22 Unique Jobs in Nature (With Descriptions and Salary Information)

By Indeed Editorial Team

March 3, 2021

If being among nature all day sounds like a dream to you, know that there are plenty of careers that can make that possible. Whether you simply want to spend your days outdoors or make a positive impact on the environment, there is sure to be a job title that fits these desires. In this article, we share 22 unique jobs in nature.

Why do people want jobs in nature?

When people can't imagine working a desk job all day, they may gravitate to jobs in nature. By spending much of your day outside, you have the opportunity to move around and get some exercise. People who want to make a positive impact on the environment also may take jobs in nature where they take on tasks like finding ways to cut down on pollution and finding more sustainable resources.

22 jobs for nature lovers

If you want a job in nature, check out these job titles. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on each salary link below:

1. Groundskeeper

National average salary: $13.03 per hour

Primary duties: A groundskeeper is responsible for maintaining the landscaping of the property they work on. Their common job duties include fertilizing lawns, watering plants, spreading mulch, pulling weeds, planting flowers, trimming trees and shrubs, applying pesticides, clearing grounds from trash and debris, removing snow and taking care of irrigation systems. They are also in charge of operating and maintaining tools, such as lawnmowers, saws, shovels and trimmers.

Read more: Learn About Being a Groundskeeper

2. Ski instructor

National average salary: $13.41 per hour

Primary duties: A ski instructor provides ski lessons to the patrons of a ski resort. They use hands-on instruction to teach ski students the basic techniques of skiing or help them improve their current skills and advance their ability level. Ski instructors work with a wide range of students, often teaching people of all ages in group or private lessons. They are also responsible for maintaining a safe environment for recreational skiing and ensuring guests are following safety rules.

3. Landscape laborer

National average salary: $14.19 per hour

Primary duties: A landscape laborer is responsible for the upkeep and modification of the terrain of a property. They use rakes, brooms, shovels, and handsaws to do a variety of tasks, like cutting wood, trimming branches, cleaning up leaves and tending to gardens. Other tasks this job entails include mowing, troubleshooting issues with lawn maintenance equipment, pulling weeds, watering plants, installing edging and anything else a property manager requests.

4. Fish hatchery technician

National average salary: $14.27 per hour

Primary duties: A fish hatchery technician harvests fish and fish eggs. After collecting these goods, they weigh, count and load them onto trucks. In some cases, they are also responsible for transporting the fish and fish eggs to customers or predetermined natural areas. They may also be responsible for distributing and releasing them. Other miscellaneous tasks they may perform include basic manual labor, maintaining and repairing work equipment and recordkeeping.

5. Nature photographer

National average salary: $15.74 per hour

Primary duties: A nature photographer uses photography equipment to take photos of different nature scenes. They need to be highly skilled with cameras, lenses, flashes, tripods and other equipment. After taking photos, they are responsible for editing them, often using software such as Adobe Photoshop. Many nature photographers specialize in a specific region or species. Their work is based on the needs of their employers or clients, though many nature photographers also work for themselves.

Read more: How To Become a Photographer

6. Wildland firefighter

National average salary: $16.33 per hour

Primary duties: A wildland firefighter works to extinguish wildfires. They are specially trained to work in hazardous conditions to extinguish, suppress or control wildfires. Wildland firefighters often work for government agencies, such as the Bureau of Land Management, the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service. Their responsibilities include operating water and chemical hoses, analyzing fire weather and topographical data, building landing spots for fire suppression helicopters and saving victims caught in wildfires.

Read more: How To Become a Wildland Firefighter

7. Horticulturist

National average salary: $17.02 per hour

Primary duties: A horticulturist is highly knowledgeable about different plant species. They use this knowledge to cultivate and propagate plants. They may also work as a consultant to farmers who grow flowers, fruits and vegetables. Other job responsibilities include investigating pests and diseases, preserving natural resources, regenerating degraded lands, experimenting to create hardier plants and anything else having to do with the technical care of plants.

8. Tour guide

National average salary: $17.13 per hour

Primary duties: A tour guide walks visitors around unfamiliar areas while sharing insightful information about key landmarks. They may also be responsible for planning travel itineraries, recommending experiences, providing safety equipment, scheduling visits and addressing the needs of guests. The goal of their job is to familiarize guests with a new area while providing a fun and safe experience.

9. Park ranger

National average salary: $35,692 per year

Primary duties: A park ranger is responsible for patrolling campgrounds, trails and surrounding areas to protect both visitors and the grounds they are enjoying. They work to enforce the park's conservation efforts and inform guests of rules and regulations. Other job duties include welcoming guests, checking guests in, giving tours of the grounds, answering questions and participating in search and rescue efforts. A park ranger must have expert knowledge of the lands they are on and a deep appreciation for nature.

