14 of the Most Adventurous Jobs in the World

Mike Haycock
17.10.2019
14 of the Most Adventurous Jobs in the World
Author: Mike Haycock
17.10.2019 16:16PM

If you’re someone who doesn’t just crave, but needs, adventure, then it’s important to seek it out in all aspects of your life.

This certainly includes your career. It’s not just about the money (although it certainly helps), it’s about fulfilment. It’s about finding something you genuinely have a passion for and then working towards it to secure your dream adventurous job.

Now, there are loads of other incredible career options out there, which might suit you absolutely perfectly. But this list is aimed at the energetic, the dreamers and the adventurous. Those who will be living like it’s a movie every day and those who want to trade the office cubicle for the great outdoors.

You’ll spend a third of your life working, so how about finding what’s out there that you’d genuinely love to do? These aren’t unattainable careers, but ones that need a bit of planning and a solid vision on getting there. If you’ve got a passion for one of the areas below, you can start working hard on securing exactly what you want.

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it.” - Steve Jobs

Outdoors Photographer/Videographer

Overview - The people who bring the natural world into your televisions, computers and smartphones.

From penguins in the most southern points of the world, to incredible sunrise shots in the Sahara, outdoor photographers and videographers will scour the entire planet to ensure that everyone can see the beauty of the natural world.

The Role - The role revolves around being in the outdoors and having a passion for everything linked with it. It is not as simple as a “click and shoot” approach; this role requires an artistic approach to work. You can be away from home for long periods for this job, so be prepared for stints all around the world.

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, this can be an incredible challenge, especially when the perfect shot just isn’t appearing. It can certainly be physically exerting, as the crew from the brilliant Blue Planet 2 found out. From bleeding ears during diving, to extreme cold and weather conditions, you can read about their battles in this incredible article here.

The great thing about this role is that to begin with, anyone can get involved. If you’ve got a camera and an eye for a shot, the world is out there waiting for you to snap it. This means it can provide you with your very first entry point into the industry.

What You Need to Secure Your First Job
  • Solid Professional Portfolio
  • Relevant Experience and Recommendations
  • Extremely strong knowledge of relevant editing software and also camera hardware, with qualifications likely to cement your knowledge base

Safari Guide

Overview - Whether a Safari, Field or Nature Guide, these environmental leaders are at the top of their profession, who use their knowledge of the natural world to inform and educate the general public.

These roles can be based all around the world, yet for the ‘Big 5’ safaris, you are primarily looking at African countries. However, most major countries do have zoos and safari parks, which can provide an excellent route into the industry.

The Role - The role matches important conservation work behind the scenes, with educating the general public whilst on the more customer-focused safaris.

For this role, it is absolutely essential that Guides are bringing not just an in-depth, qualified knowledge of the wildlife they work with, but an absolute passion for it. Unfortunately, we live in a world where poachers still exist, so it can be a role that comes with a huge amount of responsibility.

For those that do, you’ll be privileged enough to see some of the most incredible animals in the world, in their own environment. If you’re looking at working in a wild environment, those who know the local area have a huge advantage. If you’re not local, you’ll have to ensure that your background and experience speaks volumes, so look at building up as much experience as possible.

It is still possible to start, however, with volunteer placements such as RGVs National Park Project providing an entry level experience into doing something you love.

What You Need to Secure Your First Job
  • Qualified and educated within a sector of the wildlife/environmental to degree level
  • Relevant Experience and Recommendations
  • Extremely strong knowledge of relevant industry and issues

Watersports Instructor

Overview - Whether being a powerboat driver teaching wakeboarders, or catching waves as surfer, being a watersports instructor has long been a dream career choice for many.

It is as far away as possible from the office cubicle, with your 9-5 being replaced by sea, sun and sand. From sunrise to sunset, you’ll be sharing your passion for the water and inspiring others to take it up as a hobby themselves.

The Role - Although definitely a dream outdoor career, it’s certainly one to keep you actively busy. Whether lugging equipment, setting up or packing down, it’ll test your physical abilities, so it’s one you’ll want to go into in decent fitness.

The best thing about water sports is that there are so many different types, depending on your passion. Surf instructors, wakeboarders, water skiers, powerboat drivers and jet-skiers are just some of the people who can make a career out of their love of the water. There are also numerous sites around the UK alone that provide opportunities to gain qualifications and experience. You can find out more at your local watersports centres, who offer weekend courses, or you could go for more in-depth courses through the likes of UKSA. By doing so, it can propel you into pole position to secure your first role.

