Outdoor jobs that pay well

Scuba Diving the Great Barrier Reef

If you need a job and want to work outdoors, the best thing to do is to search for outdoor jobs that have a high paid salary attached. What are the best paid jobs though? Is it all about the money? Wouldn’t it be great if you knew what outdoors are high paid where you can also have fun? To save you time in that endless job search, this guide gives you details of physcally active outdoor jobs that pay well in a variety of industries and explains what sort of skills you will need to get some of the best outdoor jobs in the world.

What makes an active outdoor job pay well?

Finding a job with good pay can be a bit of a challenge. A high paid job for a student may not be such a high paid job for someone who has had years of professional experience. Part time outdoor jobs for students help to get you through your education, but may not pay well. However, the people you meet and the experience you gain will all add to your CV. Most of the jobs out there are gained by knowing the right people.

There are three things you need to consider when looking for an active outdoor job:

  1. What value has that outdoor job for you?
  2. What value are you providing to others by doing that outdoor job?
  3. Can you make this outdoor job into an outdoor career that pays well?

What is having an outdoor job that pays well worth to you?

Camera operators at sports events is an outdoor job that pays well
Events management and outside broadcasting gets you close to the action and paid for it

Depending on where you are in life, the intrinsic value of finding an outdoor job that you love is affected by several factors. Are you purely after the money? Are you looking for the highest paying outdoor job that you can find? Can you put up with what you may have to give in return for that high paid outdoor job? Are there long hours attached? Does it come with high risk and danger?

Other benefits of having an outdoor job include, fun, meeting people, health, working outdoors in nature, travel, visiting some amazing places all over the world, or one of the most important things – doing something that makes your soul sing. Is it worth putting up with a reasonable amount of pay and stuck up customers if you get to spend all day long outdoors skiing down snowy mountains amongst some of the best scenery in the world? And also working with some great people?

What are you worth to your employer?

The salary you will get for doing a job outdoors all depends on what value others associate with what service you are providing. A fitness trainer working for a company can earn about £16,000 per year. A full time personal trainer earns between £18,000 and £40,000. Now that is looking better. That one to one skill is vital. If you are good with people and produce results (even just to make the client feel great about themselves) then you will be in demand. If you are a master of social skills, patient, and motivational, then you could be a personal fitness instructors with high profile clients, earning between £50 and £100 an hour.

If not many people can do what you do, then employers will pay well to attract the best candidates. This is where skills, training and experience come into play. Highly skilled or technical jobs such as engineering are the highest paying jobs outdoors.

What Outdoor Jobs Pay Well?

I have spent years talking to people working from all over the outdoor industry and know that there is a huge range of outdoor jobs on offer. The salaries in well paid outdoor jobs in the list below are mainly earned from working for companies. Some are physically active outdoor jobs, others are technically skilled outdoor jobs. Outdoor engineering jobs are paid well because they require high degrees of technical competency and skill.
You can increase your pay by going freelance (working for yourself), but it is then down to you to find work. Or you can have multiple outdoor jobs. Look around and you might be surprised by what finds you.

Oil Rig Workers

If you are looking for a job with pay over £70K, then you might want to consider working on an oil rig. There are offshore oil rig jobs all over the world. The North Sea in the UK is a good place to start, but you may find it leads to working on an oil rig in Australia. My uncle worked as a commercial deep sea diver inspecting the base of the oil rig platforms in one of those solid metal diving suits that were in one of the James Bond films. He loved it and earned big money. The work pattern is two weeks on the rig, and two weeks shore leave. That means you get paid well for the year while only having to work for half of it! Working in Australia, he spent most of the time on the rig fishing, and enjoyed the activities the sunny shores of Australia provide when on shore leave.

Starting pay is up to £800 per week. General staff who wash dishes and do general house keeping in the living quarters earn £600 per week. Oil Rig Roustabouts, who are general labourers, earn £700 to £1,000 per week. Other jobs you could start with include deckhands, welder, offshore oil rig painting jobs, catering, drillers, derrickman, crane operator, sub-sea engineer, medic or safety officer. Highly skilled technical staff such as oil rig mechanics, electricians and engineers can secure a high paid career on offshore oil rigs because they are in demand. These highest paying outdoor jobs will pay over £75,000 a year.


