For those with a spirit of adventure, a conventional 9-to-5 job may not cut it. Adventurous people also crave novelty, challenges, and a touch of danger in their professional lives. While that career may not be for everyone, finding a job that allows you to explore and stay active while also earning an income is still possible.
Here, we explore 15 of the best jobs for those who seek thrilling experiences and the great outdoors over office cubicles and routinized tasks.
1. Skydiving Instructor
If you have a passion for thrill-seeking and want to share the exhilaration of freefall, becoming a skydiving instructor might be your calling. As a skydiving instructor, you’ll guide and teach individuals the art of jumping out of planes and experiencing the rush of soaring through the sky.
To become a skydiving instructor, you must acquire certifications from recognized skydiving organizations, such as the United States Parachute Association (USPA). The training process involves progressing through different skill levels, accumulating specific jumps, and completing instructional courses. It typically takes several months to a year to complete the necessary training.
Fresh skydiving instructors earn around $25,000 to $35,000 annually. Instructors who work at popular skydiving destinations or establish their schools can earn much higher salaries.
2. Whitewater Rafting Guide
Get ready for an adrenaline-pumping adventure on the river as a whitewater rafting guide! In this role, you’ll lead groups of thrill-seekers through challenging rapids, ensuring their safety while providing an unforgettable experience. You’ll navigate rivers of varying difficulty levels, from scenic floats to heart-pounding Class V rapids.
Most reputable whitewater rafting companies require guides with swift water rescue and first aid certifications. Organizations like the American Canoe Association (ACA) and the International Rafting Federation (IRF) offer training programs. These programs cover river navigation, safety protocols, rescue techniques, and customer service skills.
New whitewater rafting guides can earn from $20,000 to $30,000 annually, depending on the location and company.
3. Mountain Guide/Mountaineer
Becoming a mountain guide or mountaineer can be an enriching career if you have a deep love for the mountains and a spirit of adventure. As a mountain guide, you’ll lead individuals or groups on expeditions to conquer peaks, navigate treacherous terrain, and experience the awe-inspiring beauty of the alpine world.
Mountaineering requires a high level of technical skills and knowledge. Training typically includes courses in rock climbing, ice climbing, glacier travel, navigation, first aid, and rescue techniques. Some organizations, such as the International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations (IFMGA), offer internationally recognized certifications.
Entry-level salaries for mountain guides can range from $25,000 to $40,000 per year.
4. Paragliding Instructor
Soaring through the sky like a bird is a dream come true for many adventure enthusiasts. As a paragliding instructor, you teach others the art of flying using a paraglider, a lightweight, foot-launched aircraft. You will guide students through launching, controlling, and landing the paraglider while ensuring their safety.
To become a paragliding instructor, you must complete a training program certified by a recognized paragliding organization, such as the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (USHPA). Training includes theory and practical lessons covering aerodynamics, meteorology, safety procedures, and teaching methodologies.
Entry-level paragliding instructors can earn around $25,000 to $35,000 per year.
5. Travel Writer/Blogger
If you love writing, have a passion for travel, and have a knack for capturing experiences through words, a travel writer or blogger career can offer endless adventures. As a travel writer, you’ll explore different destinations, immerse yourself in the local culture, and share your experiences and insights through captivating articles, blog posts, or books.
Formal education is not a strict requirement for becoming a travel writer or blogger. However, honing your writing skills, developing a unique voice, and understanding the principles of storytelling can significantly enhance your success in this field. You may also consider attending writing workshops, joining writing associations, or seeking mentorship from established travel writers.
Entry-level travel writers or bloggers may start with modest earnings, often relying on freelance opportunities and collaborations. Income can vary widely depending on factors such as your work’s quality, ability to secure assignments, and audience reach. Entry-level earnings can range from $20,000 to $40,000 annually, but successful travel writers with established platforms can earn much more.
6. Peace Corps Volunteer
Becoming a Peace Corps volunteer could be an incredible adventure if you are passionate about positively impacting the world and immersing yourself in different cultures. As a Peace Corps volunteer, you would work on various projects in areas such as education, health, environment, and community development in countries around the globe.
The Peace Corps provides comprehensive training to prepare volunteers for their assignments. The training covers language skills, cultural understanding, project management, and other relevant skills specific to the volunteer’s role. No certifications are required, but a college degree or relevant experience is generally preferred.
Peace Corps volunteers receive a living allowance during service, covering basic expenses such as housing, food, and transportation. The exact amount varies depending on the country of service but is designed to provide a modest but comfortable lifestyle. After completing their service, volunteers are eligible for a readjustment allowance, which can help them transition back to their home country.
7. Marine Biologist
If you have a deep fascination with the ocean and its inhabitants, a career as a marine biologist can offer you the opportunity to study and protect marine life. Marine biologists conduct research, collect data, and analyze ecosystems and species in marine environments.
A bachelor’s degree (which usually takes four years) in marine biology or a related field is typically required to enter the area. Advanced positions may require a master’s degree or Ph.D. Training includes coursework in biology, ecology, chemistry, and specialized topics related to marine science. Gaining research experience through internships or fieldwork is highly beneficial.
Entry-level salaries for marine biologists start from $40,000 per year, depending on factors such as location, level of education, and the specific employer.
A career as an archaeologist can be thrilling if you are passionate about uncovering ancient civilizations and exploring historical sites. Archaeologists study past human cultures by excavating and analyzing ancient civilizations’ artifacts, structures, and remnants.
