The confines of the office aren’t for everyone; in fact, most would argue that man wasn’t meant to be indoors all day, bound to a desk, under the harsh glare of fluorescent lighting and constant drone of a supervisor.
For that reason, many seek professions that allow them to retreat outdoors and back into the moving world.
And, surprisingly enough, many of those professions pay extremely well, if not better than the standard office salary.
Working outdoors keeps you fit and in a much healthier, clearer state of mind. The sun on your face and fresh air in your lungs can work miracles on the body and psyche. The question still lingers: what outdoor job is right for you?
Landscaper, construction worker, forest ranger, archaeologist, landscape architect, environmental scientist, regional or urban planner, marine biologist–these are just a handful of potential professions that will keep you largely outdoors and in your true element. These outdoor jobs also contribute to the preservation and protection of the environment, encouraging you to utilize a number of tools and talents to provide a worthwhile service you can go home at the end of the day feeling genuinely good about.
Among the trees or fathoms under the sea, fighting fires or sculpting landscapes, the best outdoor jobs likewise bring out the best in you. They are the jobs in which your skills and assets are not only met with proper gratitude and respect, but produce results that are sure to last beyond the next generation.
There is a growing demand for men who know about growing (try saying that 10 times fast!). Agronomists research crop and seed specifics, finding new ways of growing more food with less resources. As befitting a job related to plants, there is, of course, room for growth as an agronomist. A few more specialized areas are field sales, technical sales, soil scientist, and research analysis. An agronomist earns an average salary of $50,406 per year.
2. Arborist Climber
Monkeying around can get you into trouble in other occupations, but for the arborist and the climbing instructor, it’s a requirement of the job. Arborists maintain the health of trees, often climbing up into them to make assessments, and the climbing instructor teaches hopeful adventurers to cling to and climb rocks for fun. Arborists and climbing instructors average $35,500 yearly, plus all the bananas they can eat. OK, not really, but it would be nice!
Why should Indiana Jones have all the fun? Duties of an archeologist include extensive researching, surveying of dig sites, site excavation, and the processing and plus analysis of rare, ancient artifacts. You won’t be running from giant boulders or dodging booby traps, but uncovering the secrets of human history can be extremely mentally stimulating. The average pay for an archeologist is $58,010 a year, and a sense of personal accomplishment in the name of humanity.
4. Race Manager
Sponsorships! Swag galore! Sweat! No, really– lots of sweat! You’re looking at the sweet (and sometimes difficult) life of a marathon racing director. Race directors organize the event, secure sponsorship deals, and make sure the volunteer staff gives the race applicants what they need to succeed. If the running game is your game, consider the job of a race director. Race directors sometimes pull in $41,768 per year (not counting all that sweat and swag).
5. Backpacking Guide
Leading nature-thirsty backpackers as a hiking guide is a challenging but intellectually and physically stimulating occupation. Sleep out under the stars whenever the will takes you. Though classes can be helpful, no certification is really required. All you need is love and knowledge of nature, good strong legs, an even stronger back, and a great sense of direction. And the ability to watch for bears. A hiking guide can make a strident $60,263 per year.
When the steady drone and hum of modern life begins to get you down, consider taking an outdoor job as a beekeeper.
You’ll be buzzing with the thrill of anticipation in no time as you cultivate delicious and useful goods like honey and beeswax. Plus, things you learn while caretaking for bees are of scientific interest to the many fields of botanical and zoological science. The successful beekeeper can earn an average of $70,110 annually. Sweet!
These down to earth scientists explore wildlands and research plants, documenting and preserving different species. As a botanist, you’ll study the effects of humanity on the plant life of any given environment. Though some lab time is required, your favorite “office” will essentially be outdoors. Plant your feet and get ready for this: a botanist can make an average of $79,390 per year for working with flowers and other plants. That’s nothing to sneeze at!
8. Camp Counselor
A hearty love for children and adults is a must in this sometimes athletic creative job. Your duty is to direct and supervise kids, but your duty is also to have fun! Making camp enjoyable for young people can make your experience at the camp equally rewarding. Waking up every day to games, hiking, crafts, and sometimes even swimming, makes this a dream job for young at heart. A camp counselor earns around $23,870 yearly.