Firefighters doing an outdoor job that pays well
Firefighters get paid well to keep us safe

The starting salary for a firefighter is £21,000. Once you have completed your training, this rises to £28,000. You can earn more by doing overtime. If you get to the postion of crew manager, your pay is about £31,000. A watch manger earns up to £35,000. Station managers will get paid up to £40,000 plus overtime. If you advance further, you will be well paid as a group or area manager, with a salary of up to £54,000.

Sportsperson, Athlete and Coaches

Community football coaches can earn between £16,000 and £24,000. Professional League/Premiership coaches can earn between £25,000 and £250,000. Football referees at amateur level games earn around £20 to £30 per match. Match officials for semi-professional games can get up to £80 per game, plus expenses. Full-time, top-flight Premier League officials can earn around £40,000, plus match fees.

A footballer can be one of the highest paying outdoor jobs there is. Pay varies depending on the reputation of the player, and on the club. Earnings can also be increased by performance related bonuses, appearance fees, endorsements and sponsorship.

Other high paid outdoor jobs

  • A Stuntperson can earn up to £200,000 per year when they reach elite status. You’ll need to be at least 18 years old, and be in excellent physical fitness. Other film industry jobs also pay well once you have established yourself.
  • Oil and gas lead engineers or those with management responsibility may earn £55,000 to £70,000 or more
  • Outdoor Events Management salaries in some high-profile companies can reach £50,000 to £80,000.
  • Engineering and land surveyor £25000 to £70000
  • Chartered land‐based engineer can earn £60,000 or more
  • Outdoor mechanical engineer – $50,550 and $119,480, with a median salary of $74,920.
  • Oil and gas engineers with three to five years experience may earn between £45,000 and £55,000
  • Geologist $101,000
  • Athletics Director – Higher Ed. $101,000
  • Field Engineers and construction engineers $100,000
  • Sailing skipper £50000
  • Farmer £20000 to £50000
  • Sports engineer – £18,000 a year and over £50,000
  • Nursery sales managers – £46,000 a year at larger nurseries
  • Environmental Engineer $90000
  • Landscape gardeners £35000 to £45000
  • Greenkeeper – £10,000 for an apprentice to more than £44,000 a year for a golf course manager at a prestigious course.
  • Natural Environment and Conservation Managers £40,845
  • Rollercoaster Engineer – $45,000 to $80,000 per year.
  • Incorporated land-based engineers can earn up to £40,000
  • Fire Station Managers – between £36,365 and £40,109
  • Events manager – £17,000 to £21,000, and with experience, rising to £25,000 to £40,000.
  • Personal trainers –£40,000. Freelance instructors can earn between £20 and £40 an hour. Some popular instructors with high profile clients can earn between £50 and £100 an hour. Personal trainers in full‐time employment can earn between £18,000 and £40,000.
  • Parks officer – £17,000 to £40,000.
  • Fence installer £12000 to £40000
  • Senior Resort Representative £16,000 – £24,000, Resort Manager £40,000
  • Civil engineer £38,000
  • Tourist Board Tourism Manager £28,000 – £35,000, Local Authority Tourism Manager £25,000 – £38,000
  • Head Coach (Major Sport) $70,000
  • Sports development coach – £20,000 to £35,000. Managers can earn up to £50,000.
  • Oil and gas engineer new graduate entrants may earn £25,000 to £35,000 a year
  • Business Travel Agency Manager/Leisure Travel Agency Manager £20,000 – £35,000
  • Tourism Assistant £12,000 – £16,000, Senior Tourism Officer £20,000 – £25,000
  • Farriers – £8,500 up to £35,000 a year for experienced farriers
  • Forester $63,000
  • Gas Pipe fitters £32,000
  • Botanist $61,000
  • Fire Crew managers – between £29,971 and £31,263
  • Electricity distribution workers – Overhead line workers £30000
  • Commercial gas engineer £30,000
  • Gas emergency services engineers £30,000
  • Gas Mains layer £30,000
  • Oil drilling roustabout/roughneck starting salaries may be around £20,000 a year, which may rise to around £25,000 with experience. Roughnecks may earn around £30,000.
