Find a Green Job
Many future jobs have not even been invented yet! Nature connection and outdoor education give students a head start in getting and creating those jobs, even those that involve developing new technologies. Because what is the most critical informant of technology? You got it – NATURE. Awesome technologies often mimic the natural world. So if you want to prepare your students for college, career and citizenship – get them outside. Build an outdoor classroom or natural playground, take regular field trips to local parks, and integrate nature connection activities across your curriculum.
Looking for a job that requires nature connection? Check out these great resources.
- The Student Conservation Association – Travel to the country’s outdoor gems and gain great conservation experience along the way. Many SCA internships include money you can use toward students loan debt, and typically pay for expenses.
- The National Outdoor Leadership School, or NOLS, has been training outdoor leaders for the past 50 years. NOLS courses range from 10 days to a year and can include sailing, backpacking, climbing, paddling and more. You can get college credit for your NOLS course.
- USA Jobs – National Parks, US Fish and Wildlife, BLM and other US Land management agencies help protect the country’s most amazing natural resources. USA Jobs is your gateway into one of the 70,000 jobs in the Department of the Interior.
- The Wilderness Medicine Institute – WMI teaches wilderness medicine courses to thousands of students every year. The 16-hour Wilderness First Aid certification is a common requirement for many positions leading people in the outdoors, while the 80-hour Wilderness First Responder is more common for extended wilderness trips. Looks good on the resume and prepares you for the unexpected on your adventures.
- The Children and Nature Network – C&NN is a national network of organizations working to increase our connection to the natural world. Dig through the website for great research about the benefits of time spent in nature. Also look for regional networks near you that can be a great connection to your next dream job.
- Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics – The LNT principles have helped to preserve our wild places by teaching visitors to parks how to minimize their impact. Strengthen your resume with a Leave No Trace Trainer Course and help do your part.
- The Outdoor Industry Association – The outdoor recreation industry generates more for the US economy than gasoline or pharmaceuticals. The Outdoor Industry Association puts together some great resources for the outdoor industry. Check out OIA’s career center and outdoor participation survey as two great resources.
- BackdoorJobs.com – Try working at a summer camp in the mountains, teaching skiing at a resort, or leading wilderness therapy trips. They say opportunity creates opportunity and each of these backdoor job adventures can be the experience you need to snag your dream job.
- REI Outdoor School – Did you know REI has hundreds of outdoor instruction videos and articles? Their outdoor school classes are a great way to sharpen your skills. Jobs at REI are a great way to get connected in the outdoor community and grab some killer discounts on gear in the process.
- C&NN’s Natural Leaders Network – Stay up to date on the best tools and training to be a leader in your outdoor community.
- You might also try the job boards at the American Fisheries Society, Wildlife Society, Society of American Foresters, Aquatic Resources Education Association, NAAEE, GreenTechnologyJobs.com, Environmental Protection Agency, Green Chemistry Network, Oregon Parks and Recreation (or your state parks department).
Green Chemist; Park Ranger; Green Building Designer; Environmental Economist; Outdoor Educator/Program Manager; Outdoor Recreation specialist; Energy Statistician; Recycling Director; Non-Profit Director or Community Organizer; Recycled Materials Artist/Designer; Greenhouse Gas Analyst; Sustainability Entrepreneur; Socially Responsible Investment Advisor; Sustainability Related Social Media Specialist; Environmental Journalist; Permaculture Designer/Contractor; Sustainable Landscape Architect; Climate Change Risk Assessor and Mitigation Expert; Sustainable Transportation Planner; Corporate Social Responsibility or Sustainability Staff; Environmental Engineering Technician; Biomass Plant Designer, Manager, or Technician; Refuse & Recycling Worker; Sustainable/Organic Agriculture: farmer, distributor, marketer; Building Codes Inspector; Energy Storage Specialist (e.g. Smart grid, hydrogen, batteries, and compressed air); Water Reservoir and Watershed Engineer/Technician/Educator; Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Financier, Manufacturer, Distributor, Contractor, Retailer, Salesperson or Installer; Energy Policy Analyst; and last but not least, social issue filmmaker.