Oh, the places you’ll go as a cartographer! A cartographer is a mapmaker. When collecting and verifying information, it’s not uncommon for a cartographer to travel to far off places for the job. Imagine amazing, overlooked cities and towns out there just waiting to be put on the map. Journey far, and enjoy yourself! Drinks on the beach are optional. We’ve plotted the course and found that a cartographers can draw in $55,530 per year.
10. Commercial Fisherman
Commercial fisherman get to enjoy clean, salty air of the ocean on a regular basis. If things go swimmingly they can pull in hundreds of pounds of fish and other seafood every day. Being on a boat and battling creatures from the depths for the right to call them dinner can be dangerous, but that’s all part of the thrill and draw of the job. A high-yielding commercial fisherman can reel in about $29,660 annually.
11. Environmental Engineer
Without environmental engineers garbage dumps and pollution might pile up like great grey glaciers… perhaps more like toxic sludge. These champion supporters of sanitation help keep the air fit to breathe and our water safe to drink. Matters of pollution and waste disposal are like intricate, engaging puzzles to mind of the environmental engineer, and he derives a marvelous satisfaction in cracking the mysteries. Environmental engineers have been known to mop up about $62,716 annually.
This is the perfect outdoor occupation for the man who has a strong commitment to the protection and preservation of the valuable natural resources on our planet! Also known as sustainability managing, this job requires you carry out environmental audits and assessments, resolve environmental problems and make certain that essential changes are carried out in regards to publicly owned greenspaces. The average yearly salary for an Environmental Manager is $68,910 per year.
Imagine raising food to be enjoyed by everyone! Farmers hold a special place in the hearts of most societies, and for good reason: they provide us with food and nourishment through their labors. Farmers keep societies alive and running. Though not easy, farming makes for a very valuable and rewarding job. It requires a can-do attitude and a willingness to learn about new and interesting technologies. A farmer’s average salary is about $70,110 per year.
If you’ve got great people skills and love nature, this is the job for you! Foresters manage public wilderness areas such as parks and other natural assets. They assist both local and federal government institutions with efforts to protect the land against erosion. They also work with private landowners such as ranchers and farmers, helping them to implement new methods to prevent environmental damage. The average pay for a conservation scientist can be between $40,000-$60,000.
15. Surfing Instructor
Beautiful, sun-swept beaches are always packed with other enthusiasts eager to enjoy the waves. Morph your passion for surfing into your dream job by becoming a surf instructor. You’ll need a surf instructor qualification from a surf school. Grab your swim trunks and give your life a 180 degree turn while learning to “turn a 360” on your board. Akaw! (That means “awesome!” in surfer speak.) A surf instructor gets paid around $61,000 per year.
Do you ever wonder what lies at the core of the earth? You might find that being a geoscientist rocks! A geoscientist’s job is to explore the earth’s past, present, and future by observing the physical components of it. A geoscientist’s objective is to determine just how the earth’s seismic processes, composition, and other attributes interact to make the planet what it is. Geoscienitsts make between $92,000 and $117,300 per year, depending on college degree.
17. Habitat Specialist
Uninspired backgrounds in zoos don’t stand a chance against a habitat specialist on a mission. Combine your love of art, construction, and animals by creating a habitat that will make homesick penguins feel as happy as the day they were born. Make hyenas giddy with joy by putting together natural looking sleep and mating spaces just like mama hyena used to make. Habitat specialists earn an average wage of $64,180 per year plus bragging rights.
18. Hunting Guide
Hunting guides provide a valuable service to beginning hunters. Acquiring a guide’s wealth of knowledge and animal movements can seem daunting at first, but gaining experience in the field through a skilled guide will help build the confidence you’ll need to eventually become a celebrated hunting guide yourself. Researching basic facts of your local plants and animals will whet your appetite for learning more. A hunting guide earns an average yearly salary of around $36,000.
