Exciting Jobs Working Outdoors

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Looking for jobs in outdoors that align with your skills and interests? This article explores practical career paths beyond the office, from environmental science to adventure sports. Here, you’ll find key information on necessary qualifications, potential salaries, and the fulfilling lifestyles these jobs offer workers. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an adrenaline seeker, or a hands-on builder, read on to explore how an outdoor job can transform your workday into a breath of fresh air.

Key Takeaways

  • Outdoor-friendly careers in math and science, like environmental scientists, geologists, marine biologists, and geotechnical engineers, combine high-paying opportunities with the passion for the environment and offer a balance between fieldwork and scientific analysis.
  • Jobs that cater to the ‘green thumb’ such as landscape architects, farm workers, ranchers, and conservation scientists, not only allow individuals to work hands-on with nature but also play a crucial role in the sustainable management and enhancement of our natural land.
  • Adventure-packed outdoor jobs, including roles such as wildland firefighters, park rangers, zoologists, wildlife biologists, and outdoor adventure instructors, offer dynamic work experiences for those seeking excitement and fulfillment in natural settings.

Outdoor-Friendly Careers for Math and Science Lovers

Illustration of environmental scientists working outdoors taking photos and researching

When you think of outdoor jobs, your mind might immediately leap to roles like construction worker or park ranger. But what if we told you that you can indulge your love for math and science while working in the great outdoors? Yes, outdoor-friendly careers for math and science lovers really do exist! From environmental scientists to geotechnical engineers to surveying technicians, these roles offer the opportunity to apply your scientific knowledge while enjoying the benefits of working outside.

Environmental Scientist

As an environmental scientist, you have the unique opportunity to work alongside environmental engineers to:

  • Protect our planet and human health
  • Clean up polluted areas
  • Advise policymakers on environmental issues
  • Work with industries to reduce waste
  • Compile and analyze environmental data from air, soil, water, and food
  • Identify and mitigate environmental threats

Your mission is to make a positive impact on the environment and ensure a sustainable future by responsibly utilizing natural resources.

A bachelor’s degree in a natural science is a requisite to start your career in environmental science. Want to enhance your prospects even more? Consider a graduate program in environmental education or research, which can be for environmental organizations or conservation groups. The job outlook for this occupation is bright, with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics showing a 6% projected growth through 2032 . And the median annual salary? A cool $71,130. Not bad for a job where you get to work outdoors and make a difference in the world, right?

Your expertise in environmental science can be applied in public policy and regulation, particularly within state and federal departments like the Department of Environmental Protection and the Environmental Protection Agency.


A career as a geologist could be a perfect fit if you’re fascinated by the earth and its history. By studying the composition, structure, and physical features of the earth’s surface – and beyond – you can play a vital role in observing the earth’s past, predicting its future, and understanding its present. Your tasks might include conducting field studies, analyzing aerial photographs, performing laboratory tests, and preparing scientific reports.

To become a geologist, you’ll typically need at least a bachelor’s degree for entry-level roles. For more advanced positions, many geologists possess a master’s degree. So, if you’re ready to combine your love for science with the thrill of working outdoors, why not consider a career as a geologist, starting with obtaining a bachelor’s degree?

Marine Biologist

As a marine biologist, you would spend your days:

  • unraveling the mysteries of the ocean
  • studying a broad scope of aquatic organisms, from tiny plankton to massive whales
  • conducting fieldwork, collecting data and specimens
  • teaching about marine life
  • assessing the impact of human activities on marine ecosystems health
  • contributing to the monitoring and management of marine populations

The best part? You get to make a difference in understanding and protecting our oceans.

With a career as a marine biologist, you’re not just working outdoors; you’re embarking on a thrilling adventure that takes you beneath the waves. If you’re passionate about marine life and eager to make a difference, dive into a career as a marine biologist!

Geotechnical Engineer

If the idea of working outdoors, getting your hands dirty, and contributing to the construction of the world’s structures appeals to you, a career as a geotechnical engineer could be ideal. In this role, you’ll:

  • Evaluate soil to determine its appropriateness for foundational support
  • Participate in projects like tunnel, roadway, retaining wall, and earthen dam design
  • Conduct site assessments and laboratory tests
  • Design structures
  • Manage construction operations
  • Generate and present detailed reports
  • Develop solutions for managing and remediating contaminated sites

Consider a career as a geotechnical engineer and make a difference in construction projects of all kinds.

