13 Best Jobs for People Who Love Hiking (High Paying)

Looking for high-paying jobs that let you hit the trails?

This list showcases the best jobs for people who love hiking. If the smell of pine and the sound of a flowing creek call out to you, these jobs might be your next big adventure.

What Makes a Good Job for People Who Love Hiking?

We looked for jobs that:

  • Get you close to nature
  • Offer the freedom to roam and explore
  • Have a physical component, so you’re not just sitting at a desk
  • Involve some form of environmental stewardship or conservation
  • Allow for flexible schedules to accommodate optimal hiking conditions
  • Require skills directly related to hiking, like navigation or survival techniques

Best Jobs for People Who Love Hiking

Some of the gigs on this list might need a fancy degree, but plenty don’t. You can score a high salary based on your skills and some specialized certifications, with no cap and gown required.

Alright, let’s jump right into our top job picks for people who love hiking.

1. Park Ranger

Average salary: $41,682

A Park Ranger patrols parks, helps preserve natural resources, and engages with the public. Sometimes also known as a Forest Ranger or Wildlife Ranger, depending on what they’re focused on.

Job duties:

  • Patrolling designated areas
  • Assisting lost hikers
  • Fighting minor fires
  • Educating visitors
  • Protecting wildlife
  • Enforcing park rules

Job requirements:

  • Basic First Aid and CPR certification
  • Physical fitness for patrolling and rescue
  • Good communication skills for public interaction
  • Ability to operate basic machinery like ATVs
  • Passion for nature conservation

2. Fire Lookout

Average salary: $45,477

A Fire Lookout monitors forested areas for signs of fire, also called a Fire Watcher or Fire Spotter.

Job duties:

  • Watching for fire signs from a tower
  • Reporting fires to the appropriate authorities
  • Recording weather conditions
  • Operating communications equipment
  • Updating fire hazard signs
  • Keeping the lookout tower clean
  • Maintaining emergency fire-fighting tools

Job requirements:

  • Firefighting or emergency response training
  • Proficiency in operating radio equipment
  • Basic understanding of meteorological terms
  • Strong observation skills
  • Ability to work independently
  • Physical capability to reach the tower
  • Basic maintenance skills for equipment upkeep

3. Adventure Tour Guide

Average salary: $35,724

An Adventure Tour Guide leads groups on outdoor adventure activities like zip-lining, rock climbing, and caving, also referred to as an Expedition Guide or Adventure Leader.

Job duties:

  • Leading adventure activities
  • Ensuring group safety
  • Providing gear instructions
  • Coordinating with site staff
  • Educating guests on local ecology
  • Managing group dynamics
  • Handling emergency situations

Job requirements:

  • Specific certifications for adventure activities (e.g., rock climbing)
  • First Aid or CPR certification
  • Extensive experience in the adventure activity of focus
  • Ability to manage groups
  • Communication skills
  • Basic knowledge of local natural history
  • Physical fitness to perform activities

4. Outdoor Educator

Average salary: $36,776

An Outdoor Educator teaches academic subjects or life skills in an outdoor setting, sometimes known as a Wilderness Educator or Environmental Educator.

Job duties:

  • Conducting outdoor lessons
  • Teaching survival skills
  • Educating on local ecosystems
  • Planning outdoor activities
  • Preparing educational materials
  • Evaluating student performance
  • Ensuring safety during activities

Job requirements:

  • Teaching certification or relevant degree
  • First Aid or CPR certification
  • Proficiency in outdoor survival skills
  • Familiarity with local ecosystems
  • Ability to manage groups
  • Good physical fitness
  • Creative lesson planning skills

5. Ski Patrol

Average salary: $55,848

A Ski Patroller ensures the safety of ski resort visitors by monitoring conditions and responding to emergencies.

Job duties:

  • Monitoring ski conditions
  • Administering first aid
  • Rescuing injured skiers
  • Setting up safety signage
  • Avalanche control
  • Trail maintenance
  • Reporting conditions

Job requirements:

  • Avalanche safety training
  • First Aid or CPR certification
  • Skiing or snowboarding proficiency
  • Physical fitness
  • Basic mechanical skills
  • Radio communication skills
  • Stress management abilities

6. Ecotourism Operator

Average salary: $49,454

An Ecotourism Operator guides visitors through natural environments, focusing on conservation and education, often called a Nature Guide or Conservation Tour Leader.