Read more: Learn About Being a Park Ranger

10. Arborist

National average salary: $21.56 per hour

Primary duties: An arborist is a landscaper who specializes in the care and maintenance of trees. Their responsibilities include planting, trimming or removing trees and other woody plants. This physically demanding job requires arborists to climb up and down ladders and operate heavy machinery. Other job duties include treating tree diseases, applying pesticides, monitoring soil conditions and making tree recommendations.

11. Recreation manager

National average salary: $50,327 per year

Primary duties: A recreational manager is responsible for overseeing the recreational programs provided by parks, sports facilities, community centers and other organizations. They work to ensure the organization and execution of these programs operate according to plan. Their job duties include planning events, managing finances, generating publicity, managing coaches and launching new programs. They work to assess the needs of the community and create programs that fill these gaps.

12. Wind turbine technician

National average salary: $53,480 per year

Primary duties: A wind turbine technician ensures wind turbines and applicable machinery are properly operating. They work to install, inspect, maintain and repair wind turbines. Much of their job includes diagnosing programs and troubleshooting ways to fix them. Some wind turbine technicians are tasked with building new wind turbines, though a majority of their work is making sure equipment is running right.

Read more: How To Become a Wind Turbine Technician: Career Requirements, Salary and Outlook

13. Surveyor

National average salary: $61,289 per year

Primary duties: A surveyor is responsible for determining legal property boundaries. As they conduct physical site surveys, they use a variety of equipment and tools to determine boundaries. Their other key job duties include preparing sketches and notes, collecting and processing field data, verifying the accuracy of data, researching prior survey evidence and preparing site surveying documents to present to clients.

Read more: Learn About Being a Surveyor

14. Environmental scientist

National average salary: $69,207 per year

Primary duties: An environmental scientist works to protect the environment and human health with their substantial knowledge of natural sciences. They spend much of their time gathering field data and monitoring environmental conditions. They then take this information and analyze it in offices or laboratories.

15. Landscape architect

National average salary: $69,474 per year

Primary duties: A landscape architect designs aesthetically pleasing outdoor spaces, such as parks, gardens, playgrounds, college campuses, residential areas and other public spaces. Along with designing the structures of the space, they choose the flowers, shrubs, trees and other foliage within these areas. They use what they learn from their client combined with the restraints of an outdoor space to create an area for the public to enjoy.

Read more: Learn About Being a Landscape Architect

16. Archaeologist

National average salary: $70,784 per year

Primary duties: An archaeologist is a researcher who studies artifacts to learn about earlier civilizations. Their key job duties include excavating, recovering and analyzing artifacts. These artifacts may include tools, pottery, building ruins and other man-made items left behind. They also work to maintain archaeological inventories, create field drawings, prepare artifacts for analysis and consult project teams on how to follow rules and regulations surrounding archaeological sites.

Read more: How To Become an Archaeologist: Education Requirements and Steps

17. Wildlife biologist

National average salary: $73,256 per year

Primary duties: A wildlife biologist studies organisms and their natural habitats. Their responsibilities include studying ecosystems, implementing conservation efforts, writing scientific reports and research papers and presenting their findings. They trap, tag and relocate animals to learn more about specific species. They may also work with fish and game wardens to manage local wildlife.

Read more: How To Become a Wildlife Biologist

18. Geologist

National average salary: $73,598 per year

Primary duties: A geologist is an earth scientist who studies the earth's processes, materials and history. Through their work, they hope to understand the chronology of the earth's geological events. Their job duties include studying environmental impacts, finding more sustainable processes, gathering and analyzing data, designing topographical and geological maps, collecting samples, overseeing contractors and ensuring organizations are compliant with regulations.

19. Marine biologist

National average salary: $73,767 per year

Primary duties: A marine biologist studies ocean life. What they study often depends on their specialization, with common areas being marine mammalogy, marine microbiology and marine ecology. Common job duties for a marine biologist include studying marine life in both natural and controlled environments, collecting data and specimens, studying behaviors and characteristics, looking at human impact, managing populations, reporting findings and teaching.

Read more: How To Become a Marine Biologist

20. Natural resource technician

National average salary: $73,933 per year

Primary duties: A natural resource technician works under the supervision of a natural resource specialist. Their job is to analyze environmental problems and develop plans to overcome such issues. They work to inform policymakers and regional planners about the outcomes of resource management. Other job duties include protecting and improving natural habitats.

21. Park manager

National average salary: $74,565 per year

Primary duties: A park manager oversees the operations of public or private parks. They ensure that everything is in working order and that guests can safely enjoy the grounds. Their responsibilities include overseeing park operations, creating outreach programs, planning new facilities, administrative work and direct management of a park's personnel.

22. Environmental engineer

National average salary: $82,287 per year

Primary duties: An environmental engineer uses their background in engineering, chemistry, biology and social science to find solutions to environmental problems. Common issues they address include public health, pollution controls and recycling. Their job duties include designing systems to solve environmental problems, reporting environmental problems and reviewing environmental policies.

Read more: Learn About Being an Environmental Engineer

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