The median annual wage for geotechnical engineers was around $65,672 in 2019, with a potential salary range from less than $54,203 to more than $73,898. Geotechnical engineers typically work a combination of office settings and outdoor construction sites, often working over 40 hours a week to meet project deadlines.

The demand for civil engineers, including geotechnical engineers, is projected to grow faster than the national average through 2032 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, thanks to population growth and the need to improve the United States’ aging infrastructure.

Jobs for the Green Thumb

Illustration of landscape architect designing outdoor spaces

Do you find peace and joy in working with plants and landscapes? If so, there’s a world of outdoor jobs waiting for you. From landscape architects to conservation scientists, these “green thumb” careers offer the opportunity to connect with nature in a meaningful way. And the best part? These jobs aren’t just for hobby gardeners – they’re for anyone who’s passionate about the environment and eager to make a difference. Some examples of outdoor jobs for plant and nature lovers include:

  • Landscape architect
  • Horticulturist
  • Arborist
  • Botanist
  • Park ranger
  • Environmental scientist
  • Ecologist
  • Conservation biologist

Consider exploring these outdoor careers if you have a love for plants and a desire to work in the great outdoors.

Landscape Architect

As a landscape architect, you would spend your days:

  • Creating outdoor spaces that are both aesthetically pleasing and functional
  • Designing everything from parks and gardens to green roofs
  • Meeting with clients
  • Preparing site plans and cost estimates
  • Selecting materials
  • Analyzing environmental reports to ensure sustainability

To pursue a career in landscape architecture, you will need to obtain a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture as well as a state-issued license. These qualifications are necessary to practice as a professional landscape architect. If you’ve always dreamed of combining your love for design with your passion for the outdoors, a career as a landscape architect could be the perfect fit.

Farmer, Rancher, or Agricultural Manager

The role of a farmer or rancher, including other agricultural managers, goes beyond simply sowing seeds and reaping crops. As a farmer, rancher, or agricultural manager, you’re responsible for overseeing livestock and crop production, maintaining farm facilities, determining product prices, and executing sales. You won’t necessarily need a college degree, but you’ll need a robust set of skills, including mechanical proficiency for using farm equipment, analytical skills, and a strong work ethic.

With a median annual wage of approximately $69,620, jobs in agriculture management can be as economically rewarding as they are fulfilling. While the data shows a projected job growth through 2026 of -1%, indicating a slight decline, farmers, ranchers, and agricultural managers still play a critical role in planning, coordinating, and carrying out operations on farms and agricultural facilities. If you love working with plants and animals and don’t mind getting your hands dirty, a career in farming, ranching, or agriculture management might be right for you.

Conservation Scientist

A career as a conservation scientist could be ideal if you’re passionate about protecting the environment. As a conservation scientist, you can play a vital role in managing land quality, developing forestry plans, and implementing habitat protection measures to ensure environmental sustainability. With data showing a projected job growth of 8% through 2026, there’s a steady demand for workers in this field.

The median annual pay for conservation scientists is on average $61,310, reflecting the importance of their work in land preservation and environment management. To become a conservation scientist, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in forestry or a related field, establishing a strong foundation in sustainable land management.

Consider a job in conservation science if you’re eager to contribute to the well-being of our planet while working in the great outdoors.

Adventure-Packed Outdoor Jobs

Illustration of wildland firefighters combating forest fires

Crave an adrenaline rush with your morning coffee? Dream of turning your love for adventure into a paycheck? Then buckle up, because adventure-packed outdoor careers, including the perfect outdoor job for you, are just the ticket! From wildland firefighters to outdoor adventures instructors, these exciting careers offer the chance to turn every workday into an adventure.

Wildland Firefighter

A career as a wildland firefighter could be ideal if you’re brave, fit, and prepared to take on challenges. Your mission? To fight forest fires in forests and other wildlands. This is no ordinary job. You’ll need to perform under strenuous conditions such as smoke, high temperatures, shifting weather conditions, and steep terrain. You may also be responsible for driving fire vehicles and equipment to the scene.

