10 Best Jobs For People Who Love Nature

By Chris Kolmar - Apr. 15, 2021

Find a Job You Really Want In

Nature can be healing, both on a physical and a spiritual level. Studies have shown the benefits of spending time outdoors, which can alleviate depression, decrease stress, and strengthen your immune system. It’s official: humans are meant to spend time outside, instead of underneath fluorescent lights and in air-conditioned rooms.

Both our bodies and our minds benefit from us working outdoors. With all things considered, making a career out of spending time under the sun may seem too good to be true, but there are several ways you can bring nature and your professional life together.

Whether you’re someone who has a green thumb, someone who likes to spend time outdoors, or someone who enjoys spending their day doing hands-on work, a job that works directly with nature may be for you. Working with living things can be very rewarding and entertaining, especially if you are the kind of person who does not want to spend their days behind a desk.

  1. Grounds Keeper Jobs (Overview)

  2. Photographer Jobs (Overview)

  3. Landscaper Jobs (Overview)

  4. Horticulturist Jobs (Overview)

  5. Park Ranger Jobs (Overview)

  6. Surveyor Jobs (Overview)

  7. Environmental Engineer Jobs (Overview)

  8. Botanist Jobs (Overview)

  9. Conservationist Jobs (Overview)

  10. Recreation Manager Jobs (Overview)

Jobs in Nature

Here is a list of a few jobs that may be right for someone who loves working in nature, as well as the qualifications you may need. Information regarding the salaries and pay of each of these positions was found at PayScale.com unless otherwise stated.

  1. Grounds keeper
    Average Annual Salary: $26,000

    A groundskeeper is someone who maintains the grounds of a particular property. Their responsibilities include pulling weeds, lawn care — such as mowing and fertilizing — keeping the grounds clean, trimming trees and shrubs, and spreading mulch.

    Their jobs also change with the seasons, so when winter rolls around they will be clearing snow, and when spring begins, they need to manage and implement irrigation systems. Typically, groundskeepers are managers as well, so you will need the ability to delegate and organize tasks.

    Most groundskeepers do not require a college education, but experience in landscaping is always appreciated. Groundskeepers are spending most of their days outside and in nature, making this perfect for someone who has a green thumb.

    According to Salary.com, the median income of the average groundskeeper is $38,205 annually.

    Find Groundskeeper jobs near me

  2. Nature Photographer
    Average Annual Salary: $49,000

    If you are visual, artistic, and creative, becoming a nature photographer may be something that interests you.

    This could be the perfect job for someone who likes to observe nature, rather than interfere. In this position, you will be immersing yourself in a natural habitat and capturing the beauty that can be found there.

    The photos you take can go to several places, including educational materials as well as artistic and aesthetic pieces made to show off the beauty nature has to offer.

    To become a nature photographer, you need to have experience working with professional-grade cameras, lenses, and other related technical skills. A fine arts degree can be a great way to gain these skills, but also photography classes can do the same thing if you do not have the time or money to obtain a four-year degree.

    Nature photographers are mostly freelance. That being said, the pay can vary, especially depending on your experience. According to Payscale.com, the median hourly rate is around $12 per hour.

    Find Nature photographer jobs near me

  3. Landscaper
    Average Annual Salary: $26,000

    Landscapers, unlike groundskeepers, usually tend to maintain several properties. As such, landscapers need to be organized, and they need to keep track of which property needs what work. Like groundskeepers, they tend to gardens and parks, and they complete seasonal maintenance, like spreading fertilizer and mulching.

    To become a landscaper, you will need to know landscaping equipment, such as how to use weed whackers, leaf blowers, or tractors.

    According to Payscale.com, the average hourly rate is around $14.

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  4. Horticulturist
    Average Annual Salary: $34,000

    Horticulturists are basically garden scientists. They focus on improving the growth of plants, whether that be increasing a crop’s yield, or developing a plant that is resistant to certain diseases.

    Horticulturists can work alongside scientists as well as work with agriculturalists, landscapers, architects, and park managers. In short, their job is to make sure plants are growing in the best way possible.

