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Help me discover outdoorsy career paths

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 8th, 2020 10:15 am
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jul 26, 2013
654 posts
558 upvotes
CALGARY

Help me discover outdoorsy career paths

Hi all,
I'm sure there are many different career paths out there which relate to fish and game, and our parks in general. Not to mention forestry, land management, zoning/surveying types of jobs.

What I can think of presently:
Fish and wildlife officer
Conservation officer
Forester/forestry technician
Geomatics engineer / tech
Geologist
Wildland firefighter

What other "outdoorsy" or conservation / land management type jobs careers are out there? Not something like campground attendant lol
Thanks
11 replies
Deal Addict
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Jun 10, 2011
2065 posts
560 upvotes
Woodbridge
Garbageman/woman
Deal Addict
Jun 12, 2008
1246 posts
722 upvotes
Ripley
Fishing guide at a private resort.
Deal Addict
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May 4, 2010
1860 posts
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Park Ranger
Landscape Architect
Arborist - I saw training/schooling ads on FB for this and I was greatly interested but it doesn't pay that well
Deal Addict
Jul 13, 2009
4838 posts
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Surveyor, GIS, Drone Operator
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Jun 11, 2016
2271 posts
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I'd go plant trees for a summer to confirm being outdoors is right for you.

Park Ranger would be my recommendation or go work at a carribean resort.
Member
May 29, 2017
287 posts
208 upvotes
Rigger? For RF technican. Most cell sites that need to be upgraded are outdoors. Really fun and you work by yourself.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 4, 2010
5182 posts
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findmesumdealz wrote: Hi all,
I'm sure there are many different career paths out there which relate to fish and game, and our parks in general. Not to mention forestry, land management, zoning/surveying types of jobs.

What I can think of presently:
Fish and wildlife officer
Conservation officer
Forester/forestry technician
Geomatics engineer / tech
Geologist
Wildland firefighter

What other "outdoorsy" or conservation / land management type jobs careers are out there? Not something like campground attendant lol
Thanks
You already covered the major ones but perhaps one of these:
- academics/research in one of the above
- botanist
- wildlife or pest control
- aquatic biologist or limnologist
- ecologist
- arborist
- hydrologist
- parks & recreation dept (city or municipality) or arboretum
- nursery or greenhouse
- landscaper
- farming


I didn't read this but thought I'd share it: https://nextluxury.com/business-money/b ... tdoorsmen/
Sr. Member
Jun 19, 2007
813 posts
774 upvotes
Halifax
findmesumdealz wrote: Hi all,
I'm sure there are many different career paths out there which relate to fish and game, and our parks in general. Not to mention forestry, land management, zoning/surveying types of jobs.

What I can think of presently:
Fish and wildlife officer
Conservation officer
Forester/forestry technician
Geomatics engineer / tech
Geologist
Wildland firefighter

What other "outdoorsy" or conservation / land management type jobs careers are out there? Not something like campground attendant lol
Thanks
Hah, this post could have been written by me. Not exactly sure what your background or life situation is, but even in the industries I was in, there were lots of jobs from unskilled to professional. I went field oil and gas engineer, and then after I got laid off from that, took time off to travel, and then got a job as an airborne survey engineer. Both jobs basically had me travelling around the Canada, US, and Asia to super remote places (depending where I was based), and using different tools to try to figure out what was underground, interpret it, and make recommendations. Now from all levels there were operators/helpers, pilots, AMEs (hands on aircraft engineers), and on the oil side we were always operating on the field jobs from the confines of rig, or camp/base which all had huge support staff, then after however long the job took, go back to a regular house. So in short, out side of gov't, anything in the resource industry, since oil, diamonds and Yttrium aren't so common in dt Vancouver.

I did this from about mid 20s to early 30s, and loved it - for a time. I've seen places most people (even citizens of these countries that most people in the west can't locate on a map) aren't familiar with, made tons of money, worked rotations that gave me huge blocks of time off affording me the opportunity to travel more. I've lost track of how many countries I've been to but its 60+, and burnt through a 48 page passport in 2 years.

