salary: $64,650 per year.

Zoologists study animals. They research and observe different behaviors and ensure that the animals thrive in their wildlife habitats.

If a species is endangered, a zoologist can find out why. They can create conservation management plans to increase animal populations and even come up with strategies to deal with pests.

Zoologists can also work in a range of research settings that may involve working directly with animals in the wild or captivity.

You’ll need a bachelor’s degree or higher to work as a zoologist. It’s also not uncommon for these experts to have a master’s degree or even a Ph.D.

Find zoologist jobs on Jobcase.

14. Dog walker

National average salary: $39,998 per year.

If a dog owner is unable to walk their dog for whatever reason, they can use the services of a dog walker.

Dog walkers often juggle multiple pets at once. They take dogs for walks and clean up after them. Some dog walkers also offer pet-sitting services.

Most dog walkers work part-time, and dog walking can be a second job that serves to make them extra money.

There are usually no minimum educational requirements to be a dog walker. To be successful, you’ll need excellent animal handling and networking skills.

Find dog walker jobs on Jobcase.

15. Winemaker

​​National average salary: $70,435 per year.

Winemakers work in vineyards and oversee the production of wine. They check grapes to make sure they’re high-quality, and they also manage the winemaking process to ensure it runs smoothly.

Each batch of wine has to meet standards for taste, and a good winemaker knows that this starts with the grapes on the vine.

Winemakers can manage workers, support marketing teams, and maintain winemaking equipment.

Most winemakers have industry experience, and some have a degree in business or management. Attention to detail, technical skills, and interpersonal skills are essential to this job.

Find winemaker jobs on Jobcase.

16. Adventure guide

National average salary: $58,492 per year.

Adventure guides take people on outdoor activities. For example, they may guide a group on a rock climbing adventure or take them on a fishing trip.

Adventure guides have excellent knowledge of their local area and make sure participants stay safe. They need to be experienced in the activity and confident in their role.

These professionals can work for different employers, such as hotels, resorts, nonprofit organizations, or adventure companies. The job can also involve travel.

Formal degrees aren’t usually required for this position, but adventure guides need to be physically fit. Interpersonal skills and a first aid certification will also be beneficial.

Find adventure guide jobs on Jobcase.

17. Camp counselor

National average salary: $37,500 per year.

Camp counselors work at camps across the country. They usually work with children in summer camp settings.

Camp counselors supervise guests and make sure they have everything they need. They also host activities and take guests on different adventures.

Depending on the facility, camp counselors may show guests how to participate in fun tasks safely. For example, they may supervise archery or give guests lessons on golf courses.

This role doesn’t require a degree, but a positive attitude is essential. Camp counselors should be adventurous and have first aid certification.

Find camp counselor jobs on Jobcase.

18. Brick mason

National average salary: $59,340 per year.

Brick masons are a type of construction worker. They use mortar with bricks, tiles, stones, and concrete blocks to create structures such as houses, walls, and fences.

Brick masons can also construct footpaths and repair buildings. They work on commercial and domestic builds as well as renovations. This role involves working outdoors, and you may need to be comfortable working on a ladder.

Most brick masons have a high school diploma and go through on-the-job training. The role is usually full-time, and apprenticeships may be available. Physical fitness and manual dexterity are also important.

Find brick mason jobs on Jobcase.

19. Demolition worker

National average salary: $46,300 per year.

Demolition workers dismantle structures. They carefully take apart entire buildings or specific rooms. They can demolish homes, businesses, fences, sheds, and more.

Depending on the project, demolition workers may use heavy machinery or explosives. Some of these professionals also remove hazardous materials, such as asbestos.

Demolition workers work outdoors and indoors, and they may need to travel for the job.

This is a role that requires a demolition license and workplace training. You’ll need safety and technical training, physical fitness, and experience using power tools. Demolition workers also need to be team players.

Most demolition workers have full-time jobs.

Find demolition worker jobs on Jobcase.

20. Construction laborer

National average salary: $37,520 per year.

Construction laborers are entry-level workers. They support the construction team with a range of general duties. For example, they dig trenches, erect fences, and unload trucks.

Construction laborers use tools and machinery and climb ladders. This role is physically demanding, and construction laborers need to be hard-working and self-motivated.

There are no minimum education requirements for this job.

These types of construction trades have long-term career opportunities. For example, a construction laborer could end up working as a construction foreman. With training and experience, you can boost your annual salary.

Find construction laborer jobs on Jobcase.

Outlook and demand for outdoor jobs

Several factors can affect the outlook and demand for outdoor jobs. One factor is the changing climate. An increase in forest fires and other natural disasters provides an opportunity for growth in occupations like forest management and conservation science.

Forestry workers can expect an employment increase of 7% by 2031. Conservation workers can expect an increase of 3%.

The availability of outdoor industry opportunities is location-dependent. If you are set on working in a specific outdoor role — for example, ski instructor or marine biologist — you may need to consider moving to improve your job prospects.

Land your dream job in nature today

Choosing a career that gets you working outdoors has many benefits.

For starters, you’ll be getting out of that dreaded office chair and increasing your activity levels. And fresh air can reduce your cortisol levels, lowering stress.

Aside from that, the best outdoor jobs offer competitive annual salaries. If you enjoy being in nature, these jobs may not even feel like work.

What are the top jobs to look for? There’s a long list of outdoor roles, including park rangers, dog walkers, brick masons, and wildlife biologists. The option you choose will depend on your skills and interests.

You can find more tips for job seekers searching for a high-paying outdoor job by visiting our Getting Hired Resource Center. Companies are hiring now, and you can find vacancies on our job board.

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Julio Dumano
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Parque at Amazon

Thanks a for sharing this ❤

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JITENDRA P DHOLE
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Plant Superintendent Cum Supervisor at Indofil Chemicals Industries Ltd Country India Thane Mumbai Maharashtra State

Great, things to do & earn with such types of jobs. But, I am from India looking job for abroad. How to implement to get a job opportunity.

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Terry Jones
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Great

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Russell Satterwhite
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Yes I would

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Alexzandria Snider
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im only 16 but yes i would

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Piyali Bhattacharyya
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It is good the know which jobs are high paying, but unfortunately I didn't find in my area of expertise, e.g. Nutrition

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Ron Miller
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Do you have any low-paying indoor jobs available 🤣

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Shasta Winkler
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I offer 45 yrs.experience in the field of Horticulture. I grew up in a family owned and operated Nursery/Landscape Company. I have some college in Horticulture and Turf grass Management. I am a female who believes that if you are ten minutes early for work, you’re already late.W.O.R.K. is not a radio station, and that you don’t have to go to work, you get to have the privilege of going to work. I have public relations, drafting,some survey experience. I have 62 years of maturity and am available for hire.

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Zameka Nyakaza
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Good morning, interesting jobs but I only have IT, Office management and technology certificat. I don't know if I qualify.

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Michael Watson
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Thanks. Some of these workfields R interesting and pay well. Good luck everyone on the job search.

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