Best Outdoor Jobs without a Degree that Pay Well

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Do you know that there are great outside jobs that pay well even without a degree? Our guide will provide an extensive list of them—from the most adventurous job to outdoor part-time jobs to outdoor jobs for women. Rest assured that we curated the best outdoor jobs without a degree that suits the true outdoor enthusiasts, extroverts, travel aficionados, and adventure seekers.

What are the “Outside Jobs” or “Outdoor Jobs”?

Outside jobs or outdoor jobs are jobs that require you to perform roles outside of a closed space or office. The job description may involve some indoor work but that would be a low percentage of the entire process.

A good example of an outside job is outdoor photography which involves working in open spaces to take pictures, and only going indoors to edit and share your work.

Outdoor Jobs Examples

When the term “outside jobs” comes to mind; you can go further to think of people such as farmers, surveyors, zoologists, conservation scientists, tour guides, travel bloggers, masons, etc. These occupations include those that require a degree (e.g. zoologists) and those that don’t (e.g. travel bloggers).

Don’t forget that we mentioned outdoor photographers earlier—which doesn’t require a degree to earn you a lot of money. There are so many jobs for outdoor enthusiasts, but remember that we’re focused on the best outdoor jobs without a degree. Don’t worry, we’re getting to our long list of them.

For Whom Outdoor Jobs Are Suitable

A study showed that women rated jobs in consulting services, pharmaceutical industries, and public relations as the ones that get them the highest job satisfaction. Some of those occupations (especially the ones under consulting services) mostly involve indoor work.

Nonetheless, there’s a percentage of women that would prefer outdoor jobs that pay well (without a degree) over the indoor ones that give them more satisfaction. Keep in mind that this guide is for both male and female working individuals as we discuss the kind of people for whom outdoor jobs for women and men are suitable.

  1. Adventure Lovers
  2. Extroverts
  3. Nature Enthusiasts
  4. Travel Aficionados

1. Adventure Lovers

These are people who like to go on trips to various interesting locations while possibly trying to enjoy the side attractions that might be encountered on the way. Adventure lovers would take the most adventurous job that they can find. They prefer to adopt nature-related or travel-related occupations. Some of them engage in lifelong learning from mother nature.

For example; people that go for outdoor jobs that pay well without a degree such as travel bloggers, tour guides, conservation workers, geographers, cruise ship workers, etc.

2. Extroverts

Extroverts are outgoing, sociable people. They find pleasure in socializing in a physical or online environment and prefer to be in locations buzzing with various activities. Extroverts can be interested in the following:

  • Outdoor jobs that pay well (without a degree)
  • The most adventurous jobs they can find
  • Part-time outdoor jobs as an escape from their boring daily office jobs

For example; people that go for outdoor careers that pay well such as tour guides, campground workers, outdoor instructors, etc. Online jobs such as social media account management would interest them if we were to include indoor occupations in our discussion.

3. Nature Enthusiasts

These people like to be “one with nature” and relish being in the countryside or the wild. You’d find such people engaging in activities that are aimed at preserving the natural environment (e.g. forests, water bodies, ozone layer, etc.), wild animals, and plants.

Nature enthusiasts would take the most adventurous job they can find as long as it mostly involves being surrounded by nature, conserving it, studying it, etc. For example; outdoor careers that pay well such as wildlife commentary, forest and conservation work, commercial fishing, outdoor travel blogging, wildlife photography, etc.

4. Travel Aficionados

Travel aficionados would seek the most adventurous job they can find that can take them to various destinations all over the world. They always like to be on the go, but that doesn’t mean they won’t take their time to savor every moment of their stay in a particular location.

Examples of outdoor careers that pay well which travel aficionados may engage in include travel blogging, cruise ship work, travel photography, travel journalism, etc.

Outside Jobs Facts and Statistics

Let’s do this before getting to our long-awaited list of the best outdoor jobs without a degree. Here are a few outdoor jobs facts and figures that might interest you:

  • National parks get over 300 million visitors every year in the United States. This means that people like forest and conservation workers, park tour guides, and park rangers are always needed and busy on those sites.
  • Visitors spent more time in US national parks in 2017 than they did the previous year. This shows that national parks could see more visitors in future years.
  • Special events such as total solar eclipses bring more visitors to parks than other periods. Those that are interested in occupations that deal with nature may find this insightful in the sense that people show interest when significant natural events occur.
  • Outdoor recreation is a billion-dollar industry in the hundreds. It contributed close to $400 billion to the US economy in 2016 alone.