    To become a horticulturist, you will need at least a bachelor’s degree in plant science or a related field. It is beneficial to also know botany, chemistry, and biology, as these all come into play when studying plants and their growth.

    The average hourly rate for a horticulturist is $15.95.

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  5. Park ranger
    Average Annual Salary: $43,000

    Park rangers are those who manage a park, whether that be a local park or a large-scale national park. They are charged with protecting the wildlife in the park as well as protecting those visiting the park. They can also give tours and guide people throughout the park, highlighting the area’s most beautiful and interesting wildlife.

    Park rangers will be spending their entire day outside, which would make it perfect for a nature-lover, especially one who is knowledgeable about native plants and animals.

    Park rangers typically need a bachelor’s degree in natural sciences or a related field, as well as experience working in a landscaping position.

    The median pay for a park ranger is around $40,000 annually but can be as high as $60,000.

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  6. Surveyor
    Average Annual Salary: $54,000

    Surveyors are important to construction sites, engineers, and making maps. Their job includes making precise measurements, keeping records of property boundaries, and preparing maps and reports.

    Mostly, they document the location of legal property lines, which can be especially helpful with determining where lots of land are. Because of this, they work mostly in the wild, where there are yet to be big housing developments or industrial parks.

    To become a surveyor, a bachelor’s degree is usually needed, and you must become licensed.

    Surveyors typically make around $20 per hour, but they can make as much as $30 per hour.

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  7. Environmental engineer
    Average Annual Salary: $66,000

    Environmental engineers are those who use their knowledge of engineering, biology, and chemistry to help solve environmental problems. They may work in irrigation, waste disposal, pollution control, and public health. They can work for municipalities or companies to help them make environmentally friendly decisions.

    Because of the large amount of knowledge they need, a bachelor’s degree is required to become an environmental engineer.

    The average pay of an environmental engineer is around $66,000 annually, but it can be as high as around $100,000.

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  8. Botanist
    Average Annual Salary: $58,000

    Botany can be a great field to go into if you’re someone who loves studying nature. Botanists are plant scientists, who study the relationship plants have with their environment.

    Much like horticulturists, some botanists are helpful to the agricultural industry, as they can help determine the strengths and weaknesses of a certain crop, as well as how to grow a crop to maximize its yield.

    Botanists also study the relationship plants have with other organisms, from those as small as bacteria to the larger animals that consume the plants for energy.

    Becoming a botanist typically requires a master’s degree in plant science, biology, or something similar. Advanced research positions may require a doctoral degree.

    On average, a botanist makes around $50,000 annually but can make up to approximately $100,000.

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  9. Conservationist
    Average Annual Salary: $60,660

    A conservationist is someone who manages and observes natural habitats, making an effort to preserve their natural state and minimize human interference and pollution. Conservationists come from many disciplinary backgrounds and can complete their job in several ways.

    For example, a conservationist with a background in law or politics could assist the government in making environmentally conscious decisions, or a conservationist who has experience educating others can work by informing others of how they can contribute to conservationist efforts.

    Furthermore, there are conservational scientists, who practice conservation in a lab setting. They are typically responsible for the research and development of conservation methods and their effectiveness.

    To become a conservationist, at least a bachelor’s degree will be needed, usually in biology, ecology, or agricultural science.

    Find Conservationist jobs near me

  10. Recreation manager
    Average Annual Salary: $43,000

    A recreation manager is someone who creates opportunities for the general public to interact with nature safely and responsibly. They plan and coordinate events that are aimed at informing the public about the nature around them, making it the perfect job for someone who has an appreciation for nature.

    Recreation manager positions will typically require a bachelor’s degree in business or management, and having experience with educating people is also a plus. They tend to work for parks themselves or for the municipalities the parks are located in.

    The average pay for a recreation manager is around $49,000 annually but can be as high as around $65,000.

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Final Thoughts

If you are someone who truly enjoys nature and finds spending time outdoors refreshing, there is no shortage of positions that can help you turn your hobby into a way of making a living.

Jobs in nature can be especially attractive to those who cannot see themselves working a nine-to-five in a cubicle. Getting outdoors and interacting with the natural world around you can be a rewarding way to earn income, as well as a way to improve your physical and mental health.

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Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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