Job duties:

  • Leading eco-tours
  • Educating on local flora and fauna
  • Demonstrating sustainable practices
  • Planning tour itineraries
  • Coordinating with local communities
  • Managing tour equipment
  • Safety briefings

Job requirements:

  • Certifications related to ecotourism or conservation
  • First Aid or CPR certification
  • Familiarity with local ecosystems
  • Public speaking skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Physical fitness
  • Customer service skills

7. Zipline Guide

Average salary: $38,636

A Zipline Guide helps people soar through the air safely on ziplines, sometimes referred to as an Aerial Adventure Guide.

Job duties:

  • Harnessing participants
  • Conducting safety briefings
  • Launching and receiving guests
  • Inspecting equipment
  • Guiding through aerial courses
  • Assisting with rescues
  • Keeping logs of activities

Job requirements:

  • Certified in high-angle rescue
  • CPR and First Aid certification
  • Comfort with heights
  • Physical agility
  • Basic mechanical skills
  • Communication skills
  • Teamwork abilities

8. Climbing Instructor

Average salary: $49,116

A Climbing Instructor teaches people how to climb, indoors or outdoors, often called a Rock Climbing or Mountaineering Instructor.

Job duties:

  • Teaching climbing basics
  • Demonstrating safety techniques
  • Setting up climbing gear
  • Supervising climbs
  • Maintaining climbing equipment
  • Creating lesson plans
  • Providing performance feedback

Job requirements:

  • Climbing Instructor Certification
  • First Aid or CPR certification
  • Climbing experience
  • Physical strength and stamina
  • Basic rigging skills
  • Patience and instructive ability
  • Risk assessment skills

9. Water Quality Technician

Average salary: $54,927

A Water Quality Technician tests and assesses water to make sure it meets health standards. Sometimes they’re also called Water Quality Analysts or Water Treatment Technicians.

Job duties:

  • Collecting water samples
  • Running lab tests
  • Interpreting data
  • Maintaining equipment
  • Drafting reports
  • Communicating with agencies
  • Recommending improvements

Job requirements:

  • Associate degree in environmental science or related field
  • Lab experience
  • Familiarity with water treatment processes
  • Good data interpretation skills
  • Basic computer skills
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Manual dexterity for sample collection

10. Tree Surgeon

Average salary: $53,969

A Tree Surgeon, also known as an Arborist, takes care of trees and solves tree-related problems like diseases and structural issues.

Job duties:

  • Pruning branches
  • Diagnosing tree diseases
  • Applying treatments
  • Removing trees
  • Stump grinding
  • Inspecting for safety
  • Advising clients

Job requirements:

  • Certified Arborist credential
  • Experience with chainsaws and other tools
  • Knowledge of tree biology
  • Strong spatial awareness
  • Comfortable with heights
  • Physical stamina
  • Basic communication skills

11. Expedition Leader

Average salary: $51,527

An Expedition Leader guides adventurers through challenging terrains and experiences. Sometimes referred to as Adventure Tour Leaders or Outdoor Guides.

Job duties:

  • Planning routes
  • Leading groups
  • Ensuring safety
  • Managing emergencies
  • Coordinating logistics
  • Educating participants
  • Documenting trips

Job requirements:

  • Wilderness First Responder certification
  • Multiple years of outdoor experience
  • Local terrain knowledge
  • Strong leadership skills
  • Ability to make quick decisions
  • Basic photography skills for documentation
  • People skills

12. Conservation Officer

Average salary: $54,360

A Conservation Officer enforces laws related to wildlife and natural resources. Also known as Game Wardens or Environmental Police.

Job duties:

  • Patrolling areas
  • Enforcing laws
  • Conducting investigations
  • Collecting evidence
  • Educating the public
  • Assisting other agencies
  • Rescuing injured animals

Job requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in environmental science or related field
  • Law enforcement training
  • Firearms proficiency
  • Familiarity with local wildlife
  • Good observational skills
  • Physical fitness
  • Basic report writing skills

13. Wildlife Photographer

Average salary: $65,011

A Wildlife Photographer captures images of animals in their natural habitats, also known as nature photographers or animal photographers.

Job duties:

  • Scouting locations
  • Setting up equipment
  • Snapping photos
  • Observing wildlife
  • Editing photos
  • Archiving work
  • Selling photos

Job requirements:

  • Experience with digital and film cameras
  • Knowledge of animal behavior
  • Patience for long waits
  • Basic survival skills
  • Understanding of ethical guidelines
  • Familiarity with editing software like Adobe Photoshop

See, There Are Careers for People Who Love Hiking!

From Outdoor Educator to Tree Surgeon, you’ve got a diverse array of high-paying jobs that let you revel in your love for hiking.

Which job is shouting out to you? Chime in with your favorites in the comments!

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