Don’t expect to get rich in this job. The US Forest Service median pay, from entry level positions to maximum years of experience, is an average of $18 to $29 per hour. There is a growing movement to increase the pay rate for this job, and the forest service has an entire section of their website devoted to the latest updates in career news.

Besides firefighting, you’ll also work to prevent future fires. You can boost your chances of becoming a wildland firefighter by having prior experience as a volunteer firefighter, a degree in fire science, or EMT certification. If you’re ready to put your courage and stamina to the test, perhaps a career as a wildland firefighter is right for you.

Park Ranger

If you love the being outside and have a passion for educating others about it, a job as a park ranger could be your perfect match. As a park ranger, you get to:

  • Lead outdoor recreational activities, such as educational programs and guided tours for park visitors
  • Work in beautiful natural settings
  • Protect and preserve the environment
  • Enforce park rules and regulations
  • Provide information and assistance to park visitors

To become a park ranger, you’ll typically need a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent, along with some on-the-job training.

With a median pay of around $14.06 per hour, park rangers are paid to share their love of nature with the public. So, if you’re passionate about parks and eager to inspire others to appreciate the great outdoors, a job as a park ranger could be your perfect match.

Zoologist or Wildlife Biologist

A career as a zoologist or wildlife biologist could be the path for you if you’re passionate about animals and enjoy an outdoor work environment. In this role, you’ll:

  • Study a broad scope of animals, from tiny insects to large mammals
  • Be involved in research projects
  • Spend time in both offices and outdoor settings, studying animals in their natural habitats

Zoologists and wildlife biologists typically begin their careers with a bachelor’s degree and may require a master’s degree for higher-level positions. Leading research projects usually require a Ph.D. in zoology or wildlife biology. With an average annual salary of $70,600 and data showing positive job growth projections, a career as a zoologist or wildlife biologist is a rewarding way to combine your love of animals with your love of nature.

Adventure Instructor

Becoming an outdoor adventures instructor could be your dream occupation if you enjoy teaching others and sharing your passion for adventure. These employment opportunities offer a far from average work day for the most adventurous workers. Some of the activities you might consider guiding:

  • hiking
  • sea kayaking
  • skiing
  • horseback riding
  • hunting
  • fishing trips

Your primary role will be to create an enjoyable and safe outdoor experience for participants.

As an outdoor adventures instructor, you’ll need to be well-versed in regulations and safety procedures, and possess strong communication skills. There may be some on the job training involved. You’ll need the ability to develop coaching methods and lesson plans, and may also maintain certain types of equipment.

If you’re ready to turn your love for adventure into a rewarding career, why not becoming an outdoor adventures instructor?

Construction and Trade Jobs

a female worker on a construction site holding floor plans and gloves

If you love building and creating with your hands, construction trades workers and trade jobs could be a perfect match for you. Are you drawn to the idea of seeing the physical results of your hard work? If you answered yes, then construction and trade jobs in the great outdoors could be a perfect match for you. From masons to survey technicians, these hands-on jobs offer the chance to apply practical skills in outdoor settings.


The work of a mason is likely behind any beautifully constructed wall or pathway you’ve admired. Masons build and repair outdoor structures using a variety of materials and equipment, including bricks, concrete, and stones. To become a mason, you’ll typically need a high school diploma and further training through an apprenticeship program.

With an average pay of approximately $23.63 per hour, masons are well-compensated for their skilled work. So, if you’re ready to leave your mark on the world, why not consider a job as a mason?

Construction Trades Workers

As a construction laborer, you would play a pivotal role in building projects. Your responsibilities would include:

  • Preparing construction sites and equipment
  • Loading and unloading materials
  • Digging trenches
  • Operating and maintaining construction equipment and machinery
  • Assisting skilled tradespeople such as electricians and carpenters

These tasks would involve working in various aspects of the construction process and contribute to the successful completion of projects.

On-the-job training is a hallmark of the construction laborer role, allowing you to learn a variety of construction skills without formal education. Workers may need a high school diploma to get started, but this can vary by role. As you gain experience, you may also learn specialized skills and equipment such as pouring concrete, setting up scaffolding, and installing piping systems.