Take a look at the projected job growth from 2019 to 2026 for 7 kinds of high-paying outside jobs:

  1. Astronomers: 10%
  2. Conservation scientists: 8%
  3. Geographers: 7%
  4. Environmental engineers: 8%
  5. Environmental scientists: 11%
  6. Surveyors: 11%
  7. Wildlife biologists and zoologists: 8%

Best Outdoor Jobs without a Degree that Pay Well

If you like working outside, then these are the best career options for you.

1. Campground Worker

Workamping (work camping) is our first on the list of high-paying outdoor jobs and it’s a great occupation to consider. You can do cleaning work, RV guidance, food preparation, office work, and administrative/management duties in national parks, beaches, and so on. Some campground workers even get to stay at the site rent-free as part of the work benefits.

Eligibility for the job:  There is no required degree for this job; however, some employers may prefer candidates who have prior experience of similar work.

Market demand:  Campgrounds are not as popular as they used to be, but it is still a great option if you like camping and meeting new people. Job opportunities can be found around the country.

Average annual salary:  $20,190

2. Site Superintendent

Site superintendents oversee the construction at a particular site and make sure that work gets done on schedule and within the appropriate budget. Construction companies offer paying opportunities for those with experience or education in civil engineering or similar fields; however, if you are good with your hands and willing to learn, then this job can be perfect for you.

Eligibility for the job:  One of the key requirements of this position is construction experience. Some employers may also require candidates to have a college degree in civil engineering or similar fields, while others may consider on-the-job training to be sufficient.

Market demand:  The job market for site superintendents is pretty competitive at this point. However, you may find opportunities in locations where new construction projects are being developed.

Average annual salary:  $80,060

3. Cable or Tower Climber

If you are looking for the most adventurous job, then you may consider this one. Cable and/or tower climbers are required to climb either steel or concrete towers while working on telecommunication lines. Climbing these elevated structures requires experience in climbing, safety awareness, proper equipment use, and physical fitness.

Eligibility for the job:  Before applying for this position you should have prior climbing experience – whether it’s mountaineering or rock climbing. In addition, you will need to complete a training program which takes approximately 45 days to complete.

Market demand:  Unfortunately, the market for this position is not as strong as it could be due to an aging workforce and high turnover rates. At the moment there are opportunities in locations where telecommunication companies have construction projects.

Average annual salary:  $51,270

4. Park Ranger

No list of outdoor jobs would be complete without park rangers – the professionals who help protect and manage natural areas like national parks, state parks, and wildlife refuges. The job usually involves patrolling and providing guidance in the area, conducting educational talks for visitors, and performing administrative tasks in a park headquarters.

Eligibility for the job:  One of the requirements to be a park ranger is obtaining a four-year degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in fields such as natural resource management, law enforcement/police science, national or state park studies, or related subjects.

Market demand:  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment growth for park rangers is slower than average at around 5% nationally from 2012-2022 with the most job opportunities being available in parks that have a rich history and natural resources.

Average annual salary:  $44,120

5. Lifeguard

Although it may not be the most challenging job out there, being a lifeguard comes with its own set of difficulties. What many people do not know is that lifeguards are also required to have CPR and First Aid training so they can properly take care of any emergencies. Being a lifeguard can be another option if you like spending time by the water and doing something rewarding.

Eligibility for the job:  To apply to become a lifeguard, you will need to have a high school diploma or equivalent, oftentimes lifeguarding jobs ask for at least some college but it is not a requirement. In addition, you should be comfortable in the water and have good hand-to-eye coordination.

Market demand:  With people spending more time at outdoor pools, lakes or beaches during the summer season, lifeguarding jobs are very competitive. However, if you apply to become a lifeguard in areas where there is no competition (such as in a private pool) you may be able to find work easier.

Average annual salary:  $30,590

6. Cruise Ship Worker

Being a cruise ship worker means you can cruise around the world for free (of course, you may be working for most of the day) and still make good money as your wages. Don’t forget tips. Cruise ship jobs include cleaning, photography, boat crew, entertainment, excursion planning, etc.

Eligibility for the job: Cruise ship jobs do not require a degree and you typically need to be at least 18 years old. In addition, you will need to pass a drug test and complete medical/security clearances before embarking on your travels.

