Many of us can relate to one another in that we love the great outdoors. Countless studies have shown that being outside improves our health because it increases Vitamin D levels, makes us exercise, and increases our overall happiness. From leisurely biking to sports, hunting, and fishing, plenty of outdoor industries offer fun, enjoyable employment for many people that helps keep these industries afloat. There is undoubtedly a vast spread of options when it comes to outdoor industry jobs, and below are 16 that you will love.
1. Tour/Adventure Guide Jobs
What’s better than going on a great outdoor adventure or tour? How about guiding them! A career as a tour guide can be extremely rewarding, as you are able to provide guests with fantastic, memorable experiences every single day. Whether it’s kayaking, climbing huge mountains, fly fishing, walking carefully through caves, running alongside rivers, or just giving groups tours of the surrounding nature, being an adventure guide never gets old. And chances are you’ll get to live in the mountains as well!
2. Park Ranger Jobs
Entities such as the National Park Service have been employing park rangers for decades. Park rangers get to experience all of the ins and outs of the great outdoors including interacting with other people who love it, too. Park rangers normally patrol the park grounds and instruct visitors on proper safety procedures as well as give citations (when necessary) and assist in search and rescue efforts. Many rangers also have the opportunity to give tours and instructional presentations.
3. Environmentalist Jobs
If you like science and you like being outdoors, working as an environmentalist might be a great option for you. There are many different sectors that environmentalists can work in, which include natural resources, habitats, ecosystem studies, and more. Environmentalists normally submit research proposals and request grants for projects that will study the ways science can help humans live better without destroying the Earth and its resources. This may include testing water for pollution, studying the habitats of various wildlife, and working to create eco-friendly policies and procedures.
4. Geologist/Geoscientist Jobs
Similar to an environmentalist, geologists and geoscientists study the Earth, its resources, and the atmosphere. There are many niches within geology/geoscience including seismology, mineral studies, soil analysis, geochemistry, and more. This profession is a great one because you would get to study the Earth as well as find ways and recommendations as to how to make it better for both humans and animals.
5. Archaeology Jobs
Who doesn’t love digging for fossils? As an archaeologist, you would discover dated evidence that humans and animals have left behind and analyze them to learn about the world’s history. This includes not only bones but also paintings, pottery, tools, cooking devices, and more. Archaeologists “dig” for archaeological remains, study their findings, clean and restore the located artifacts, and then work to preserve the artifacts for the future. Depending on the specific job, you may conduct computer simulations or laboratory tests on located artifacts that can help identify the findings and how they tie into history. Of course, many archaeologists may also choose to work for museums or other heritage/history centers.
6. Arborist Jobs
Most people climb trees for fun, but did you know people do it for work, too? Arborists work hard to study and maintain trees, which involves climbing them and assessing their health as well as ensuring they are not causing issues such as interference with power lines. They also trim trees, spray pesticides where needed, identify tree health issues (e.g. fungi), and remove trees/bushes if necessary.
7. Beekeeping Jobs
While much of the population is terrified of bees, a select set of people are instead fascinated by them and choose to work with them on a daily basis. Also called “apiarists,” beekeepers care for honeybees that assist us in crop pollination and, of course, honey production! Beekeepers wear the fully-covered outfit while they assemble beehives to precise specifications and insert honeycombs to attract bees. They also destroy bee colonies that may be diseased and cultivate queen bees to give to other beekeepers.
8. Firefighting Jobs
While being a firefighter is a tough and emotional gig, it can also be extremely rewarding. It doesn’t get much more “outdoors” than hiking and trekking through mud and debris to slowly extinguish a wildlife fire spanning dozens of acres. Firefighters enjoy strong relationships with their crews as they work together to safeguard the citizens they work to protect. Of course, firefighters do much more than just fight fires; instead, they also do other challenging tasks like mitigate chemical spills and test/repair equipment.
9. Lifeguard Jobs
Depending on where you live, lifeguarding may not be a year-round possibility, but it certainly is a nice gig while the beaches and pools are open. Lifeguards get to supervise swimmers and guests and notify them of proper safety guidelines as well as administer first aid to those in distress or danger. Indoor lifeguards also normally conduct water tests such as chlorine checks and some also teach swimming lessons to aquatic newbies.
10. Marine Biologist and Related Jobs
Do you love the amazing, vast expanse of the ocean? If so, a career in marine biology or something similar may be right for you. Marine biologists study oceans as well as the organisms that live within them. This includes the behavior of ocean species and the way they interact with the environment and are impacted by it. It also includes studying how fish are impacted by human behavior, both in positive and negative ways. Other terms for this job might be fish biologist, aquatic biologist, or conservation biologist.
11. Farming Jobs
Perhaps the most obvious outdoor job would be a farming one! Although farmers tend to have very long days in the field, many of them love it and wouldn’t ever want to change careers. Farming is a very rewarding and fun job, as you have the chance to be outside and grow/plant/create whatever you want. It is undeniably incredible to watch how food and plants can grow from something tiny (e.g. a seed) and, if you play your cards right, you might be able to start your own farming business someday.
12. Mechanic and Repair Jobs
Outdoor gear is great, but what happens when it breaks? It needs to be fixed! Mechanic and repair professionals are critical to all parts of the outdoor industry, from simple bike maintenance to motorboat engine repairs or replacement. A very popular related job is that of a power equipment mechanic, who works on everything from small chainsaws to massive engines in bulldozers and similar equipment.
13. Retail Jobs
If you love the outdoors but also enjoy air conditioning, working a retail job might be a great fit for you. Chain stores like Bass Pro Shops and REI along with smaller local shops are oftentimes hiring sales associates and managers. Working retail means you get to see new inventory as it comes in, help customers choose which products are right for their needs, and oftentimes even choose which section you want to work in (e.g. camping, sports, apparel, etc.).
14. Sales Jobs
As with any industry, sales are very important, and there are plenty of sales jobs when it comes to the outdoors. As a salesperson, you would bring products to stores and other companies while also organizing and reporting critical sales data. Depending on the specific position, you may also have the opportunity to bring your brand to trade shows and/or gain clients via phone, email, and in-person communication. One of the best parts of sales is that you can oftentimes choose a specific item or category of items that you want to sell (e.g. athletic shoes, fishing rods, emergency kits, etc.)
15. Marketing Jobs
Similar to sales, marketing is another very critical component of the outdoor industry. If a company or brand doesn’t market, how will people know about it? As a marketing manager, you would oversee your company’s marketing budget and come up with effective communications that could be distributed to consumers. Depending on the product, you might determine who your target consumer is for a specific product (e.g. a revolutionary helmet to baseball players) and work with the creative team to organize marketing events and solutions for them.
16. Stocking/Warehouse Jobs
Collaborating with others to coordinate a warehouse and inventory can be extremely rewarding and fun. Not only would you be the first to see new inventory and updated makes and models of merchandise, but you would be able to interact with the sales team and be taught the ins and outs of the products. These jobs are a great place to make friends and network, too, as you would likely work with many other people like vendors, suppliers, purchasing managers, and more.
As you can tell, there is a huge spread of options available to you when you are deciding what mountain careers might be best for you. Many outdoor industry jobs pay well and can improve your health and well-being, so you can’t go wrong finding the one that suits you well. The jobs outlined above are just a select few examples of what you can do with your future – and most are better than sitting in an office all day!