  • Leisure Services Operations Manager/ Park Operations Manager/Head of Amusements and Leisure Activities £24,000 – £30,000
  • Conservation and Environmental Management Officers £29,035
  • Tree surgeon £16000 to £30000
  • Plant Area Managers – £15,000 – £30,000
  • Circus performer £12000 to £30000
  • Sport development officer £12000 to £30000
  • Marine craftsperson £8000 to £30000
  • Horticulture Managers £29,861
  • Forestry Managers £29,861
  • Commercial divers – $58,640
  • Firefighters – between £21,157 and £28,199
  • Lightning conductor engineer £15000 to £28000
  • Forest and Conservation Worker $49,000
  • Horse exerciser/trainer $51000
  • Leisure Services Operations Supervisor/Park Operations Supervisor £26,000
  • Leisure centre manager – £17,000 – £25,000. Senior managers can earn over £35,000.
  • Dog handler £15000 to £25000
  • Outdoor activities instructor – £11,000. Experienced instructors can earn between £12,000 and £18,000. Senior instructors can earn £25,000 or more.
  • Ski instructors £10-£20 per hour plus tips
  • Horse riding instructor – £12,000 and £15,000 a year, rising to £25,000 with experience.
  • Bike messenger £14000 to £25000
  • Walking tour guide £12000 to £25000
  • Sailing instructor – £11,000 to £25,000. Yachtmaster instructors and cruising instructors can earn £60 to £90 a day.
  • Senior Fire Control Operator – between £24,741 and £25,678
  • Green Badge Tour Guide (Level 3) £6,000 – £25,000, Blue Badge Tour Guide (Level 4) £6,000 – £25,000
  • Local General Tour Guide £6,000 – £25,000, Senior Tour Operator £16,000 – £24,000
  • Junior Tour Operator £11,000 – £15,000, Senior Tour Operator £16,000 – £24,000
  • Nursery Manager – £24,348
  • Leading Fire Control Operator – around £24,121
  • Land‐based engineer – £18,000 to £24,000
  • Senior Consultant Business Travel Agent £16,000 – £24,000
  • Demolition operative £12000 to £23000
  • Countryside and Park Rangers £22,180
  • Fire control operator – starting at £18,019, rising to £22,524 with experience
  • Estate worker – £14,000, rising to up to £22,500 with experience and into supervisory position
  • The Forestry Commission’s Graduate Development Programme offers a starting salary of £21,966
  • Countryside ranger – £16,000 to over £20,000
  • Riding holiday centre manager – £15,000, rising to £20,000 or more for experienced managers. Salaries depend on the size of the centre, and whether extra benefits such as accommodation, stabling for your own horse and use of centre facilities are included.
  • Swimming pool technician – £15,000 to £20,000.
  • Home Working Travel Consultant £20,000 or more, Travel Consultant Call Centre £14,000 – £20,000
  • Forestry Workers £19,535
  • Leisure centre assistant – £12,500 to £19,000
  • Health trainers – £15,200 and £18,200. Supervisors can earn between £21,000 and £27,000.
  • Sport and fitness occupations £15,000 – £18,000
  • Martial arts instructor ‐ instructors usually charge per lesson at rates starting at around £5.
  • Theme Park Rides and Activities Operators/Entertainer £12,000 – £18,000
  • Gamekeepers – £11,000 to £18,000. Employers often provide free or cheap accommodation and a vehicle.
  • Riding holiday leader – £12,000 and £17,000 per year.
  • Gardeners and Grounds people £16,764
  • Horse groom – £12,500 per year, rising to around £16,000 with experience. Head lads/girls in a racing yard can earn £20,000 plus.
  • Retail Store Assistant/Gift Shop Supervisor/Souvenir Outlet Supervisor £12,000 – £16,000
  • Theme Park Ticket Office Assistant £12,000 – £16,000, Ticket Office Supervisor £14,000 – £18,000
  • Lifeguards – £11,500 a year, rising to over £15,000. Many lifeguards are part-time and are paid an hourly rate, which can range from £6 to £10 per hour.
  • Horticultural Trades £14,318
  • Agricultural Engineering Technician – £12,000 – £13,000 a year, with qualifications this can rise to between £13,500 – £20,000. Senior agricultural technicians can earn up to £25,000.

Where to Find Outdoor Jobs

If these high paying outdoor jobs have got your attention, then have a look at the current outdoor job vacancies from Indeed.

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