Being an RVer means theres a good chance you enjoy the outdoors. But have you ever considered a job in the outdoor recreation industry? Over the past few years people have been rediscovering their enjoyment of outdoor activities. And as we’ve seen, outdoor recreation economy like the RV industry keeps growing. If you’re thinking of switching careers, the outdoor recreation industry offers a variety of jobs to explore.
Career Opportunities in Outdoor Recreation
There are lots of ways to get into a career in the outdoor recreation industry. Some people choose to take the experience they already have and apply it to a company in the outdoor industry. For example, you can just as easily be an accountant for a dentist as you can for a company that manufactures mountain bikes. Other people want to change careers entirely and leave their current jobs to be seasonal employees like ski lift operators or trail guides.
Luckily, jobs in the outdoor recreation industry are many. These jobs fall into three categories – the public sector, the private sector, and the nonprofit sector. You can find plenty of options in all categories that might match your experience.
Outdoor Recreation Jobs in the Public Sector
The first type of jobs in the outdoor recreation industry fall under the public sector category. These are organizations and jobs that are run by the government like the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, state and county parks, and organizations that connect to economic development.
Jobs in the public sector are often directly for government agencies but are vast and varied. You can find office jobs like an administrative assistant or clearing trails outdoors as a forest technician. Many jobs that you can do for a private company like being a customer service representative, accountant, electrician, engineer, pilot, etc can all be done for government organizations as well. Plus, they have opportunities for more outdoor based jobs like archeologists and district rangers. Jobs can range from part time seasonal positions to year round full time work.
Listings for these types of jobs are typically on government websites. If you have a specific state in mind where you’d like to work, head to the state’s official website. Most states have a job board on their site where you can filter by type of position. Look for state and county parks or a category called “Parks & Recreation Division”. Looking for a national organization like the National Park Service? Visit usajobs.gov or head to the Forest Service Website to search by state.
Here are a few examples of jobs you can find in the public sector:
- Park Ranger
- Science Technician
- Recreation Coordinator
- Administration Assistant
- Maintenance Technician
- Forestry Technician
- Equipment Operator
- Budget Analyst
Nonprofit Sector Outdoor Recreation Jobs
The nonprofit sector of the outdoor industry helps to connect people to public lands, advocates for the environment and the recreation industry, and promotes the benefits of the outdoors. You can find nonprofit organizations for local towns all the way up to the federal level. This incudes conservation organizations for public lands, environmental justice and advocacy groups, and wildlife conservation organizations among others. If you’re interested in a job in the nonprofit sector, research organizations that have missions that align with your own and check out their websites. Most will have an employment or career section on their site that you can visit to find information on open positions.
These positions are often related to administration work, community outreach, project management, fundraising, grant writing, event management, volunteer management, accounting, and marketing. If your interests lie in these areas, the nonprofit sector is a great way to have a career while also giving back.
Here are some examples of jobs in the nonprofit sector:
- Community Service Project Coordinator
- Volunteer Coordinator
- Advocacy Director
- Development Manager
- Donor Relations Manager
- Fundraising Manager
- Grant Proposal Manager
- Program Director
- Project Manager
- Fundraising Coordinator
- Social Media Coordinator
Private Sector Jobs
Outdoor recreation jobs in the private sector includes everything that’s not a nonprofit or government run organization. This means anything from manufacturing outdoor clothing and gear, to guides and outfitters, to sales reps and content creators – and everything in between! This is where much of the RV industry falls. Brands and manufacturers, rental companies like RVshare, and RV technicians are all included in the private sector. This sector has the most variety of outdoor related jobs, and you can find something that fits your talents and interests.
Outdoor jobs in the private sector are easy to find – head to any job board or even just Google “outdoor recreation jobs” and you’ll find an endless list of opportunities from ski instructors to clothing designers to photographers to RV technicians. Use the skills and job experience you already have and apply it to this industry!
Here are a few examples of jobs in the private sector:
- RV Technician
- Guides and Outfitters
- Software Developer
- Shipping Manager
- Travel Advisor
- Camp Hosts
- Content Creator
- Social Media Coordinator
- Regional Sales Manager
- Marketing Manager
RV Technicians: Job in High Demand
The good news for RV enthusiasts is that RV technicians are in very high demand right now! According to a PayScale report, RV service technicians were the third-fastest growing job in 2020. With the popularity of RV travel over the past few years, the need for RV technicians keeps growing. If you’ve ever been out on the road and had something break, you know how important it is to get your RV fixed quickly and how difficult it can be to get into a service center.
And that’s great news for people looking for a new career in the RV industry! Programs like the National RV Training Academy (NRVTA) trains RV owners to become experts of their RVs. They also offer training to become an RV technician or inspector. Not only does this give you the confidence and knowledge to fix your own RV (keeping you out of expensive and time sucking service centers) but you can turn that knowledge into a new career path in an industry you love. To learn more, visit our post on RV Maintenance with NRVTA.