7 Outdoor Careers to Investigate if Your Dream is to Work in Nature

People seeking viable outdoor careers have so many opportunities in front of them! So many industries have an outdoor element, and some require extended time in nature to exist at all. So if you want to lead a life full of time working outside, you most certainly can. 
The average North American expects to spend 90,000 hours in paid labor during their lifetime. It may be disheartening to think of spending that much time at a desk. If that’s you, we hope this list of jobs in nature serves as a springboard to get you started down your ideal career path


The work of an arborist and a forester may seem like the same thing, but they aren’t. Put simply, an arborist works with individual trees while a forester takes responsibility for groups of trees. Often this leads to arborists working in residential areas and foresters working in city, state, or national parks. 
For both positions, it’s important that potential candidates desire lots of time outside, regardless of the weather. These people spend their days safeguarding the oxygen factories of our planet. They’re healers and nurturers at heart. 
Learn more about a career in forestry HERE.

Truck Driver

Okay, so maybe you don’t really consider this an “outdoor” job. You are, after all, spending long stretches of time in the cab of a truck. 
But imagine rolling down the window, letting the wind rush by your fingers, and smelling all the smells of the countryside as you drive from coast to coast. You get to see a variety of terrain and visit new cities. That counts as outdoor adventure… right?
Learn more about a career as a truck driver HERE.

Animal Rescuer

Some people are able to blend their love for animals with the need for paying the bills by working for non-profits that focus on rescue and rehabilitation efforts. It may not be the most lucrative career choice, but it may be the most rewarding.
Volunteering with animal rescues like Save A Forgotten Equine, Animal Rescue of the Rockies, Marine Mammals of Maine, or a similar organization can give you a good idea if this career path is what you want to pursue. It could even lead to an employee position as you gain experience and prove your worth.

Farmer or Rancher

So many different types of farming and ranching jobs are out there. You can get into animals and spend your days in a barn or pasture. Or you can choose the plant route and enjoy propagation, fertilization, nurture, and harvest seasons. At most farms, you’ll get a healthy mix of both! 
It may seem impossible to just ‘get started’ in something like farming. But you don’t have to have a hundred acres to start a career in this field. All you need is proximity to a farmer who needs help, some physical strength, and a whole lot of ‘can-do’ attitude! 
Learn more about a career in farming HERE

Adventure Guide

Experience-driven tourism has exploded in recent years. People don’t want to just visit new places… they want to experience new adventures. That’s where guides come in. It takes a lot of preparation and thought to go from city living to backcountry camping!
People who already love adventuring in the outdoors can make great guides, especially if they enjoy helping others learn. Whatever their outdoor activity specialty is, there’s a market and a need for guides. 
Learn more about guiding HERE.


If you’re naturally geared towards math, formulas, and technology, surveying may be an excellent way to merge these things with a love for the outdoors. And if you’re wanting your career to benefit the earth and society, you can make choices about who you work for to further your own passions.  
Your days will be a mix of office time and field time as a surveyor with the blend depending largely on the type of surveying you choose to pursue and who you decide to work for.
Learn more about a career in surveying HERE.

Park Ranger

All over the country, there are park rangers working hard to ensure visitors, wildlife, and the parks themselves are safe. If you are a protector by nature, being a protector OF nature and IN nature may be a good role for you! 
Your days could be spent maintaining trails, monitoring wildlife activity, fighting brush fires, or interacting with tourists. But yes… you could also spend time at a desk entering reports and chasing funding.
You can read a first-person take on being a park ranger HERE.  
Members of our community have been sharing their own stories. You can read the first one HERE.
Whatever your skill set, passion, and location, you should be able to find a position that hits your perfect bullseye! Have you already found it? We’d love to hear about it in the comment section!