Does the idea of long hours in a cubicle or office sound like a waste of time? Would you rather get your hands dirty in the field than write reports? Do you like to camp, fish, hunt, or simply spend time in a diverse variety of outdoor climates? There are many careers that pay you to leave the office life behind and go the way of the trail, river or wetlands. Here is a look at some great outdoor career options:
A range manager or range conservationist is a conservation scientist who protects grasslands, wetlands and natural woodlands. These managers help ranchers use their grasslands in the most effective manner, so to preserve as much natural land as possible, and keep the ecosystem stable by the analyzing of soil and vegetation.
College students who are interested in a career as a range conservationist should take classes in biology, botany and soil science, as well as livestock management. The mean income in this profession is around $63,000 a year. While this job lands in the private sector, the skills you acquire in the pursuit of this job are valuable for anyone who seeks to live in the country and own land and farm, as well.
Hunting outfitters or guides are typically those who have an interest in habitat, zoology, biology and even botany. However, many of the skills you need as a hunting guide you can acquire in your free time.
First, check with your local wildlife agency. States and even counties have different restrictions and requirements for those who seek a guide license. If you don’t have extensive hunting experience, this is your next step. Plan a plethora of hunting excursions with friends on the weekends or days off from class. Once you have your guide permit and experience, you can either look for a hunting outfitter that hires, or offer your own tours. If you start your own hunting guided tours, you’ll need all the equipment for day and overnight excursions. Cabela’s has what you’ll need to get your outfitter running.
While most hunting guides make around $11,000 their first season, payscale.com finds hunting guides medium income around $20,000 a year, and as this is a seasonal job, most guides have side jobs in the off season.
Park rangers are not only the keepers of state and national parks, they’re also law enforcement. While there isn’t one specific major required to become a park ranger, there are some that give you a head start in the process. These include park and recreation management, environmental science, biological sciences and many more. The National Park Service also requires at least 24 credit hours in a variety of subjects like archaeology, anthropology, social sciences, or museum sciences or others.
Students can also get a head start if they are interested in a park ranger position by applying to part time, summer jobs or volunteer positions in state and national parks. The average income for a park ranger is around $33,000 a year, though with more experience there is room for negotiation.