The huge huge downside in my opinion is that work becomes priority #1 (even ahead of your kids), you work A LOT (24 hr stints were common place, 48 less so but still wouldn't garner any sympathy), hitches could be 4-5 months without a day off (weekends/holidays included) and the biggest one IMO is you become detached from regular society. There are books written from former cruise ship employees and they talk about the same thing. Work becomes your life, family, social circle. "Can you make it home fro Xmas? Uh, Contact me around lunch time on the 23rd, and I'll see what the flights look like from Kinshasa-Paris and let you know" is not a family conversation most people have, but was common place among my circle. It's impossible to date outside of work, you can't really have any hobbies since you live out of bags, impossible to do any community groups, and for my almost 8 years in oil, moved my entire life 5 times 5000+ km away, so you become baseless in the extreme I didn't own a coach or a TV until I was 31. It becomes hard to relate to people. You best friend from high school who now has kids that don't recognize you have nothing in common. "Drinks on Friday with my coworkers was fun" vs "Haha remember when so and so took home the ladyboy he kept trying to convince us was a chick from Soi Cowboy?" Around 30, I truly became exhausted of that, money lost it's meaning, and started pushing hard for a non-field job, and luckily got laid off due to oil falling off a cliff.

Kind of falls into the realm of conservation officer, but some of the most interesting guys I met down in Zimbabwe were safari guides. I've had friends in Canada who did something similar running bear hunting trips, and met guys who worked at fly-in fishing lodges way up north, no info to offer on those beyond a few hours of talking with these folks, but the safari guide did require a 7 year apprenticeship if I recall... Dive instructor is another option, but long hours, crap pay, transient lifestyle, not not really a career. I was also tossing around the idea of becoming an instructor training people to go offshore, safety diving, out on the water doing immersion tests and things like that if you're marine inclined at all.

Now, I've been on a mini retirement for about 2 and a bit years, and been looking to get back into the game, but the thought of a regular 9-5 being stuck in a cubical surrounded by office wieners almost kills me. I've also been tossing around the sorts of gov't jobs you talked about (Park Ranger, Military, Coast Guard) and for Coast Guard anyway, a lot of the ship board position operate on a 28/28 schedule, so you have *some* semblance of normal life. The downside of course is that plum postings go to the senior guys, so I'd likely be posted somewhere horrible, and at this point in my life I'm somewhat settled and not willing to move. The on-boarding process can be up to a year, which is another detriment. While it may be different for field jobs, my experience with the gov't has not been good in terms of efficiency, bureaucratic nonsense, clock watchers who spend all day searching for cruises, and in general a lot of mediocrity and people at all levels avoiding risk, playing CYA, and appealing to lowest common denominator vs trying to get things done/long term vision. (Apologies, I'm sure there are some good people, but speaking from experience in AF reserves, tons of military friends + several family in Ottawa who boast about how little actual work they do).

So I too at am a bit of a crossroads. If you're under 25, and willing to put off normal life for a while, I'd tell you to go into field level resources/surveying in a heart beat, lots of downtime in the field to hike or fish, but have an exit strategy. I've seen these things go only 2 ways, well 3 if you include those who can't hack the life and quit within 6 months. First is my path, you work very hard, enjoy the adventures for what they are, the time off, meeting some of the most ridiculous people you'll ever meet, live frugally and save save save, and be financially independent by 35 (probably less so in the gov't... also gov't jobs tend to be more "jobs for life"). The next is people who get addicted to the money, spend it all on frivolous crap and can simply never afford to quit. You eat crap food since you're always on the road so health goes to hell, you never see your wife so she divorces you, kids don't recognize you, and I see guys like that in their 50s, and all they have for them in their life is their toys, which they barely ever get to use since they're never home, and I just pitied them.

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