A Natural Life: 3 Well Paying Outdoor Jobs Without a Degree

As a child, at least one with an ok upbringing, many of us picture a day when we work a job that serves others. We also picture enjoying whatever the activities might be. However, as an adult, many of us find ourselves in a situation where that’s not the case, and see little routes to get there. Maybe the reality is those jobs just aren’t as apparent.

If you want a career working outside or a job outdoors that does more for you than just get you by, there are options. There are a variety of jobs that don’t require a degree that you can start right now and that will pay more than many entry-level construction or landscaping jobs.

Three Outdoor Jobs With Good Pay and Career Paths

Getting on the road to a better paying and more meaningful career isn’t always easy, but knowing where to look definitely helps. As far as jobs in nature, there are lots of opportunities, especially now with routes opening up in renewable energy and more of an emphasis on protecting the environment from various industries. These three jobs may just be an application away.

Arborists

Arborists are seemingly an extension of the landscaping industry, but with the added benefit of making more money on average to start, getting to climb trees and use a chainsaw, as well as getting to take care of trees. Their job is to make the tree healthier while protecting the needs of the homeowner as well in residential areas. The pay isn’t bad either, with a median salary of $47,979 according to the bureau of labor and statistics, and a range from 32,000 to 72,000.

Arborists in general have a deeper knowledge about trees than the average person and some of them may start out by getting a degree in horticulture. However, if you can prove your tree knowledge, just being your nature-loving self is probably enough to get you in when a company is hiring. There are probably a few tree care and trimming services near you that you can apply to. 

Nursery Techs

Being a nursery tech is a relatively common job that many don’t consider. You’ve probably seen them at your local nursery, plant store, or garden center, but it’s a good inroad to jobs further up in the plant, agricultural, and environmental industries. As a nursery tech, you’ll take care of plants that are soon to be for sale and naturally learn as you do. 

The median reported salary for a nursery tech in 2021 was $37,000, but while this job may only pay a few more dollars an hour than minimum wage, it can be a stepping stone because while higher ranking jobs may require a degree, it’s considered necessary to have hands-on experience to move up in the field. Getting started as a tech first may even give you a leg up in the classroom.

Solar Installers

Solar Installers do exactly what the name implies, they assemble, install, and maintain rooftop solar as well as some other types of solar installations. You’ll take part in various elements of the job, from design and planning to wiring. The need for solar is only going to grow, so the opportunity to get in now, with no degree, is one with a path towards a stable career.

In most states, the median income for a solar installer is in the high 30s to mid-40s, but those on the higher end of the scale in most states can bring in between 50 and 70 thousand. The numbers are also only trending upward. Now’s a great time to get into solar without a degree, as it will certainly become more of a requirement once it reaches a certain saturation of workers.

Get Started in an Outdoor Industry Today

With so many changes needing to be made to the way we interact with the environment, jobs like these are only going to become more available, but getting in now gives you a leg up and a path to follow. You can also go along happily knowing that you’re making some sort of positive difference while securing a suitable lifestyle in the process.

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