19. Dog Walker
Has your work life gone to the dogs? Well, this one is for the dogs– and the people who love them! Fido and friends can shake up your routine and remind you to enjoy life. Enjoy the dog days of summer by taking long walks through your town. The yearly pay is only $24,000 but for a chance to spend the day with happy, living balls of fur, it’s nothing to shake a stick at.
20. Landscape Architect / Irrigation / Urban Planner
These three jobs are closely related and even overlap in some areas, as they each require a keen eye and a well-balanced sense of style. There is a fine artistry involved in choosing the right plants and statuary needed to create a relaxing outdoor oasis. The right landscaping makes an otherwise dreary setting visually appealing. The annual salary for a landscape architect is $56,738; an Irrigation Technician’s is $25,030; and an Urban planner’s is $63,929.
One of the joys of summer is the opportunity to go swimming in cool water, and to hang out by the waterfront. What better job for a swimming enthusiast than that of a lifeguard? Besides soaking up sunshine, a lifeguard’s primary mission is to save lives by monitoring the pool area, endorsing safety rules, and rescuing swimmers from things like riptides and the deep end of the pool. A lifeguard’s annual pay averages about $119,000.
A love of heights is a must for this above-ground occupation. For a job with a bright future and the spark excitement, try looking into becoming a lineman. The task of a lineman is to serve as a trained electrician installing, maintaining, and repairing public power lines. From the customer’s electric meter to the power plant, linemen do it all. They can earn a shocking $74,265 yearly for their finely honed skills and electric personalities.
Long considered one of the most masculine of occupations, the job of lumberjack has a rich legacy dating back to the birth of this nation. It’s a tough job, beginning early in the morning and ending a bit before sundown, but think of all the muscles you’ll gain! Plus, there are even competitive “loggersports” to show off your skills and learn a bit of the history. Lumberjacks rake in around $37,560 on a yearly basis.
24. Marine Biologist
A marine biologist studies aquatic animals large and small. You have many options in this occupation, but the most fun for an outdoorsman would be out in the field– or in this case, the sea! One of the perks is that the job often requires travel, so it’s a good way to see the beaches and docks you’ve always dreamed of visiting. The salary of a marine biologist typically ranges between $39,700 and $124,680 annually.
Catalogue the treasures of the earth! Heat up stones to produce new mineral configurations! Impress your loved ones when they learn that you get to touch rubies and diamonds every day (OK, really just on some days). Lifelong rockhounds will get intensive pleasure out of the job of being a mineralogist. It’s lab science, exploration, and treasure hunting all rolled into one. The average annual wage for mineralogists is a stone cold $90,890 per year.
26. Nursery Manager
The complete care and feeding of young plants is the calling of the nursery manager. This is perfect for those with an unstoppable green thumb– better if that green extends to all ten fingers! A sensitivity to the scheduling of growing times and the use of gardening equipment is a must, but fear not. In this occupation, opportunities to learn grow like apples on trees. A nursery manager nurtures an average income of $45,007 yearly.
27. Outdoor Archery And Shooting Range / Training Instructor
Help new students get a straight shot to better marksmanship as an outdoor archery or shooting range instructor. Owning the place gives plenty of sweet perks as well, such as meeting plenty of new people who share your interest in marksmanship, plus access to the range for free. An outdoor archery instructor can hit $32,122 as an average salary for the year, and a shooting range instructor can bump up to $66,231 or more annually.
Go with the flow when you dive into deep sea expeditions to study marine ecosystems. Explore the underwater geological formations associated with plate tectonics and discover the secret lives of the sea creatures who live there. Oceanographers are also concerned about the effects of pollution on the sea and its inhabitants, so they dedicate their lives to going deep on the subject of ocean conservation. Oceanographers get paid a whale of a salary: $97,700 annually!
29. Park Forest Ranger
The smell of bark, the sound of the wind in the trees, the crunch of dried leaves underfoot, and the rattle of a bush as woodland creatures scurry out of sight… these are some of the best moments in the daily life of the park ranger. The other duties of a ranger include making sure that rules and regulations are followed in the area, correcting fire hazards, and maintaining campgrounds. Average pay is $37,382 annually.
