Most of us are probably hunkering down right now — whether because of COVID-19 cases rising or the fact that winter is in sight — but those of us who love the outdoors will be adventuring no matter what. And even if the cold weather keeps us indoors for a few months, we’ll still be looking forward to the future. What better way to do that than search for a new job? Here are the best outdoor jobs for nature lovers in West Virginia.
Landscapers often choose to start their own businesses (but beware, because the markets are competitive and you might be better off working for someone else and taking less risk). This provides good exercise and keeps you outside all day long. The downside is that you probably won’t be working much in winter. Many landscapers transition to similar jobs in the off-season, such as snow removal.
Perhaps the most obvious job is farming. You don’t exactly create your own schedule — because you’ll be working around the clock no matter what — but many people take pride in sustaining themselves instead of relying on others. And you can be creative with planting. Aside from staple crops like corn and potatoes, you can plant sunflowers for seeds, berry bushes, or trees for fruit and nuts. You reap exactly what you sow, so to speak!
Try looking at the trails near where you live. Although many look for volunteers in the spring, summer, and fall seasons to maintain trail conditions year-round, some longer trails actually employ ridgerunners or maintenance crews. Ridgerunners often spend three or four days hiking along the trail, and then have the rest of the week off. Some trail agencies also employ caretakers at shelters or camping sites to maintain outdoor bathrooms or collect payments from visitors.
Environmentalists, geologists, and archaeologists all work outdoors, but you might be able to find a niche that doesn’t require much education. The downside is that you probably won’t find anything that pays well — but that’s the risk you take for outdoor adventure on a daily basis.
Ever considered working for a zoo? Zookeepers spend much of their time outdoors with animals, which is another boon for many people who appreciate all aspects of nature. Depending on your qualifications, you might be able to find a good-paying job.
Construction work is often provided by the state, which means you don’t always need much education to get started in a new career. Much of this work is conducted outdoors. It isn’t for everyone, but it’s an option.
Another great option for wine lovers is researching and establishing a vineyard. Although this job requires a lot of patience, many aspects occur outdoors and the financial benefits often pay off.
The state of West Virginia provides many resources for those looking for a job. Utilizing these resources and other employment services will likely provide you with work faster than the shotgun approach, but to each his own.