A bachelor’s degree in archaeology, anthropology, or a related field is typically required to enter the profession and takes four years to complete. Advanced positions may require a master’s or Ph.D. in archaeology, which can take an additional two to six years. Fieldwork experience and participation in excavations are crucial for practical training.
Entry-level salaries for archaeologists can range from $40,000 to $60,000 per year, depending on factors such as location, level of education, and the specific employer.
9. Stunt Performer
If you love action, physicality, and performing daring feats, a career as a stunt performer can provide an adrenaline-filled adventure. Stunt performers execute dangerous and thrilling actions in movies, TV shows, and live performances, doubling for actors in high-risk sequences.
Formal education requirements vary, but many stunt performers acquire skills through specialized training programs, stunt schools, or apprenticeships. Training includes learning various stunts, fight choreography, body control, and safety protocols. Certifications may not be mandatory but can enhance your credibility and employability.
Generally, entry-level stunt performers can earn around $25,000 to $50,000 annually. Earnings can increase significantly as experience and reputation grow, especially for those working on high-profile projects.
10. Professional Athlete
Becoming a professional athlete can be an exciting adventure if you have exceptional athletic abilities and a burning passion for sports. Professional athletes compete at the highest level in their chosen sport, dedicating their lives to training, competition, and pushing the boundaries of human performance.
Training to become a professional athlete typically starts at a young age, with focused practice, coaching, and participation in competitive events. While formal education in sports science or related fields can be beneficial, it is only sometimes a requirement. However, certifications or licenses may be necessary for specific sports or participation in certain leagues or organizations.
Professional athletes earn from a few thousand dollars to millions per year for elite athletes in popular sports.
11. Ski/Snowboard Instructor
As a ski/snowboard instructor, you can spend your days on the slopes, sharing your love for winter sports with others. Your primary responsibility is to teach individuals or groups how to ski or snowboard, helping them improve their technique, build confidence, and have a great time on the mountain.
Most ski resorts and ski schools offer training programs for aspiring instructors. These programs cover teaching methodologies, safety procedures, and skill development. Certification from organizations like the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) or the Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance (CSIA) can boost your credentials and increase your employability.
Entry-level salaries for ski/snowboard instructors can vary depending on factors such as the resort’s location, clientele, and your level of certification. On average, entry-level instructors earn around $15 to $25 per hour, potentially earning more through tips and private lessons.
Being a journalist is a dynamic and adventurous career that involves researching, investigating, and reporting news stories to inform the public. Journalists can work in various mediums, such as print, online, television, or radio, covering topics such as politics, sports, culture, or investigative journalism.
While a specific degree in journalism is only sometimes required, many journalists pursue a bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, or a related field which typically takes four years. Practical experience through internships, campus media, or freelance work is precious. Additionally, some journalists choose to join professional organizations like the Society of Professional Journalists.
Fresh journalists earn around $30,000 to $40,000 annually.
13. Wildlife/Documentary Filmmaker
As a Wildlife / Documentary filmmaker, you can capture and share captivating stories of exploration and outdoor adventures. Whether it’s documenting expeditions, extreme sports, or nature’s wonders, your role is to create visually stunning and compelling films that inspire and entertain audiences.
Formal education in filmmaking or a related field can provide a strong foundation, but practical experience and a creative portfolio are often highly valued. Training programs, workshops, and courses specific to adventure filmmaking can offer additional skills and knowledge. Certification may not be mandatory, but it can enhance your credibility and open doors to opportunities.
On average, entry-level Doc filmmakers earn around $30,000 to $50,000 annually.
14. Deep Sea Diver/Scuba Instructor
Being a deep-sea diver or scuba instructor might be the perfect adventure job if you love the ocean and want to explore its depths. As a deep-sea diver, you can dive into the mysterious world beneath the waves, conduct research, perform underwater inspections, or engage in commercial diving tasks.
To become a deep-sea diver or scuba instructor, you must undergo comprehensive training and obtain the necessary certifications within a week or two. Introductory scuba diving certifications such as Open Water Diver and Advanced Open Water Diver are usually obtained through recognized diving agencies like PADI or SSI. Specialized certifications like Rescue Diver, Divemaster, or Instructor are required for more advanced diving roles.
Generally, entry-level deep-sea divers can earn around $30,000 to $40,000 annually, while scuba instructors can earn about $20,000 to $40,000 annually.
Volcanologists are scientists who study volcanoes, volcanic activity, and their associated geological processes. They venture into volcanic regions to collect samples, monitor volcanic activity, analyze data, and research to better understand volcanic behavior and mitigate volcanic hazards.
Becoming a volcanologist requires a solid educational background in geology, earth sciences, or a related field. A bachelor’s degree is usually the minimum requirement, but higher-level degrees such as a master’s or Ph.D. can enhance career prospects. Practical field experience, internships, and research opportunities are valuable in gaining hands-on skills.
On average, entry-level volcanologists earn around $40,000 to $60,000 annually.
Embracing a career that fuels your spirit for adventure is a daring yet rewarding move. These best jobs for adventurers offer the thrill of novelty and excitement and allow for personal growth and a greater appreciation for the great outdoors.
So, whether you’re scaling mountains, diving into the ocean’s depths, or exploring uncharted territories, remember that the world is your office.
These have been the best jobs for adventurers, allowing you to break free from the ordinary and step into the extraordinary. Go for it!