Market demand:  According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), there are more than 1.7 million cruise ship jobs worldwide and the majority of them are in North America. Most travelers prefer to take a five-day or longer trip, which means you will be able to see many different destinations in a short period of time.

Average annual salary:  $32,000

7. Farmer/ Agricultural Manager/ Gardener

You can be a farmer and agricultural manager at the same time or you can choose to do either of the two. Your role may be cultivation, animal husbandry, farm maintenance, administration, or others.

Tasks related to gardening include planting, watering, landscaping, after-sales customer services, etc. You can also manage a garden center.

Eligibility for the job: It is not a requirement to have a degree, but a high school diploma or GED is required. In addition, most farming jobs require that you have taken some gardening courses at community colleges or vocational schools.

Market demand: This occupation is expected to grow by as much as 17% from 2012-2022 for those who are more technologically inclined or who are willing to enter into the growing biofuels market.

Average annual salary: For farm workers $23,030 and for agricultural managers $69,260. As a garden center manager, you can expect to make around $48,870 on average per year.

8. Forest and Conservation Worker

You’ll be maintaining, improving, and protecting forests in this line of work. Wildlife conservation can be your chosen high-paying job if you want.

Eligibility for the job: The requirement here is typically a high school diploma or equivalent, but you can also get vocational training in the field.

Market demand: The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) says that job opportunities in this sector are expected to increase by about 19% from 2012-2022. It sounds like this outdoor career path is well-supported by institutions with a growing interest in environmental topics and sustainable forestry.

Average annual salary: $30,500 when you are a forest worker and more than $51,000 as a conservation scientist.

9. Dog Walker/ Pet Sitter

Dog walkers and pet sitters can earn a lot from walking dogs and taking care of pets while their owners are away. This is dependent on the company they’re affiliated with and the clients they render services to.

Eligibility for the job: While most dog walkers and pet sitters do not need a degree, some companies may require one.

Market demand: The market demand for a dog walker or pet sitter is very high.

Average annual salary: The median pay range is around $20,000-$25,000 per year depending on experience and the type of company you are working with.

10. Logging Worker

This is one of the outdoor careers that pay well annually with roles like harvesting trees for manufacturing industry raw materials. It’s a physically demanding job that may require you to work in all weather conditions.

Eligibility for the job: While it is not a requirement to have a degree for this line of work, most employers prefer to hire candidates with at least a high school diploma and some relevant experience or training.

Market demand: Although logging jobs are projected to decline over the next decade, there is still an adequate number of job openings in this sector.

Average annual salary: $32,000 for this outdoor occupation.

11. Mason

Masonry is one of the outdoor careers that pay well if you’re working in the right construction company and have a significant skill level with many years of experience.

Eligibility for the job: While some construction companies may require you to have a degree, it is not required. Most masonry workers are trained on the job or through vocational training programs.

Market demand: It is projected that the need for masons will increase by 12%. It may vary on locations based on respective construction projects.

Average annual salary: A mason can make around $37,670 per year.

12. Outdoor Photographer

Taking really good photos and editing them well can earn you a lot of money from your clients such as agencies, stock photo websites, etc. You don’t need a degree to be a pro. Just pure talent.

Eligibility for the job: Photography is the only requirement for this type of job.

Market demand: Photography can be a very competitive field with an abundance of talented individuals vying for positions that pay well. So if you want to earn good money, consider specializing in a specific area like sports or food photography.

Average annual salary: You can expect to make anything from $11,000 to $110,000 based on the skill set you have and your field of specialization.

13. Outdoor Sports Athlete

This is one of the outdoor jobs that pay well (without a degree) when you check the possible annual total. Sports athletes can make money from endorsement deals, apart from being sponsored by their countries and rewarded by event organizers.

Eligibility for the job: You do not need a degree to become an outdoor sports athlete.

Market demand: It is difficult for someone without talent and the necessary training to make it big in this field. But if you think you can perform well enough, go try your luck.

Average annual salary: You can earn a lot, there is no specific range or average value for this outdoor job.

14. Recreation Worker

If you love the great outdoors and working with people, this could be a very rewarding outdoor career that pays well. You may work in state or national parks and gain conservation and construction skills along the way.

Recreation workers handle outdoor activities at recreation centers, parks, healthcare centers, camps, and so on. You can be a gym instructor, yoga teacher, lifeguard, and so on.

Eligibility for the job:: There are no specific requirements to become a recreation worker.

Market demand: This role is projected to grow by 4% until 2022.

