Love the outdoors but wasting away in an office? Check out these you-beaut outdoor jobs that’ll have you chasing fresh air instead of paper clips.
1. Adventure Guide
If you’d rather your 11am was getting dunked in a waterfall and the only kind of suit you’re interested in has “wet” in front of it, take a look at adventure guiding! Leading an inexperienced group down a canyon, through a challenging overnight hike, or even instructing surf and snow sports is no easy task. You’ll need specialist training, great leadership and communication skills and a level head if things go pear-shaped.
That being said, the work is all outdoors and the more experience you get, the more places you can go. Plus you’ll be opening people’s eyes daily to the wonders of their own backyard and challenging them to break out of their comfort zone, how rewarding is that!
2. Outdoor Educator
Remember that rad teacher who’d make any excuse to have a lesson on the grass outside? Be them, on steroids. There’s a massive range of jobs in outdoor education: you can be an adventure guide but with tiny humans with sponge-like brains for clients, or you can inspire the next generation of scientists and environmentalists on nature walks and rock platform visits.
If you totally nail it you can get a placement at a camp; the perfect home base for adventures on your days off. A passionate outdoor educator might be the reason you’re reading about outdoor jobs right now. For me, it was a dreadlocked bloke named Ranger Dave, but we called him Danger Rave. Cheers mate.
3. Park Ranger
For those among us that would rather their hump day involved hiking into a valley to cut up a fallen tree with a chainsaw, like some kind nature-loving walking dead extra, the park ranger role is calling.
Rangers in our National Parks deal with a massive variety of tasks but their roles fall into two main categories: conserving and managing places of natural, cultural and historic significance and managing and educating visitors like us. The job has bucketloads of outdoors time and works to protect our best wild places, making it very competitive. Study up on some Science or Ecology at University, volunteer for landcare or the Rural Fire Service and be prepared to take on interstate postings adventures to get the experience you need.
4. Scientific Researcher
You don’t always think of scientific researchers as gung ho adventurers but before they hit the lab they need to collect the data. And for biologists, ecologists, geologists and all the other “ologists”, that data is way out there. Fieldwork can see you exploring tropical islands, crawling into undocumented cave systems or climbing up the side of rumbling volcanoes.
Scientists are on the front line of environmental protection and their work is only going to become more important in the fight to protect our natural environment. Adventure and saving the planet? Not that nerdy if you ask me!
5. Outdoor Retail
We can’t all work in the wide open spaces, and some of us don’t want to clock-in to our adventures. The commitment to the above outdoor jobs might be a bit too much, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get involved in the outdoor industry or use it as a springboard into a career with an outdoor brand.
Working in an outdoor retail store gives you access to a huge range of gear at attractive staff prices, you can even pro-deal some gear to get it for less than the wholesale price. Tell your boss to keep your paycheck and leave work with a fresh rain jacket and tent for your next trip. Outdoor customers are generally pretty easy-going and you’ll spend half your day hearing about people’s next adventure. You’ll probably need to work on weekends, but the best secret spots are even better mid-week!
6. Adventure Sports Athlete
It doesn’t matter how obscure your sport is, there’s never been a better time than now to promote it. Train hard and grab a camera, there’s a reason they call it a “GoPro”. Chances are there are a lot less people out there doing your thing than there are hitting the sporting fields. And people are interested! Start a page, let companies know you use their gear and you might just wind up getting paid to run, climb, dive, or balance your way through the outdoors.
7. Digital Nomad
For thousands of years the Australian people lived a nomadic lifestyle, why stop now? With the advent of wireless technology, portable solar and free wi-fi there’s never been a better time to take your life and work on the road or across the seas. Living as a digital nomad is challenging and doesn’t work for every profession, but it’s a richly rewarding lifestyle choice that offers the freedom of endless travel. Shake up the status quo!