Photographers are skilled and creative technicians who work at taking beautiful and artistic photographs with professional quality camera equipment. They use natural and artificial lighting to create works that tell a good story or preserve a special event. It’s more than just pointing and clicking a camera– you need to have great people skills, too, in order to put live photo subjects at their ease. Professional photographers can earn between $20,270 and $65,510 a year.
31. Writer / Journalist
Extra, extra, write all about it! Now’s the time to finally relax under a tree and give life to that novel you’ve always been saying you’re going to write. Or maybe you’d rather be out on the streets, getting the scoop on the latest news. A bestselling author virtually prints his own money, making $50,837 per year with technical writers earning only slightly more. Journalists and travel magazine owners can earn between $43,640 and $53,500.
32. Railroad Track Maintenance Technician
Got the feeling that your old job is dragging you backwards? Get your caboose on the right track by becoming a railroad track maintenance technician. This technician regulates the performance and safety of the nation’s railways including the bridges and crossing signals. Inspections of tunnels and viaducts to ensure they are up to code and free of debris. A job as a railroad track maintenance technician is your ticket to a year’s earnings averaging $30,544.
The pounding of blood in your ears, the thrill of the chase… these are the wild and woolly moments in the life of an animal wrangler. Animal wranglers are a huge aid to ranchers in that they have experience in rounding up stray livestock. But wrangling isn’t just for ranch work; animal wranglers also transport and oversee animals for film and television studios. Professional animal wranglers can make a swagger-inducing salary of $66,360 each year.
34. Restoration Ecologist
Help to make the world a better place by deciding to become a restoration ecologist. These scientists extensively study the methods and tools needed to repair damaged ecosystems. Derived from years of research and insight, restoration ecologists determine the right treatments to make habitats and community wildspaces safe and whole again. It’s a job that helps humanity flourish while leaving nature as it was found. A restoration ecologist earns between $56,000 and 484,000 each year.
35. River Rafting Guide
Wouldn’t be great if you could raft full time? The light, frothy spray of water all around you glistening in the clear mountain air… River rafting guides only average about $29,257 per year, but don’t let that stop you. First, there’s the money you’ll save by not having to pay a guide yourself. Then there’s the pure enjoyment to be had in mastering one of nature’s most difficult elements; it will be remarkably spiritually nourishing.
36. Skiing And Snowboarding Instructor / Patroller
You may have to pass an instructional course or two, but the time spent out in the powdery white wonderland will be worth it! Winters are obvious times for the job, but there are mountains resorts that have snow during other months. If you like, you can follow the snow from season to season, traveling to areas that have snow while others don’t. Ski/Snowboard instructors and snow patrollers receive between $19,040 and $20,890 per year.
37. Skydiving Instructor
Give your life a rush of adrenaline from sunrise to sunset as a skydiving instructor. Besides teaching the basics of skydiving, an instructor makes sure all safety protocols are followed and parachutes are in working order. Drop by the nearest skydiving school or website to learn how to give this dream flight. And the pay isn’t bad, either; many people jump at the chance to earn between $18,000 and $30,000 yearly, getting high on exhilaration.
38. Soil Scientist
Who does a farmer call when his soil is tainted? A soil scientist, of course. Let’s talk dirty about one of the specialized fields under the umbrella of agronomy. Soil scientists know that when it comes to toxins in agricultural production, human health and ecological stability is at stake. It’s not all doom and gloom, though. These scientists also help determine general plant nutrition. Soil scientists make around $69,052 yearly for being dirt digging superheroes.
39. Sponsored Professional Athlete
Do you like sports? How about moderate sports? How about EXTREME sports? Well, what can be more extreme than getting paid millions for something fun that you do in your spare time anyway? You’ve got to be in top shape, but finding time to work out is easy when you’ve got millions of dollars taking care of expenses. Across the different athletic professions, most sponsored athletes make between $3.2 million and $0.16 million. That’s EXTREME!
