As summer approaches, most of us are excited to spend as much time outdoors as we possibly can. There are plenty of opportunities to work outside and earn some extra cash in your spare time (and they don't all require an "outdoor office"). The best part about these summer opportunities is that relatively little training is needed.
This can be a rewarding way to earn money and possibly even get the opportunity to travel around the world. Many counselors come to North America from overseas, and you can do searches to work at camps abroad. You may want to learn CPR or first aid in advance, but it is often not necessary. Depending on where you apply, the pay will be around $175 to $400 a week, although note that many camps do also provide room and board. Check out Campchannel.com for more information.
You can pursue this hobby on weekends and earn some extra cash. Digital photography not only reduces costs, but it also minimizes exposure to harmful chemicals. Websites like iStockphoto make it easy to get paid for your work, with a rate starting at 20% per sale. Putting together a portfolio of work at parties or weddings might also be an option.
Everyone has neighbors with grass that needs mowing or gardens that need pruning, so this is another hobby that can easily be turned into a side business. You can make anywhere from $10 to $100 per job, depending on the service. With just a little extra work you can end up with an extra $400 a month this summer.
If you love swimming, then you can turn this summer activity into a fun money-making opportunity. Local clubs are always looking for responsible workers. Lifeguards can make anywhere from minimum wage up to $15 an hour or more in some areas. For certification, check out the American Lifeguard Association. The cost involved can range from about $100 to $400, although note that some employers may cover this.
You'll get in some great exercise while you earn extra cash. It's easiest to get started if you live in New York City or the Los Angeles area, but it's possible to work as a bike courier if you live somewhere else. Begin by delivering groceries, starting at apartment complexes. As the population ages, many have a tough time getting around and can use a hand. Some other suggestions would be to help local restaurants start delivering.
If you like these summer ideas, then you may want to consider a full-time career that will keep you outdoors all year round. There are a growing number of "green jobs" that are worth considering. These include:
If you love to travel and see the world, then this job will allow you to do just that. You will most likely need to get a travel agent license to go along with your ecotourism degree. People in the ecotourism field make around $20,000 to $25,000 a year. It will cost about $1,500 to $2,500 to become a travel agent. If you feel you need to get an ecotourism degree, many local universities offer programs. The American Society of Travel Agents will point you in the direction of classes and has job boards.
Just remember, not all travel agents get to travel, so you may have to find your niche. Classes range from $200 to $10,000, depending on how advanced the course. If you are looking to become a full-time traveler, you are going to be looking at a year-long course.
Tree trimming, pruning, and landscaping jobs are expected to grow by more than 26% over the next ten years. This is a good option for students looking for part-time jobs or entrepreneurs who want to work with their hands outdoors. Arborists can make more than $20 an hour, can work for themselves or others, and don't need a degree. There are few jobs that allow for such flexibility. If you want more information on this field check out the Arbor Day Foundation.
Solar Panel Installer
Demand for this job has been growing quite a bit in the past year, particularly in the western United States. These green jobs pay on average $13 to $18 an hour and allow you to work outside. As in any sales career, being a people person will help in your endeavors. The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners has information about training. Classes start at around $500 each. If you want to find some entrepreneurial opportunities, go to Boots on the Roof and SunWize.
Nothing is more awe inspiring than our national parks. From the Black Hills to the Grand Canyon, these magnificent sites are seen by millions of visitors each year. In order to keep order and cleanliness in these landmarks, hundreds of workers, including park rangers, are needed. Rangers make an average of $58,000 a year, with a starting salary of $30,000. The field is expected to grow around 12% over the next ten years. You will need a degree in park management, an environmental field or a similar subject. If you want more information check with the National Park Service.
Ezra Drissman maintains GreenCareersGuide
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