If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work, a job as a construction laborer could be right up your alley, especially considering the labor statistics in construction industries.

Surveyor or Survey Technician

A career as a surveyor or survey technician could be ideal if you have a keen eye for detail and a love for outdoor activities. In this role, you’ll:

  • Measure the earth and its features for gathering data, including geographic data, used to create topographic maps
  • Blend fieldwork with office tasks
  • Spend long periods standing or walking in various weather conditions

Surveying technicians typically need a high school diploma or equivalent, along with on-the-job training. Surveyors, on the other hand, require a bachelor’s degree and a license. With an annual wage of $68,540 on average, a career as a surveyor can be both rewarding and lucrative.

Other Outdoor Jobs

Seasonal Occupations

If you’re interested in a job outside that’s entry level, doesn’t require a formal education, and offers employment that’s not year round, consider applying for a job at an outdoor venue or attraction.

The following jobs are frequently hiring seasonal workers, and usually offer training for employment opportunities:

  • Golf courses
  • Amusement parks
  • Outdoor concert venues
  • Zoos
  • Botanical gardens
  • Beaches
  • Farms
  • Outdoor equipment rental

The possibilities are endless! If you don’t have a strict salary requirement or schedule in mind, check out a job at an outdoor venue near you.

Government Jobs

Take a look at your city, county, or state job board, and you’ll likely find a slew of jobs that focus on working outside. These jobs also typically involve spending at least part of your time indoors, so they’re great for workers who are interested in being outside some of the time, but not all of the time. You might be helping to maintain local sidewalks one day, and researching park signage the next. Some examples:

  • Waste disposal
  • Snow removal
  • City maintenance
  • Parks and recreation instructors
  • Public safety
  • Lifeguard
  • Mail carrier
  • DNR (Department of Natural Resources)

Employment in government – whether local or national – typically comes with added benefits, too. So while the salary might not look like much, combined with benefits, it just may be the right fit for you.

Tips for Pursuing an Outdoor Career

If you’re ready to chase an outdoor career, you might wonder where to begin. Here are some steps to get you started:

  1. Network with organizations like the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE), which holds annual conferences with workshops and networking events.
  2. Refer to the Occupational Outlook Handbook for detailed descriptions of outdoor occupations, certification requirements, and job outlook.
  3. Utilize online resources like OutdoorIndustryJobs.com for job listings.
  4. Create profiles on sites like Monster and sign up for job alerts.
  5. Consider getting a degree in an environment or science related field.

Keep in mind that the pursuit of an outdoor career is an adventure itself. Embrace the journey and relish the ride!


In conclusion, outdoor jobs offer a wide range of exciting opportunities for people from all walks of life. Whether you’re a math and science lover, a green thumb, an adventure seeker, or a hands-on builder, there’s an outdoor job that’s perfect for you. From environmental scientists to adventure instructors, these jobs not only offer workers the chance to work in nature, but also the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the world. So why wait? It’s time to step outside the office, breathe in the fresh air, and embark on a rewarding career in the great outdoors!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the top-paying outdoor jobs for math and science lovers?

If you’re a math and science lover, consider exploring top-paying outdoor jobs like environmental scientist, geologist, marine biologist, or geotechnical engineer. These occupations offer opportunities to work in natural environments and apply scientific knowledge to real-world challenges.

What jobs are available for people who love working with plants and landscapes?

If you love working with plants and landscapes, job options include landscape architects, farm workers, ranchers, agricultural managers, or conservation scientists, to name a few. These jobs offer employment opportunities to work closely with nature and make a positive impact.

Are there adventure-packed jobs that offer exciting and active outdoor career options?

Absolutely, adventure-packed outdoor jobs such as wildland firefighting, park ranging, and wildlife biology offer exciting and active career options for workers who love being adventurous and spending time outside.

What types of construction and trade jobs can be done outside?

You could consider roles like masons, construction laborers, and surveyors or survey technicians if you’re looking for construction and trade jobs that can be done outdoors. These roles offer a great opportunity to work outside and enjoy nature.

How can I start pursuing an outdoor career?

Start by networking with organizations like the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education and utilizing online employment resources like OutdoorIndustryJobs.com for job listings. With dedication and effort, you can take the first steps towards pursuing a career in the outdoors.

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