10 Outdoor Careers Guaranteed to be Your Dream Job
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Whether for a non-profit or other type of organization—or on the state and federal level—environmentalists celebrate their love for the outdoors every day at work by protecting the resources in which they love to play.
But becoming an environmentalist can come in many shapes and sizes. Lawyers, fundraisers or grant writers, researchers, lobbyists...the list goes on.
9. Landscape Architect/Urban Planner
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With businesses going green, enviro-moral professional planners and architects interested in the outdoors and preserving resources are in demand. These jobs are challenging and require some brain-power—but the paychecks are big and sense of moral accomplishment even greater.
8. Wildland Firefighter
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This is a hardcore job. Think mud runs and obstacle course racing—but for real. Professional firefighting careers on wildland fire crews and Interagency Hotshot Crews are coveted and hard to land, though. Hike into burning fire, intense heat and high altitudes carrying a lot of weight—the job is to fight fires where cars and machines can't go.
7. Geologist or Geoscientist
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Investigate the Earth—soils, oceans, atmosphere—and its history. Geologists can forecast the weather, work in land-use and planning, problem-solve for our resources, or explore extra-terrestrial spheres and other solar systems. The great outdoors is your lab. Some specialties: mineralogy, petrology, structural geology, geochemistry, geophysics and seismology. Traditionally, this job hasn't quite been associated with a hefty paycheck. Still, as we propel further into our limited resources, geologists and geoscientists become the caretakers of our planet—and more and more valuable every day.
6. Marine Biologist
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A love for the ocean is a must. Not many people ever really become a straight-up "Marine Biologist"—but they do exist. Become a technician, ichthyologist, fishery biologist, marine mammalogist at a fishery, researcher or at aquariums or zoos.
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You obviously need a green thumb to work in agriculture or on a vineyard. But your setting is rural, peaceful and beautiful, with the opportunity to be outside all the time, working with the earth, making things grow. What's more, with some land, resources and capital, you can start your own business.
4. Park/Forest Ranger
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Working as a national or state park ranger allows you to live and play in the most scenic places in the world. Whether you prefer a mountain, coastal, desert, lakeshore, glacier or wilderness existence, the world is literally your oyster when you choose this path.
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It's more or less a seasonal job—unless, of course, you're an ultimate waterwoman/man and you score a job as a North Shore Hawaii lifeguard or somewhere else, in an endless summer. If you do manage to land a lifeguarding job, expect tons of human interaction and to you know, just save a couple lives... Plus, it's fun; you'll have access to some pretty cool toys like jetskis, boats and paddleboards. Not a bad gig with an outdoor, waterfront office every day.
2. Adventure Tour Guide
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Take groups river running, up the face of an Alaskan glacier, Half Dome in Yosemite or on a wilderness expedition. Outdoor program leaders can lead courses for kids and adults in wilderness and desert backpacking, canoeing, sea kayaking, rock climbing, sailing—even dogsledding.
1. Surf/Ski/Snowboard Instructor
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Well, duh. Teach people to play for work. Live in a vacation destination. How's that sound? The downside is, these jobs are somewhat seasonal and, if you're an avid surfer, skier or snowboarder, you're spending a majority of your time in the water or on the mountain giving lessons. Still, the upsides barely need an explanation.