With summer in full swing, sitting in a cubicle all day can feel like you’ve been banished to an especially dark corner of Hades. Here are some jobs that get you out in the sun.
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With summer in full swing, sitting in a florescent-lit cubicle all day can feel like you’ve been banished to an especially dark corner of Hades. So if you’re feeling the sunshine blues, you might consider ditching Desk Job Nation to head for a career in the great outdoors.
Outdoor jobs offer incredible perks: beautiful natural settings, physical activity and lots of fresh air. But these awesome benefits are often paired with major drawbacks: tough competition, dangerous environments and teeny tiny paychecks.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t combine your passion for the great outdoors with a lucrative career path. Here are 15 jobs that get you out of the office and boost your earnings:
As a botanist, you study the wide world of plants by collecting specimens from nature, conducting research in greenhouses and examining flora in your lab.
Average salary range: $34,000 – $102,000
2. Park Naturalist
As an expert on the environment, you lead walks, discussions and classes to teach people about the small piece of Mother Nature that’s in your park.
Average salary range: $36,000 – $89,000
3. Environmental Engineer
In this role, you perform outdoor fieldwork and indoor research to develop engineering solutions to ecological problems.
Average salary range: $49,000 – $119,000
4. Turf Manager
Working at the intersection of sports and agriculture, you’re the one out and about getting grass fields ready to go for the big game.
Average salary range: $27,000 – $68,000
You can enjoy plenty of fieldwork under the big blue sky as you unlock the secrets of the earth by studying its history and physical structure.
Average salary range: $44,000 – $161,000
6. Athletic Trainer
Swap a cubical for a sports field as you help prevent injuries during practice or help pro athletes heal when they’re in pain.
Average salary range: $26,000 – $64,000
For this in-demand job, you spend your days in the treetops, helping leafy giants by removing limbs that are diseased, dead or knocking down power lines.
Average salary range: $20,000 – $48,000
8. Wildlife Rehabilitator
Stay on your toes and out of a traditional office while caring for injured animals before releasing them back into the wild.
Average salary range: $21,000 – $44,000
9. Construction Manager
Running the day-to-day action on a construction site keeps you exposed to the elements (both good and bad!) from 9 to 5.
Average salary range: $50,000 – $150,000
10. Commercial Diver
Exchange your button-downs and briefcase for a wetsuit and scuba mask to make underwater repairs, perform research or uncover waterlogged evidence.
Average salary range: $32,000 – $90,000
11. Forest Firefighter
Only you can prevent forest fires. No really, it’s true: in this job, you battle fires to keep humans and nature safe from wayward flames. It’s tough, but it’s not a desk job.
Average salary range: $23,000 – $75,000
Creating precise records of a land area’s measurements means you’re out under the wide-open sky all day long.
Average salary range: $31,000 – $90,000
To study past cultures, you uncover ancient relics at outdoor archaeological digs or underwater excavation sites.
Average salary range: $31,000 – $89,000
14. Landscape Architect
Enjoy the fresh air as you design the location of pathways, trees and green spaces around buildings.
Average salary range: $37,000 – $102,000
15. Vineyard Manager
Trade in the water cooler for a bottle of wine as you oversee the process of growing grapes and turning it into vino fit for the gods.
Average salary range: $29,000 – $107,000
What’s your top pick for best outdoor job?
All salary data is from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Annie Favreau works for Inside Jobs, a site that helps people discover careers they’ll love and find the education to make it happen. Join the conversation on Twitter at @InsideJobs!