Nine high-paying outdoor jobs
Not everyone loves being in an office or other indoor work environment all day long. Some people are just more outdoorsy, which is definitely not a bad character trait, since we all know that sitting all day is killing us, right?
What can you do for a living if you want to be out in the fresh air all day? Take your pick.
Here are nine jobs that pay well and that allow you lots of time in the open air. All the job descriptions and salaries, unless otherwise noted, are from eco.ca.
Forester: “Foresters apply scientific expertise to land and natural resource management and are responsible for implementing and supervising natural resource programs in forestry and land use.” A forester may work in a national park or wooded area, or in an urban setting managing trees and small forested areas in cities. Foresters work in many settings including outdoors and in labs. Forestry usually requires at least an undergraduate degree in an area such as forestry, ecology, or environmental studies.
Salary: $32,000 – $90,000
Wildlife biologist: “Wildlife biologists maintain and conserve Canada’s wildlife populations.” They study these populations and examine factors that affect them and their related ecosystems, such as disease, nutrition, habitat relationships, population dynamics, environmental change, and land use decisions. A wildlife biologist works both in the field and in offices and labs, and might work for a variety of employers like governments, environmental and engineering consulting firms, zoos, universities or research institutes, or zoos. The job requires an undergraduate degree or higher in a program like wildlife biology, zoology, or conservation biology.
Salary: $33,000 – $78,500
(Related Careers include marine biology, wetland biology, ornithology [similar job with birds], entomology [similar job with bugs], and zoology.)
Geographer: “A geographer is a scholar whose area of study is geography, the study of Earth’s natural environment and human society,” says Wikipedia. A geographer might work in the field, in an office, or in a lab, for a variety of employers such as government, universities or research institutes, cartography labs, computer mapping companies, or museums. An undergraduate degree is the minimum requirement in an area such as geography, environmental science, or environmental planning.
Salary: $35,000 – $80,000
(Related careers include cartographer)
Construction manager: A construction manager’s job is to oversee construction projects, including “planning, directing, and coordinating activity on construction sites, overseeing project design, hiring and supervising workers, choosing contractors, and monitoring supplies. They are also responsible for preparing budgets and estimates, reporting progress to clients, and complying with legal requirements,” says study.com. An employer might require you to have a bachelor’s degree in a field like building science or civil engineering and relevant work experience.
Salary: $41,600 – $125,000 (via Job Bank)
Oceanographer: Oceanographers “apply biological, chemical, physical, and geological principles to the study of the world’s oceans.” An oceanographer works in the field, office, and lab, and might be employed by the government, a university or research institute, a marine transport company, or port and harbour authority. A graduate degree is usually required in an area like oceanography, marine biology, or aquatic biology.
Salary: $44,000 – $78,000 per year.
Outdoor adventure guide: Outdoor adventure guides organize and lead expeditions for tourists and adventure seekers. They might take clients white water rafting, fishing, hunting, mountain climbing, heli-skiing, base jumping, or caving. The guide might work for an adventure tourist company, a resort, or park, or for themselves. Requirements, according to Discover Tourism might include being in great shape, knowing the terrain, ability and or a license in whatever sport your offering (obviously), first aid and CPR, and good people skills.
Salary: $50 – $150 or $30,000 – $60,000 with experience (via Job Monkey)
(Not one of the highest paying jobs, we admit, but if this is the sort of thing you love the experience will make up for it.)
Park warden or ranger: “Park wardens are responsible for implementing natural resource management, public safety, and law enforcement programs within Canada’s national parks system. They are involved in a variety of activities, including assisting scientists with research, monitoring wildlife, capturing and relocating animals when necessary, making public presentations, liaising with visitors, and providing first aid and search and rescue support.” A park warden works in the field and in an office for a national park or federal agency. A technical diploma is usually required in a subject like renewable resource management. One might also need to pass a criminal record check and a physical fitness exam, and take weapons or law enforcement training.
Salary: $38,800 – $80,000 (via Job Bank)
Landscape architect: Landscape architects plan and oversee the design and construction of open spaces. The might work as members of multidisciplinary teams, “for example with planners, ecologists, and engineers, on projects that can range from designing residential yards and parks to constructing wetlands to treating polluted runoff from former industrial sites.” Landscape architects work in the field and in offices for architecture firms, governments, construction firms, and NGOs, among other employers. This job requires at least an undergraduate degree in landscape architecture or a related area like environmental design, architecture, or environmental planning.
Salary: $20,800 – $103,000 (via Job Bank)
Tree planter: A common summer job for young people, a tree planter plants seedlings in areas that need reforesting, employed by the government, parks, or private tree planting companies. Traditionally they stay in camps and get paid by the tree. While this isn’t one of the better paying jobs on the list, a tree planter can earn a good income for a college kid working towards a degree. Eco.ca claims that a high school diploma is required for this job but that seems unlikely and this forum suggests it’s not actually the case.
A tree planter can earn up to $7,000 a summer.