5 Unique Outdoor Jobs

5 Unique Outdoor JobsIf you’re read­ing this, you’re prob­a­bly a pret­ty ded­i­cat­ed out­doors enthu­si­ast. No doubt, you’ve enter­tained the idea of try­ing to work toward get­ting a full-time job in the field. After all, what bet­ter lifestyle than one that allows you to make mon­ey doing what you love so that you can spend that money…doing exact­ly the same thing? Obvi­ous routes are that of vying for a much sought-after park ranger job or putting your pow­der skills to good use by becom­ing a ski instruc­tor, but there are oth­er careers out there for out­doorsy folks. With a lit­tle research, some expe­ri­ence, and some­times a bit of train­ing and edu­ca­tion, you can find just the right gig to suit your pas­sions (and make some decent cash to boot). Here are a few examples.

Wildlife Reha­bil­i­ta­tor
Have a soft spot for ani­mals? Not nec­es­sar­i­ly will­ing to relo­cate? You might look into being a Wildlife Reha­bil­i­ta­tor. Depend­ing on the state in which you reside, you can be licensed with just some quick (but thor­ough) train­ing. In many states that aren’t hubs for out­door tourism, licensed Wildlife Reha­bil­i­ta­tors can be few and far between, and in many cas­es, the state enti­ty in charge of parks, refuges, etc. will call upon them for assistance.

Out­door Youth Coun­selor
This job offers the best of many worlds. It can be a great blend of park ranger, tour guide, teacher, and guid­ance coun­selor. There are a mul­ti­tude of both pri­vate and gov­ern­ment pro­grams that offer posi­tions to expe­ri­enced out­doors­men and women to lead groups of at-risk, trou­bled, or just inter­est­ed chil­dren on expe­di­tions in the great out­doors to help them learn about respect, strength, self-reliance, and nature (obvi­ous­ly).

Wild­lands Fire­fight­er
This one is going to require a pret­ty big amount of train­ing, as it can be extreme­ly dan­ger­ous. You also must be pre­pared to trav­el quite a bit and get ready to work extreme­ly long, hot hours. How­ev­er, you will most like­ly be paid pret­ty hand­some­ly for it. Many state and fed­er­al Forestry and Parks employ­ees get their “Red Cards,” which means that they are cer­ti­fied to help with wild­fires when need­ed, so this can also serve as a sec­ondary source of income. You will need to be in above aver­age phys­i­cal shape and be extreme­ly adept with a chain­saw and oth­er machin­ery. Your best bet is to search USAjobs.gov or con­tact your state Forestry depart­ment for class sched­ules and train­ing requirements.

Adven­ture Guide
If you have a spe­cif­ic region­al exper­tise, being some form of an Adven­ture Guide might be right up your alley. Whether it involves lead­ing fish­ing trips in the Great Lakes, hikes through the South­west, White­wa­ter Raft­ing trips in the Appalachi­ans, or wher­ev­er your cre­ative out­door mind can take you, this career can be one of the most fun, reward­ing jobs in the world. It also offers you the oppor­tu­ni­ty to be an entre­pre­neur and/or your own boss. You’ll need to have not only the afore­men­tioned exper­tise and train­ing, but also an eye for busi­ness, a per­son­able air about you, and a great sense of per­son­al respon­si­bil­i­ty for those left in your care.

Writer/Blogger/Amateur Nat­u­ral­ist
Although this career route most def­i­nite­ly offers the great­est amount of per­son­al free­dom, you will most like­ly be doing it as an “on-the-side” gig, at least to begin with. The pay is most­ly depen­dent upon your tal­ent and pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, and you will need a good amount of dri­ve and a keen sense for net­work­ing, not to men­tion to obvi­ous cre­ative skills need­ed for such an endeavor.