This could be at a summer camp in America with Camp Leaders, who are always searching for water sports instructors that can guide the next generation of children on the water.

This is a role where you’ll be chasing the good weather, so you could find yourself in the sun 365 days a year.

What You Need to Secure Your First Job
  • Relevant experience in chosen role/field, even as a hobby
  • Relevant qualifications (e.g RYA Level 2 Powerboat etc, with bonuses including the likes of first aid, lifeguarding etc)

Sailing/Cruise Worker

Overview - Sticking with the water theme, those working on other vessels have the opportunity to see the world, one sea at a time.

Being out in the big blue sea suits some people perfectly, whilst docking up in a new city constantly provides an adventurous outlook on life. For those involved in sailing, this will include being constantly out in the fresh air, whereas cruise workers will be used to seeing a blanket of blue whenever they look out the window. From the frozen southern tip of Argentina to the tropical seas of the Mediterranean, working in this industry will get you to all four corners of the globe.

The Role - As with most adventurous jobs, you’ll be working physically hard. Although the scenery around you will be incredible, it can involve long hours ensuring that the guests you serve are able to have the time of their lives. It can also span a number of different roles, whether a deckhand or captain on sail boats, through to kids entertainers and chefs on huge cruise ships. This therefore gives a lot of hope to potential applicants, as there are numerous different entries into this sector. Once you’ve got in, it will be your vehicle to see the entire world.

What You Need to Secure Your First Job
  • Relevant experience and recommendations based on the chosen role
  • Relevant qualifications
  • Passion for the open sea

Skydiving/Base Jumping Instructor

Overview - The ultimate thrill.

For those who enjoy the rush of feeling alive by jumping from 15,000ft, skydiving and base jumping certainly provides it. It is, quite literally, the definition of an adrenaline rush, as you hit terminal velocity on the way towards landing. With incredible locations worldwide, a birds-eye view becomes yours.

The Role - For the most part, you’ll be jumping in tandem with (often terrified) members of the general public. Although the jump is the most exciting part, it is also one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. A huge amount of preparatory work goes into ensuring each jump is safe, so the jump is the “tip of the iceberg”, so to speak. Health and safety, along with stringent checks and procedures, are absolutely vital to this role. You also need to be a people person with an affable personality, as you’re going to need to reassure a lot of nervous people. There are even skydiving apprenticeships, including the likes of GoSkydives based over 2 years, where you gain the relevant qualifications and experience needed to achieve your dream role.

Further qualifications are then available if you want to step your career up another notch, if the likes of base jumping are for you.

What You Need to Secure Your First Job
  • Required training and qualification
  • Set level of solo jumps (through an accredited agency)
  • British Parachute Association Membership required to complete courses
  • Experience in a relevant role within industry

Scuba Diving Instructor

Overview - For those who have been scuba diving before, you’ll understand that below the surface of the water, a completely new world awaits.

The colours, sights and sounds are completely alien to what we’re used to terra firma, which makes the activity feel like you’re on an expansive expedition, discovering new parts of our planet. With the fact that “less than 5% of the ocean has been explored”, theres a very good chance that through scuba diving, you could very well end up crossing areas brand new to mankind.

The Role - The role can vary greatly, depending on where you wish to use your skill set. There is an enormous amount of different roles that scuba diving can cater for, from rescue divers, through to instructors teaching newbies the ropes.

Whichever role you decide is best for you, you’ll have a direct split between the active and educational part of the role. The first is the actual “in-water” part, which could be leading, searching, directing, rescuing or whatever else your physical role entails. You won’t be surprised to know that you’ll have to be physically fit, as most roles depend on it.

The other side is the educational aspect, which, in such a potentially dangerous profession, is vitally important. Preparation and health and safety comes number one, and rightly so. If you can lock both of these areas down, you’ll be on the way to becoming a modern day explorer.

There are numerous training and certification bodies, such as PADI, BSAC and SSI, which provides levels of qualifications depending on what you want to do. A lot do an equivalent of an entry level “open water” course, which can go all the way up to course director.

