Your Guide to Outdoor Careers Where You Can Work in Nature

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Oct 3, 2018

Oct 3, 2018 • by Rebecca Smith

You're sitting in a cubicle, computer in front of you. Eight hours a day sitting at a desk indoors.

Does this sound miserable to you?

You're in luck, nearly half of all jobs in the United States are outdoor careers. The trick is finding one in the right industry doing what you love in nature.

Not sure what outside jobs are available to you? Then you need to keep reading our guide to working in nature.

Is One of These Outdoor Careers for You?

You should consider jobs in the outdoors if you like to be on your feet and active. You should value having a connection with nature.

Archaeologist

Do you enjoy learning about different cultures and their history? Careers in archaeology let you put your passion to work with digs exhuming civilizations.

What You Would Be Doing

You'll be doing more than digging in the dirt. You will analyze the information and collected data.

You could work with schools and foundations for research projects. Businesses or organizations may hire you to consult in preservation efforts. You could manage collections of artifacts for display.

Jobs You Could Have

If this sounds like the career for you then look for a position as a physical or biological archaeologist. If you're alright with being indoors some of the time, then you could be a college professor or museum conservator.

Education You Need

Most of the people who have careers in this field have a master's degree in archaeology. If you want to work abroad, you should have a Ph.D. Most foreign governments will require it for you to get clearance.

Landscape Architect

If your favorite place is a local garden or park, then the best outdoor jobs for you are in the landscape architect field. You could work with everyone from private homeowners, to businesses, to government entities.

This job lets you be outside in nature while creating beautiful spaces for others to enjoy. You'll work with a variety of vegetation including bushes, flowers, and trees.

What You Would Be Doing

You will work with clients to create beautiful outdoor spaces. You could work with this company to create a custom koi pond to complement a garden space.

There's some science involved when it comes to reviewing environmental reports and requirements. You will need to maintain an expert level of knowledge when it comes to tools and vegetation.

Jobs You Could Have

You could have a position as a groundskeeper, environmental scientist, or landscape architect. There is also the possibility of becoming an urban or regional planner.

If you enjoy nature but are not a people person, then you should consider being an environmental economist. This position is perfect for introverts as your job will focus on research and writing.

Education You Need

You can start your career in this field with a high school diploma. To further your career and become licensed you will need a bachelor's degree.

Marine Biologist

If marine life gets you excited, then you should consider a job as a marine biologist. You will be working with plant and animal life that live in the water. You could conduct research and conservation efforts in lakes, rivers, and oceans.

What You Would Be Doing

You will conduct research projects and tag wildlife. If you work for an aquarium, you'll foster healthy animal life in captivity.

Jobs You Could Have

The positions that you should look for are a marine biologist, oceanographer, fisher, or geoscientist.

Education You Need

You can find a career at almost any education level. But, the more education you have, the more prestigious your career will be.

A bachelor's degree will get you an entry-level position. A master's degree will get you into teaching and research positions. You will need a Ph.D. for distinguished research positions.

Outdoor Guide

These outside jobs let you combine your love of the outdoors with your passion for working with people. If you enjoy activities like kayaking, camping, or hiking, this is the career for you.

If you enjoy extreme adventure you can take your passion to the next level. Get paid to go rock climbing, skydiving, or mountain biking.

What You Would Be Doing

You will organize activities and guide others in their exploration of nature. You'll need to make sure safety procedures get followed.

A big part of the job is educating visitors on the nature surrounding them. Having top-notch communication skills will be helpful in this role.

Jobs You Could Have

Look for positions like resort manager or travel guide. These positions will have you working in the travel industry.

Your other option is to look for a park ranger or recreation leader position. These are more localized positions.

Education You Need

Many of the jobs in this industry only need a high school diploma. You will benefit more from experience and getting certified on specific topics.

Surveyor

If you're a whiz at math but love the outdoors, then combine the two and become a surveyor. No two days are the same as your work location is always changing.

What You Would Be Doing

You can expect to measure and chart pieces of property. You'll need to research the land records for previous boundaries and title records.

You will use your measurements and research to create reports for legal documentation. It is also important that you continue your education, so you're knowledgeable of the latest zoning and land use laws.

Jobs You Could Have

Look for positions such as a surveyor, cartographer, or mapping technician. All these positions will have you getting outdoors and looking at the land.

Education You Need

This industry has embraced technology so to be successful you'll need a bachelor's degree. Plan to get licensed after working in the field for a few years.

Get a Career You Actually Enjoy

The changing of the seasons and working with all kinds of people should sound appealing to you. Outdoor jobs bring the opportunity to have a different challenge every day.

If you love the outdoors and history then a career in archeology may be for you. A surveyor position could be right if your interests are math and the outdoors.

A career in marine biology will be a perfect fit if aquatic life holds your interest. Finally, if you like the outdoors and are a people person, then you should look into being an outdoor guide.

Check out our career blog for more advice on landing your dream job.