Average annual salary: It varies based on the location, company, or organization you’re working for and your skillset. You can expect an average of $28,000 per year.

15. Tour Guide

Your tour/tourist guide job description may include tour assistance, providing information, trip organization, etc.

Eligibility for the job: No formal qualifications are required to become a tour guide. As this is an outdoor job, some employers may prefer candidates who have at least a high school diploma.

Market demand: This field of work is expected to increase by 7% in the next decade. In addition, there will be more opportunities due to a rise in the number of self-guided tours.

Average annual salary: It varies based on the location, company, or organization you’re working for and your skillset. You can expect an average of $18,000 per year.

16. Travel Blogger

This is last on our list of outdoor jobs that pay well without a degree and it’s suitable for those that like to work alone outdoors and indoors (mostly outdoors). You can own a blog site or work as a freelance travel blogger writing about travel experiences and tours in as many exciting locations as you can visit.

Eligibility for the job: You need some form of education to become a travel blogger. Formal qualifications are not necessary, but it is preferred.

Market demand: This career has unlimited opportunities for outdoor workers who love to write. You can make money even though you are blogging independently on social media or on your own website.

Average annual salary: It varies based on the location, company, or organization you’re working for and your skillset. You can expect an average of $25,000 per year.

Please note, this list does not include all outdoor jobs that pay well without a degree so feel free to mention other good outdoor jobs in the comment box below.

Watch this YouTube video to learn more about outdoor jobs that pay well without a degree:

10+ Outdoor & Nature Job Ideas with NO degree!

What Are the Best Paying Outdoor Jobs?

The best high-paying outdoor jobs would most likely be the ones in the area of entertainment, lifestyle, sports, and so on. Check the examples of some outdoor careers that pay well below.

  • Professional athletes can earn a lot from endorsement deals.
  • Travel bloggers can earn a lot from advert placements on their websites.
  • Commercial fishermen who work on reality TV shows can get paid a lot of money selling the fish they catch and also being in front of the camera.

How Do I Get a Job Working in Nature?

Working in nature would most likely require you to have a degree, except if you’re going for occupations like nature photography. You could learn on your own and you could add a certification or two for added advantage when looking for employment. Occupations in the area of nature include the following:

  • Travel blogger
  • Park tour guide
  • Park ranger
  • Geographer
  • Atmospheric scientist
  • Geoscientist
  • Astronomer
  • Hydrologist
  • Environment scientist
  • Environmental engineer
  • Gardener/nursery and garden worker
  • Forest and conservation workers (e.g. conservation scientists)
  • Zoologist/wildlife biologist
  • Marine biologist
  • Landscape designer
  • Agronomist

What Are the Best Outdoor Jobs without a Degree?

Deciding on what the most desirable jobs for outdoor enthusiasts come down to personal convictions. You may prefer outdoor jobs that pay well without a degree and can make you famous like the ones discussed under question 1. It could be the desire for the other kinds of jobs for outdoor enthusiasts listed below.

  • The most adventurous job you can find
  • The best outdoor part-time jobs
  • Suitable outdoor jobs for women
  • An occupation that involves doing something you love or have always dreamt of doing since your childhood.

Related Questions and Answers

What Jobs Allow You to Work Outdoors?

The best outside jobs without a degree that lets you work outside come from areas such as sports, entertainment, lifestyle, nature, environment, agriculture, travel, construction, etc.

How Do You Get Into the Outdoor Industry?

You can get into the outdoor industry by learning skills or obtaining a professional qualification related to your area of interest. It all depends on having something to offer in your career or occupation of choice.

How Can I Make Money Working Outdoors?

You need to have the necessary skills and/or professional qualifications for you to be suited for the outdoor jobs that pay well (without a degree).

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This comprehensive guide should aid you in making a smart choice of the best outdoor part-time jobs, suitable outdoor jobs for women, the most adventurous job, high-paying outdoor jobs, or any other category.

Your chosen occupation from this guide could end up becoming a great addition to your other part-time outdoor jobs which earn you good money when the amount is totaled. You can do further research if you didn’t find what suits you in our long list of the best outdoor jobs without a degree. Still, you could conceive a great idea for a chosen occupation from the curated jobs.

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Kalpataru Biswas

Kalpataru Biswas is a writer with a focus on business and career-related subjects. He has been writing for various websites since 2018 and has more than ten years of experience in driving revenue through data-driven Sales & Marketing.