Almost every High School teacher has used this phrase at some point: “Do what you love and never work a day in your life.”

While that very phrase may induce countless eye rolls, it does have some merit.

Working indoors eight hours a day at a computer isn’t everyone’s cup of tea so we’ve rounded up the best and highest (or at least decent) paying jobs that are out of the office and out in nature.

They’re career paths that will likely leave you tanned and happy, although not necessarily filthy rich.

Beach Lifeguard


Lifeguards have some pretty nice views. Photo: Courtesy of Harold Litwiler/ Flickr

Being a lifeguard is really tough. You’re quite literally guarding peoples’ lives. However, your office is the beach and patrolling it is part of the job.

Newer and younger lifeguards usually have to start as seasonal employees and work their way up to full-time.

Although as some southern California lifeguards have found, the job can pay really well. According to The San Diego Union Tribune, a handful of California’s lifeguards were bringing in between $100,000 and $170,000 annually including extensive overtime.

Since it’s a public job, there are a lot of different employers. There are state, local and national lifeguards so if you’re looking to watch over a particular beach, find out what jurisdiction it’s in to learn the application process.

Park Ranger

Park Ranger

Park Rangers are the ambassadors to national and state parks. Photo: Courtesy of David Prasad/ Flickr

A park ranger does everything at national and state parks, from acting as cashier at the parking booth, to keeping the peace and writing tickets to those breaking laws.

The benefits of being a park ranger are more time than most at some of the country’s most spectacular national treasures.

Just like a lifeguard, a park ranger can serve at the local level, state or federal level so again, if there is a particular park you’d like to call your office, find out which jurisdiction it’s in.

However, this job isn’t that great paying and there is a saying that you get paid in sunrises and sunsets.

The highest paying state to park rangers, Pennsylvania, pays an average of $47,000 to its rangers.

Outdoor Photographer


Photographers work odd hours, but the results can be breathtaking. Photo: Courtesy of Nathan Rupert/ Flickr

Today, this job no longer requires a lengthy apprenticeship or an expensive arts degree (although it couldn’t hurt). There are such things as “influencers” which are people on social media with huge followings that get paid by sponsors.

Whether you take the traditional route and try and get published in National Geographic or SURFER, there are tons of different ways to get paid by photographing the outdoors.

The best way to get better at it and turn it into a career is practice and read up on it.

Since there are so many different income streams as a photographer, the pay varies greatly. Some artists have their own studios, while others supplement by photographing weddings and family portraits. It all depends on skill level and demand.

Range Manager


Range managers track changes and study habitats in a variety of different climates. Photo: Courtesy of Andy Rothwell/ Flickr

Range Managers are exactly what they sound like, people who get paid to manage natural habitats, like wetlands, grasslands and woodlands.

Some help farmers and ranchers while others work for non-profit trusts that are set up to protect a certain chunk of land.

Most positions rely heavily on science and require a scientific degree.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average pay for a range manager (or conservation manager) is $60,000 a year.

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