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Outdoor Jobs with Environmental Organizations

So many people have jumped on the green bandwagon, from driving around in hybrid cars and recycling everything they can, to carrying reusable bags to the grocery store. It sure feels like more and more people are doing whatever they can to help take care of the environment and the world we all share.

If you've ever sat back and wondered about how you could do even more and make a greater impact, working for an environmental organization just may be the answer you've been looking for. What could be more natural than working for one of these organizations in the great outdoors? Jobs with these types of private (and usually non-profit) employers involve much of the same work found with government agencies, such as wildlife studies, trail maintenance, scientific research and rehabilitation efforts.

But competition for full-time paying positions is tough - sometimes even more so than for federal government positions. These full-time career positions typically require previous work experience and/or education in the natural sciences or related fields. However, there are so many other great ways to do seasonal work and gain that much needed experience. If working for an environmental agency is the goal, it can be achieved with dedication and hard work. Because most of the organizations are non-profit and run based on donations, the salaries of workers can be lower than in other similar jobs, but what you gain from making the world a better place for your children's children can be well worth it.

FACT! In the United States, there are 13.2 million acres of large trees that are at least 200 years old. Most of these trees will remain unspoiled because of regulatory laws.

Types of Outdoors Environmental Jobs

It's fair to say that not all jobs or organizations are created equal on the environmental organization front. Because of the size and range of the agencies, opportunities will vary with each organization and possibly from state to state as well. People from all walks of life and backgrounds work for environmental organizations and find the work very rewarding. From lawyers to scientists, there is a great diversity among environmental organization employees.

Within these organizations you will find people who have worked in other areas relating to environmental causes, such as lawyers or lobbyists, scientists who have studied in the field of biology, botany and other sciences, as well as people who started in the NPS system doing manual labor work before moving over to the environmental side. You may also find research students, business owners, accountants, marketing executives, nurses and managers among the varied employees.  There is one thing that all of these people have in common and that is a desire to protect and serve our environment much like the police do a town or city. Each of these positions come together to make up an environmental organization, and each job plays an important role within it. Truly in this instance, the whole is stronger than an individual part.

Did You Know?  According to the U.S. Forest Service, managed forests often produce more biodiversity than completely natural forests. Even tree farm plantations contain a rich environment of plants and animals.

While we cannot list all the many and varied environmental groups to be considered for employment, we do highlight The Nature Conservancy and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy as two environmental groups that offer paid positions. (See the non-government jobs) But don't forget that there are many more opportunities to get work experience through volunteering. Almost all environmental groups offer part-time volunteer jobs, some of which are examined on different areas of this site. Just remember that you don't have to chain yourself to a tree to save it, or do anything else as drastic to really make an impact on today's environment. If you really want to make a difference, check out the job opportunities at these companies that are already doing just that.

Quick Summary:

  • For nature lovers, there is no better place to spend your day than in the great outdoors  working outside for a green environmental company.
  • Competition for these open positions can be even fiercer than within the government and parks private sectors.
  • Environmental jobs are meant to incorporate a person's passion about nature and turn it into satisfying work.
  • Internships and volunteer opportunities are excellent ways to transition into a full-time career working for an environmental organization.
  • You may have to research each organization independently to find the one that best suits your needs.