What You Need to Secure Your First Job
  • Strong level of swimming ability
  • Relevant PADI/BSAC/SSI qualification (minimum Divemaster level)
  • Experience in a similar role
  • Strong number of dives on logbook (check with accredited company for exact number)

Adventure Tour Guide

Overview - If your dream is to live on the road and show people the areas that you love, an Adventure Tour Guide role could be right up your street.

Major companies across the world need passionate, friendly people to lead tours and groups on major tourist trails. You could be driving groups of kids around mountainous areas of New Zealand, or you could be hopping between European countries on a sunkissed journey. Your environment will change daily and life will with it.

The Role - Being the “go-to” person on the tour, you’ll have a lot of responsibility in being the link between the company’s Head Office and the tour your guiding. You’ll be translating your passion for the local area and ensuring the group have the time of their lives, but you’ll also need to be the adaptable problem solver. Injuries, weather changes and other extenuating circumstances can all play a part in affecting a tour, so you’ll be the one to sort it. These roles can also split, so if you want to be solely a guide, or solely a driver, then this is possible with some companies.

What You Need to Secure Your First Job
  • In-depth knowledge and passion of the local area or activity
  • First aid, full drivers license (extended and clean) most likely to be essential
  • Previous experience in a similar role within the tourism industry

Ski/Snowboard Instructor

Overview - Take your passion for shredding into your professional career.

The feeling of fresh pow can be unrivalled and has long been a dream holiday for many around the world. Argentina, America, Canada, Italy, France, Germany, New Zealand and many more have incredible slopes, showing just how varied your skiing career could be.

You’ll be living for the mountains and chasing fresh snowfall year round, with the southern hemisphere's reversed seasons meaning you never have to be out of work.

The Role - For many, your classes could be the first time people have ever attempted skiing, so you can make a huge difference on how people perceive the activity. Being a patient, yet informed, instructor means you can pass on the vital basics, which beginners will hold for the rest of their life. This is all based on being safe on the slopes and teaching the etiquette involved with being a skier. Ability and safety training go hand in hand, but your 9-5 will be outdoors and interacting with nature, with some of the most incredible views on the planet as the backdrop.

If you’ve grown up skiing, it puts you in a perfect position to complete the relevant qualifications, with a lot of emphasis placed on your technical ability. The British Association of Snowsports Instructors (BASI) is the UK accredited training provider which you would want to look for as your entry training qualification. They are part of the International Ski Instructor Alliance (ISIA), who make sure that all qualifications keep to a level internationally, so your training will be recognised wherever you go.

What You Need to Secure Your First Job
  • BASI Qualification (or equivalent)
  • Ski experience
  • Other experience working ski seasons preferable

Travel Content Creator

Overview - Like photographers and videographers at the beginning of the article, travel content creators bring the world directly into your home.

Travel content creators need to practice what they preach, meaning they normally work remotely, exploring the world and showing people the beauty of what is out there, whether in video, photo or text form. So if the thought of writing your next article on a beach in Indonesia sounds good, this could be for you.

The Role - The role tends to appeal to the creative personality, with those who have a passion for weaving words, or those who enjoy capturing the perfect shot being drawn towards the industry. Consistency is key, with it requiring a high level of output for some of it to really stick. It can be from an entrepreneurial standpoint, or freelancing for businesses, but a high attention to detail, both to your work and the audience you serve, is required. If this is you, the good thing is that entry to the industry has never been easier, as you can get set up on the major platforms within minutes and start building your online portfolio of work.

What You Need to Secure Your First Job
  • Solid travel experience
  • A passion for content & internet marketing (potentially backed by marketing qualifications/fundamentals)

Water Rafting Guide

Overview - If you’re after an adrenaline rush every day at work, being a Water Rafting Guide will provide it.

One moment you can be lazily lounging through incredible scenery, to then be pulled back to the present when you hit some grade four rapids. You’ll have to have your wits about you, as you lead a group safely along some of the most exciting rivers in the world.

The Role - Prepared to get wet! You’ll need to understand your work river like the back of your hand, which can involve countless trips down the same body of water. Changing currents, underwater obstacles and varying river areas are all things to be aware of, which you cannot go into guessing. Safety is absolutely paramount, both prior to getting on the river and as you raft down. Attention to detail and your surroundings will need to be sharp, as you’re taking in the environment around you and the people you’re guiding at the same time. There’s no surprise that you’ll have to be exceptionally fit, to help with steering the raft, but to also deal with any scenarios that may come up.

