If you’re not the type of person who likes to be tethered to a desk all day, be of good cheer. There are several high-paying jobs that will allow you to spend the majority of your time outdoors.
Working outside has many advantages, including the opportunity to avoid office chatter, office gossip, and office politics. And, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, outdoor air is much cleaner than indoor air. That’s because indoor air may contain pollution from a variety of sources, including mold, low humidity levels, high humidity levels, and dust. In addition, asbestos, radon, chemicals, and cleaning supplies can also be indoor air pollutants.
Indoor air pollution has been linked to headaches, fatigue, asthma, and irritation of the nose, throat, and eyes. Also, long-term exposure can result in serious health conditions, such as cancer.
In addition, working outdoors also provides other health benefits. Studies show that employees with desk jobs tend to be sedentary, and sitting for long periods of time increases the probability of developing neck strain. Sedentary workers are also more likely to have poor circulation, poor posture, sore shoulders, and back problems.
Unfortunately, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Sedentary workers are also more likely to gain weight and develop other health conditions, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease. And those who stare a computer screens all day could develop a multitude of eye problems ranging from eyestrain to vision-related headaches.
And while working in the open air provides a way to avoid these problems, no environment is perfect. Employees who work outside are exposed to the spectrum of extreme temperatures, and this type of work is often physically demanding. Standing, squating, and bending over for long periods of time are par for the course. Also, some jobs require hiking long distances and working in remote locations. However, for those with the physical stamina and fortitude to pursue a career working in the great outdoors, salaries can be quite lucrative.
6 Range Managers – Annual Mean Wage $63,590
Range managers, also known as or range conservationists, are conservation scientists who work to protect such natural landscapes as grasslands, wetlands, and woodlands. They help ranchers organize grazing systems to make the best use of rangelands. Range managers also analyze and maintain soil and vegetation – by such methods as fire, herbicide, and revegetation - for wildlife and other outdoor recreation use, and they work to prevent wildfires and predatory animals.
In addition, range managers oversee fencing, various reservoirs, and structures that control soil erosion, and they also manage agreements between land preservationists, ranchers, and other rangeland users. Range managers typically have a bachelor’s degree in forestry or rangeland management.
5 Landscape Architects – Annual Mean Wage: $68,030
Landscape architects create designs for land areas in such places as playgrounds and parks, in addition to residential homes and campuses. They also determine where to place such elements as roads, buildings, and trees within their designs. Landscape architects also perform other tasks, such as restoring historical landscapes, wetlands, and streams that have been damaged by human activity, and they design rooftop gardens that capture storm water for reuse. Although landscape architects spend a portion of their time in offices, they also spend a considerable amount of time on worksites.
The educational requirement to pursue this career is a typically a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture.
4 Environmental Scientists – Annual Mean Wage: $68,970
Environmental scientists identify and either prevent or find solutions to fix environmental problems such as pollution and water contamination. They collect samples of air, water, soil, or other materials, and analyze these samples to assess threat levels. Then, environmental scientists formulate plans to protect the environment and humans. They also devise ways to clean-up contaminated areas, and advise the federal government and private businesses to ensure that federal regulations are followed.
The educational requirement to be an environmental scientist is usually a bachelor’s degree in environmental science. However, a degree in a science-related field, such as biology, chemistry, physics, geosciences, etc. is also acceptable.
3 Geographers – Annual Mean Wage: $74,020
Physical geographers study features of a particular region, such as the climate and weather, water, soils, and landforms. They also study rocks and minerals, animals, plants, water, and the environment. Other types of geographers include urban geographers who study such issues as population density. Cultural geographers observe the relationship between geography and language, religion, and other cultural features. Medical geographers study diseases in certain regions.
Geographers need a bachelor’s degree in geography to work for the federal government; however, most positions outside of the federal government require a master’s degree.
2 Construction Managers – Annual Mean Wage: $90,960
Construction managers, also known as general contractors or project managers, oversee a variety of residential, commercial, and industrial building projects. In addition to planning and coordinating projects, they also manage budgets and deadlines, and ensure that the projects conform to building and safety codes. Construction managers usually work on site, where they have a field office.
The educational options vary and range from a high school diploma with construction experience, to an associate’s degree in construction management or construction technology, to a bachelor’s degree in construction management, architecture, construction science, or engineering.
1 Oceanographers – Annual Mean Wage: $106,780
Oceanographers are geoscientists who spend a portion of their time in the ocean studying marine life. There are several types of oceanographers, including biological oceanographers and marine biologists who observe how plants and animals develop and adapt in marine environments. Chemical oceanographers and marine chemists study the effects of pollution and other chemicals on marine lifeforms, and they also research ways to use the ocean’s resources to make medicines. Physical oceanographers examine currents, tides, waves, and coastal erosion. They also seek to understand factors that affect climate changes.
Oceanographers usually have a degree in oceanography, biology, marine biology, or a related field. Some oceanographers also pursue a master’s degree or a Ph.D.