Best Paying Outdoor Jobs

Updated on February 26, 2024

Exploring career options that combine the thrill of the outdoors with excellent pay? You’re in the right place. The outdoors offers not just fresh air and breathtaking landscapes but also lucrative job opportunities for those passionate about nature and the environment. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the top ten best-paying outdoor jobs, their roles, average salaries, and required qualifications.

Marine Engineer

Marine Engineers play a pivotal role in designing, testing, building, and maintaining ships, boats, and submarines. This profession not only demands a strong understanding of engineering principles but also a love for the sea and its vast opportunities.

  • Average Salary: $98,000
  • Responsibilities: Design and oversee construction of marine vessels, conduct tests and maintenance, ensure compliance with safety standards.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in marine engineering or a related field.

Mining and Geological Engineer

Specializing in the design and management of mining operations, Mining and Geological Engineers ensure the safe and efficient extraction of minerals and resources.

  • Average Salary: $100,000
  • Responsibilities: Design mining equipment and operations, assess the safety and environmental impact of mining sites, oversee construction of mine structures.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in engineering with a specialization in mining or geology.


Geologists study the Earth’s processes, materials, and history, contributing valuable insights into natural resources, environmental conservation, and hazard mitigation.

  • Average Salary: $104,000
  • Responsibilities: Conduct field studies, analyze geological data, contribute to environmental assessment and resource management.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in geology or earth science.

Biomass Power Plant Manager

Biomass Power Plant Managers oversee the production of energy from organic materials, playing a crucial role in the renewable energy sector.

  • Average Salary: $118,000
  • Responsibilities: Manage plant operations, ensure regulatory compliance, oversee maintenance and safety procedures.
  • Required Education: Degree in engineering, environmental science, or related field, along with relevant experience in power plant operations.

Construction Manager

Construction Managers coordinate and supervise construction projects from start to finish, ensuring projects meet design, safety, and budget specifications.

  • Average Salary: $108,000
  • Responsibilities: Plan, coordinate, budget, and supervise construction projects, liaise with architects and stakeholders, ensure compliance with legal requirements.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in construction management, architecture, engineering, or related field.

Civil Engineer

Civil Engineers design, construct, and maintain infrastructure projects like roads, bridges, and dams, ensuring public safety and efficiency.

  • Average Salary: $95,000
  • Responsibilities: Design infrastructure projects, supervise construction, conduct site inspections, and ensure regulatory compliance.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.


Shipmates, or merchant mariners, work on various ships, ensuring the vessel’s operations run smoothly, from navigation to maintenance.

  • Average Salary: $98,000
  • Responsibilities: Operate and maintain ships, ensure safety at sea, manage cargo operations.
  • Required Education: Merchant Marine Credential (MMC), Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC), and completion of training programs.

Special Agent

Special Agents are law enforcement professionals who investigate and enforce laws at the federal level, often working outdoors during field operations.

  • Average Salary: $90,000
  • Responsibilities: Conduct investigations, collect evidence, perform surveillance, and enforce laws.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree, along with academy training specific to the agency.

Farm Manager

Farm Managers oversee agricultural operations, from crop cultivation to livestock management, ensuring productivity and sustainability.

  • Average Salary: $78,000
  • Responsibilities: Plan production activities, manage farm workers, ensure animal and crop health, handle sales and financial management.
  • Required Education: Degree in agriculture, agricultural science, or related field, with practical farm management experience.

Environmental Engineer

Environmental Engineers use principles of engineering, soil science, biology, and chemistry to develop solutions to environmental problems, such as pollution reduction and waste disposal.

  • Average Salary: $100,220
  • Responsibilities: Design systems for waste disposal or pollution control, conduct environmental impact assessments, ensure regulatory compliance.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering or a related field such as civil, chemical, or general engineering.

Final Thoughts

Pursuing a career outdoors can be both financially rewarding and personally fulfilling, especially for those passionate about nature and the environment. These roles not only offer competitive salaries but also the chance to make a positive impact on the planet and our daily lives. Whether it’s through engineering, management, or scientific research, outdoor careers provide a unique blend of challenges and rewards.

Other Jobs in Unique and Niche Job Markets


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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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