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Escaping the Office: 12 High-Paying Careers for Adventurous Types

Finding a career that aligns with your adventurous spirit can feel like a never-ending search. Thanks to growing and expanding industries and trades, fresh options that break away from the office-life mentality crop up regularly. There are plenty of high-paying jobs that leave the office behind for those who crave adventure and excitement. Let’s take a look at a few.

Wildlife Biologist

Wildlife biologists study and manage the lives of wild animals worldwide. From tagging animals and helping them relocate to areas with more resources to monitoring species' populations and conducting research studies, there's not a day when they're not fully immersed in nature and wildlife

The median annual wage for this profession in May 2022 was $67,430. Moreover, employment is projected to grow by 3% over the next decade. Many wildlife biologists have a bachelor's degree in wildlife biology, general biology, zoology, or a related field. A master's degree is often required for higher-level investigative or scientific work.

Archeologist

Archeologists study human history and prehistory by excavating, dating, and interpreting objects and historical sites. Your daily duties might include:

  • Analyzing artifacts;
  • Conducting archaeological surveys or excavations;
  • Managing and preserving archaeological collections. 

This job is perfect for adventurous folks as it often involves traveling to remote archaeological sites.

According to the BLS, anthropologists and archeologists earned a median annual wage of $63,940 in May 2022. Employment is expected to grow by 4% from 2022 to 2032. To become an archeologist, you usually need a master's degree or Ph.D. in archaeology or anthropology and fieldwork experience. 

Search and Rescue Pilot

Search and rescue pilots carry out missions to locate and save people in distressing or challenging environments. This role is ideal for adventurous people because it involves flying under difficult conditions and requires quick decision-making and problem-solving skills. 

As outlined by ZipRecruiter, this career sees an average annual pay of around $99,206, and the general industry is projected to grow by 4%. To become a search and rescue pilot, you must complete flight training and obtain a commercial pilot's license from the Federal Aviation Administration. You may also need additional certifications and licenses depending on your specific job duties.

Electrical Powerline Installer 

Electrical powerline installation is an exciting career for adventure lovers. It involves building tall structures and fixing electrical systems, often in challenging environments. This job is perfect for those who enjoy physical activities and problem-solving, offering a mix of hands-on tasks and mental challenges in ever-changing settings.

Working with diesel engines can be part of their duties as well. They might use vehicles equipped with diesel engines like the Cummins 4BT, and diesel generators are often used in emergencies to restore power temporarily until repairs can be made.

According to the BLS, electrical powerline installers and repairers made a median annual wage of $82,340 in May 2022. It's projected that employment in this field will grow by 3% until 2032. To become an electrical powerline installer, you typically need a high school diploma or equivalent and some vocational training.

Volcanologist

As a volcanologist, you study volcanoes and phenomena such as geysers and hot springs. Your duties might include:

  • Monitoring volcanic activity;
  • Conducting field research;
  • Working to predict eruptions;
  • Collecting and analyzing geological data.

This job is ideal for adventure seekers as it often involves travel and fieldwork in potentially dangerous environments near active volcanoes.

The BLS reports the median annual wage for geoscientists, which includes volcanologists, was $87,480 in May 2022. The job outlook for the next decade is expected to grow by 5%. Most geoscientist jobs require a bachelor's degree, but volcanologists typically need a master's degree or Ph.D. in geology or a related field and a state-issued license. 

Forensic Science Technician

Forensic science technicians aid criminal investigations by collecting and analyzing evidence. They often specialize in areas such as DNA analysis or firearm examination, and they might work in labs or at crime scenes. This job can be exciting for adventurous people because it involves solving complex problems and sometimes requires fieldwork.

The BLS states that the median annual wage for forensic science technicians was $63,740 in May 2022. Luckily, they also mention that the job outlook is projected to grow by 13%. You'll typically need a bachelor's degree in biology or forensic science and on-the-job training. 

Cruise Director

As a cruise director, you organize fun events, supervise hundreds of people, and guide guests through their days onboard. This position is perfect for those who love travel, social interaction, and event management.

Under the umbrella of entertainment and recreation managers, the median annual wage was $67,220 in May 2022, and the field itself is expected to grow 8% from 2022 to 2032. However, salaries can vary depending on ship size and cruise line. Most cruise directors start by working in tourism or hospitality, and knowledge of cruise ship operations and cruise line policies helps.

Travel Nurse

For those who may already be in the medical field, travel nursing is a rewarding career. They provide healthcare services to patients, just like regular nurses, but they also have the opportunity to travel, sometimes internationally. This job is ideal for those with an adventurous spirit and passion for travel and helping others.

The BLS median annual wage for registered nurses, which includes travel nurses, was $81,220 in May 2022. This job outlook is projected to grow by 6%, offering excellent job security. To become one, you must be a registered nurse, which requires a bachelor's, associate's, or a diploma from an authorized nursing program. 

Underwater Welder

With this job, you might perform welding repairs and installations in deep water. It's physically demanding and involves dangerous work with long periods away from home, but the rewards are great for those who love adrenaline-fueled professions.

According to Comparably, the salaries of underwater welders in the US can vary quite a bit, with a median salary of $37,028. As per Zippia, the demand for underwater welders is projected to grow by 12%. To become an underwater welder, you'll need a GED or high school diploma, complete specialized training in both welding and commercial diving, and may also need certifications from organizations like the American Welding Society.

Heavy Equipment Operator

Becoming a heavy equipment operator might be an excellent choice for those who enjoy working with powerful machinery and being outdoors. These operators use heavy construction equipment, such as bulldozers and cranes, to move materials outdoors and perform tasks like digging trenches or excavating land. 

Mechanic/repair technologists who work alongside heavy equipment operators also need knowledge about diesel engines like the CAT C15 or CAT C13  engines, among others. They play a significant role in ensuring that the equipment is always running smoothly and efficiently. 

Construction equipment operators had a median annual wage of $51,050 in May 2022, and employment is expected to grow by 3%. To become one, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent and on-the-job training. 

Storm Chaser

Storm chasers are meteorologists who track severe weather conditions such as tornados, hurricanes, and storms. They collect data for scientific research and to improve warning systems, contributing to public safety. This job is perfect for adventurous people because it involves travel and sometimes dangerous weather conditions that bring a sense of thrill.

Salary for storm chasers varies based on experience level, storm frequency, and funding source. The median annual wage for atmospheric scientists, including meteorologists, was $83,780 in May 2022, and job growth is projected at 4%

If you're considering becoming a storm chaser, you'll usually need a bachelor's degree in meteorology or a related field. For research roles, these scientists often pursue a master's degree or a Ph.D.

Oceanographer

Oceanographers are scientists who study the movement of ocean waters, the physics of oceans, and marine life. It's a profession perfect for adventurous souls because it often involves travel, fieldwork, and sometimes even exploring remote locations or hopping aboard research crafts.

The BLS median annual wage for geoscientists, which includes oceanographers, was $87,480 in May 2022. These jobs are projected to grow by 5%. Most oceanographer jobs require a bachelor's degree, and some positions might prefer candidates with a master's or doctoral degree. Plus, you'll need a state-issued license. 

If you're feeling stuck in your current career path, take some time to explore these unique options and see where they could take you!

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