Its a beautiful thing when a passion and a career come together. So what’s yours?
A lot of us spend day after day stuck inside a building doing mundane jobs. The whole time we daydream of being in the outdoors doing what we love.
Most of those dreams will stay just that, a dream. But here are a few ways you could quit a job you don’t like and get a career in the outdoors.
1. Officer for a state Department of Fish and Wildlife
These are definitely one of the most sought-after jobs in the outdoor world. You get all kinds of cool toys to use, all your time is spent outdoors, your get to go after those who make other outdoorsman look bad, and a million more reasons.
In most places, to become a officer for Fish and Wildlife departments you must complete two years of college, four years military, or previous law enforcement experience. Then you must complete the training process of a police academy and conservation training for whatever state you apply.
These jobs start at around $40,000 a year and offer great benefits. The downside is you are enforcing laws, dealing with wild animals, and going after poachers. There is a considerable safety risk to consider when thinking of a career in this field.
2. Park or Forest Ranger
There are thousands of national, state, and county parks across the country. All of them have some form of park ranger. People wanting to go into this career need to have great knowledge of the outdoors as well as good people skills.
You will deal with park guests on a daily basis, making sure they are safe and following all park rules. This could include search and rescue if a guest gets lost or seriously injured while visiting the area. Other parts of the job include making sure the park is maintained. This could include clearing trails, maintaining campsites, landscaping, and more.
The criteria to become a park ranger is two to four years of college depending on the job you want, and some require experience through volunteering. Park rangers make between $20,000 and $40,000 per year.
3. Outdoor Adventure Guide
This is another largely sought-after job. The best part of being a guide is that it is something you can start on your own. However, it’s not as easy as you might think. Becoming as successful outdoor guide requires a lot of experience in the area you want to guide in, a good reputation, certifications, and permits.
First comes the experience and reputation building. Second, most states require you to attend and be certified in Wilderness First Aid, but most professionals are qualified Wilderness First Responders. You can take these classes at places like The Wilderness Medicine Institute.
Third, you must have certifications for the specific area you will be a leader in, such as hunting, fishing, rock climbing, hiking, backpacking, etc. Sounds like a lot of time and money, huh? It takes roughly a year to complete everything required and costs around $5,000, not counting insurance and equipment, which is something else you will need.
Guides make on average $75- $150 a day and average $30,000+ a year. Premium guides can make up to $500 a day, but it all depends on your experience level and what you are taking people out to do.
4. Wildlife Photographer
Have a love for photography and the outdoors? Turn it into a career choice. People pay good money for amazing photos of animals in the wild. Start a small online store to sell them as posters, copyright the images to sell for others to use online, or sell them to outdoor magazines.
The possibilities are endless on ways to profit from your photos. Your only start-up costs would be a good HD camera, computer for photo editing, software, and possibly online store setup. Create a blog or portfolio to submit to possible clients or businesses for credibility.
On average, most freelance photographers make around $36,000 a year. Your income depends on who, what, when, and where you are photographing. In more dangerous, hard-to-reach places, photographing large predators or the like, you could be paid more for the risk involved.
5. Outdoor Writer
This obviously is my favorite choice for a career in the outdoors, but I’m biased. Being an freelance writer allows you freedom to work with a lot of people in many places. It also allows you to share your knowledge, news, and more for the entire world to see.
To see if it’s for you, first ask yourself what do you have to say, and would someone want to read it? If the answer is yes, then move onto starting a blog. Writing for your own blog gives you some credibility when you apply for writing jobs or try to send pieces to magazines to be published.
Freelance writers average income is $23,000- $100,000+ a year. Know that writing takes a lot of research, self-editing, discipline, and more. The best part is you can do it from anywhere in the world.
These are just a few ways to turn your love for the outdoors into a career. Do some research and if it is something you are truly passionate about you will make it happen.