There are a variety of different courses that you can complete, of which most will be essential before you take your first leap into the industry.

What You Need to Secure Your First Job
  • Relevant water safety and guide courses & qualifications (including white water rescue technician advanced)
  • Extra qualifications such as lifeguarding & first aid

Storm Chaser

Overview - One of the most incredible (and dangerous) jobs on the list.

Mother nature can really kick up a fuss in certain circumstances and storm chasers exist to help us understand it better. Whether from a scientific and meteorologic point of view, or from the standpoint of those who capture incredible footage to release to other businesses, storm chasers live (very literally) on the absolute edge.

The Role - Storm Chasers are in one of the most dangerous professions in the world. Mother nature is unpredictable and one shift in conditions can bring the likes of a tornado right at them. Getting in the right position is a mixture of strategic planning and sheer luck and then taking advantage of it when it’s there.

An eye for conditions is essential, whilst the role can vary depending on your reasons for chasing. If you’re capturing content, then a laser focus to detail and quick thinking is vital, to get the right shot and get away sharp. Drivers also have to be just as prepared, because you need to get in and out of position at the drop of a hat.

What You Need to Secure Your First Job
  • Role specific background training (whether in meteorology or content-relevant experience)

Travelling Yoga Instructor

Overview - A more relaxed activity than some of the above, but no less adventurous.

Yoga instructors allow others to be able to practice mindfulness, whilst also improving mental and physical fitness. It allows participants to go on their own journey whilst practicing and requires a trained leader to show the group exactly what positions to perform.

The Role - Yoga can be practiced by everyone and it is an easily accessible art form. However, those who understand the practice in greater detail, and the benefits it brings, can help guide students into gaining the most from their session. It can also be physically demanding, so roles require an understanding of the teachings to ensure that there are no injuries.

Creating the right atmosphere and environment can be vital to promoting mindfulness, so certain locations around the world promote themselves perfectly to create such an environment.

What You Need to Secure Your First Job
  • Level of training as a yoga instructor
  • Portfolio of previous yoga group leadings

Theme/Water Park Ride Tester

Overview - For all the big kids out there, this one's for you.

If you love and remember the thrill of theme or water parks, then how about taking that one further and become a tester for these companies? No waiting in long queues to get your adrenaline rush at Disney or Universal, plus you’ll be paid for it too.

The Role - To become a tester, it involves far more than just enjoying the ride. Testers tend to be engineers or part of the design team, who have to understand the inner workings of the ride, to ensure it is equal parts safe and equal parts fun.

It is also important to note that these rides are not currently open to the general public, and although companies will ensure that it is as safe as possible, you’ll also be the “test dummy”, so you’ll be noting any anomalies that will need to be worked out before it goes to the general public.

What You Need to Secure Your First Job

Education/Qualifications in design or engineering Experience in engineering of relevant structures or companies

Paradise Island Caretaker

Overview - For many, this is considered the best job in the world, and was actually quoted as such as part of a marketing campaign for this exact role.

Sea, sun and sand, mixed with important conservation work and doing your bit to highlight existing issues to the wider public. Pleasure, play and work all wrapped into one and delivered on an island that is as picturesque as it is dreamy.

What more could you want?

The Role - Although an incredible experience, you’ll have to work hard. Whether physical conservation work on the island, or promotional work for the local tourism board, you’ll be pretty non-stop in working to create a better image. This therefore requires you to have quite an extensive, and eclectic mix of skills. If you’re adaptable and prepared to get involved with new things, then you’ll be up for the adventure of a lifetime.

What You Need to Secure Your First Job
  • A varying skill set of marketing, environmental/wildlife knowledge and much more
  • A lot of luck!

These roles are in no way unachievable. You can plan your route into them and educate yourself properly to get yourself there. By gaining qualifications and experience in your passion area, you’re setting yourself up for success. All these adventurous jobs revolve around being active, so build up your activity background however you can. Summer camp provides the perfect entry into active, outdoors work and many have gone on after a summer of a lifetime to continue working seasons around the world.

With the right experience and background, your dream adventurous job is just a few steps away.

About the author

Mike is the Editor-at-Large at Smaller Earth, and the founder of The Lost Lot, a self development platform helping young adults find direction when feeling lost in life.

He likes to focus on the bridge between travel and growth, and how both can be a catalyst for positive change in your life.

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