Summer is just around the corner, and it’s time to make a plan. Do you want to sit indoors in your mom’s dental office answering the phone all day? Of course not! There’s only one place to be during the summer, and that’s a seasonal job in the great outdoors. So get your act together now, and we’ll help you find the perfect outdoor opportunity. We’ve compiled a list of 10 outdoor jobs that are guaranteed to give you an absolutely unforgettable summer.
What Are Outdoor Jobs?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly half of all jobs require outdoor work. For our purposes, however, we think of an outdoor job as any occupation where the employee spends the majority of their time working outdoors instead of indoors. Pretty obvious, yes. But where do you find these jobs? The possibilities are endless, but most tend to fall into these 4 categories.
Hospitality / Resort
Any hotel or resort with a pool, tennis court, or golf course is an excellent place to look for an outdoor job. Pools, particularly if they serve food or beverages, require tons of employees to be lifeguards, food servers, and bartenders. Other recreational facilities require instructors and maintenance crews.
Pro tip: if you want to be in recreation, but don’t want to be outdoors all day, work at a pro shop. You’ll still be involved with the recreational side of a resort, but you can drink Arnold Palmers indoors with the A/C pumping all day long.
Children’s camps are a great source of outdoor jobs. For one, the requirements for employment are relatively basic. Meet a minimum age threshold and demonstrate some responsibility and you’re in. Most children’s camps are designed with the intent to keep kids outdoors for the summer, so that’s where you’ll be. Make sure you’re the patient type though!
Outdoor Activity Guides
Every year, millions of tourists head to resort areas so they can escape the city and breathe in the great outdoors. The only problem is they don’t know how to get into nature on their own. They need guides! That creates a huge need for hiking guides, biking guides, river guides, skydiving guides and more.
According to the BLS, there are close to 1 million agricultural workers in the U.S., and pretty much all of them work outdoors. That doesn’t count the 3.2 million farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers.
Why Work Outdoors?
According to an L.L. Bean study, working outdoors is believed to improve mood, lower stress, increase relaxation, promote health and wellness, and increase happiness. While several studies promote stepping outdoors for breaks from your indoor job, we say why not just get a job in the outdoors in the first place?
After all, while 87 percent of indoor workers consider themselves someone who enjoys the outdoors, 75% say their work gets in the way of getting outside. We strongly believe that more people should consider outdoor careers as a way of promoting better health, wellness, and overall happiness.
How to Get a Great Outdoor Job
The process for getting an outdoor job is pretty similar to getting an indoor one, although the requirements for the positions may be a bit different. Like any job application, it pays to be early.
These highly sought after positions fill up quickly, so the sooner you get your application submitted, the better. For example, the majority of summer job recruiters start looking for candidates between February and early March and finalize between late March and April.
What’s different about outdoor jobs? Outdoor jobs often require more physical stamina than indoor ones, since they usually keep you on your feet all day. Many outdoor positions, particularly the guide roles like hiking and biking guides, require applicants to be in peak physical shape. You can’t be getting passed by tourists as you lead them up the mountain!
PeakSeason’s Top 10 Best Outdoor Jobs for an Unforgettable Summer
Here are 10 outdoor summer jobs we guarantee will give you an experience you’ll never forget. Do any of these for the season, and we’ll bet you’ll be looking to stick around for winter afterwards.
Hiking and biking jobs are a great place to start because they don’t require much expertise. Most outfitters will give you the training you need, which means you really just need to be in great shape and be an excellent listener. That said, you’ll carry a great deal of responsibility leading groups of customers out into the wilderness. So pay attention to your training.
Whitewater Rafting Guide
Hiking or biking guide responsibilities not quite hairy enough for you? Ok, imagine yourself charging down a Class V rapid in a picturesque canyon while shouting orders to your crew. This is no stroll in the park. In fact, this is the highest stakes, highest stress job on our list.
Dump a customer into a snowmelt-fed river, and you’ve got about 60 seconds to fish them out (while still navigating the rapids) before they get hypothermia. Whitewater guiding isn’t for everyone, but master a few seasons of it and we promise you’ll be ready for anything your future career can throw at you.
Outdoor Restaurant Service
Restaurant service is a great way to work outdoors and still make decent scratch, thanks to all the tips you’ll be receiving. In other words, restaurant service jobs are a great place to look for outdoor jobs that pay well. Most major resorts have a poolside restaurant, and many resort area restaurants have outdoor patios. Also, check out golf courses and outdoor tennis facilities – they often have outdoor restaurants for players who’ve just finished their games.
If you’re an ace tennis player or a scratch golfer, then why not teach others to play? Pros can make great money for 1×1 lessons, or by teaching group clinics. You’ll usually also get free access to the course or courts you instruct on, so you can spend your free time upping your own game as well.
Camp counselor jobs are especially helpful for younger job hunters who don’t have any experience because camps generally aren’t looking for it. Instead, most camps are looking for a track record of responsible behavior and an interest in the underlying mission of the camp. For those who loved attending as campers, this is a great way to stay connected with all the things you loved about it.
Yachting doesn’t have to be just for the rich and famous. If you can’t afford the $100 million for a mega yacht, you can always work on one. Being a deckhand on a yacht is an outstanding opportunity to see some of the most beautiful areas on the planet. The money can be lucrative, and the best part is that you have no living expenses. You’ll be eating and sleeping on the yacht.
Fly Fishing Guide
Few things are more peaceful than standing aside a quiet river, slowly casting a fly and watching it drift lazily downstream. Now, it is important to understand that as a guide you’ll spend most of your time tying flies and retrieving them when your noob customer keeps casting into the bushes, but the important thing is that you’re out there. And nothing can beat the sense of fulfillment when you watch them catch their first trout.
Lifeguards are what everyone first thinks of when thinking of outdoor jobs and for good reason. Who wouldn’t want to sit poolside catching sun all day? Because they’re so popular, lifeguard jobs get filled quickly. So make sure to line yours up early.
Landscaping jobs often get overlooked by seasonal employees, and that’s a shame. These jobs are a great opportunity to work outdoors with your hands, particularly for anyone who loves plants and flowers. The fact that they get overlooked is to your advantage though, as oftentimes you can still find landscaping positions available even when many of the other seasonal summer roles have been filled.
National Park Jobs
National Parks have hundreds of positions that will keep you immersed in the most beautiful places in the United States. They are staffed with guides, rangers, and drivers, not to mention all of the resort-oriented positions that exist at wilderness resorts. If you love nature, then a job at a National Park is definitely the job for you.
Lock In Your Unforgettable Summer Today
If you want to work outdoors this summer, then it’s never too early to start applying. Check out our guide to seasonal jobs for more information and land that summer dream job!
Did we miss any great outdoor jobs? Let us know what you think in the comments below.