40. Sports Coach
Some guys enjoy coaching for adult teams, but some go for the equally worthwhile endeavor of teaching impressionable young minds. What athletic person can deny the thought of spending afternoons and weekends getting plenty of fresh air, sunshine, and exercise? Also, teamwork and good sportsmanship are the hallmarks of good coaching, imparting to players the important social lessons they will carry into adulthood. Most sports coaches can pull in about $40,050 per year on average.
41. Trail Builder
Do you love to travel to gorgeous wild hiking areas around the country? A job as a trail builder may be the escape you’re been seeking. Trail builders are responsible for building and maintaining trails, which means potentially a lot of off-track hiking for the adventurous man. The Professional Trail Builders Association sometimes lists jobs paying between $250 to $500 a week and often include housing and meals. Yearly pay averages between $40,000 and $60,000 per year.
42. Turf Manager
If your current occupation has got you on the edge of refusing to “play ball”, make a run for it! Start your winning streak with a job as a sports turf manager. Outdoor activity playing fields are often in need of levelheaded and engaging management. Duties of this occupation include administrative tasks, supervising the groundskeeper’s maintenance of the property, and monitoring the general landscaping. Turf managers tend to score an average salary of $89,189 annually.
43. Vineyard Manager
Taste of the grapes from the vine of the good life as a vineyard manager. The manager handles all operations of a vineyard from the growing of the grapes to handing out the paychecks. But don’t let the description fool you– there’s plenty of enjoyment to be had outside in the vineyard itself. Warm sunshine and the earthy scent of growing plants is intoxicating. The average vineyard manager draws a heady and robust $57,400 yearly.
Volcanologists study volcanic activity. This job is a subset of the occupation of geologist only a little more dangerous and a lot like what could be called a seismic detective. You’ll never want for heat in your exhilarating journeys as a volcanologist– at least, not when you’re near the volcano openings! Don’t your blow your top, but working as a volcanologist and making around $90,890 per year makes travel and luxury obtainable for an outdoorsman.
45. Demolition Manager
Have a blast destroying your reservations about finding work you actually enjoy. If that mischievous little boy who loved to make things go boom still lives somewhere inside of you, this is the job he’s been waiting for! There are always derelict buildings that need to come down– and come down they will, in a spectacular burst of rubble and dust. A yearly salary of $71,641 will send shockwaves through the doldrums of your life.
46. Wilderness Instructor
As a wilderness instructor, you would be preserving the legacy of providing emergency services in wilderness areas. This legacy started with organizations like St. John Ambulance, which was all volunteer. You’ll need to take a few courses, but once you’re out in the field– and we do mean actual fields– the satisfaction of helping to save lives has no equal. It’s not unusual for a wilderness instructor to pull in an annual salary of $31,980.
47. Wildland Firefighter
Bored with your desk job? Do you crave a touch of danger in your day-to-day routine? Consider becoming a wildland firefighter. Camaraderie is the name of the game in this smoking hot and exciting job. There are both seasonal and year-round opportunities in fire prevention and combat, so you need never be away from the rewarding and heroic job unless you choose to be. The median annual pay rate for a wildland firefighter is $48,440.
48. Wind Turbine Technician
Are you mechanically inclined and love the environment? Do you love tinkering with modern machinery and seeing what makes it tick? The main part of the job involves troubleshooting and routine inspections for the turbines which harvest that wonderful natural resource known as wind power. Entering the field of environmentally friendly energy sources is a breeze when you become a wind turbine technician. A median salary starting at $52,260 a year will blow you away.
49. Framer / Mason / Roofer
Activate your craftsman side by becoming a mason, framer, or roofer. Top to bottom, these are the most essential parts of building a new home. Framers provide the solid bones of a house to be built upon by others. Masons handle brick and tile projects inside and out. Roofers work at dizzying heights, but if you’re up for it, the view from above is amazing! Masons average $47,950 per year, framers $31,579, and roofers $37,760.
A surveyor’s job is to determine the boundaries between properties by meticulously taking measurements of land, airspace, and bodies of water. They also measure sites for roadways and areas where a building is to be put in order to establish uniformity of boundaries. The data provided by a surveyor is used for legal documentation of properties. A surveyor can earn an average yearly intake of $52,000 including bonuses and overtime pay, and based on experience.