Wilderness jobs salary


For those who yearn to escape the confines of a traditional office setting and are drawn to the allure of the great outdoors, wilderness jobs offer an enticing alternative. These jobs not only allow individuals to immerse themselves in nature but also provide unique opportunities to earn a living. From park rangers and wildlife biologists to adventure guides and wilderness therapists, the spectrum of wilderness careers is diverse and captivating. In this article, we will delve into the salaries associated with these positions, shedding light on the financial rewards of pursuing a career in the wilderness.

Wilderness Guide Salary: Hourly Rate October 2023 USA
  1. Park Rangers

Park rangers serve as the stewards of our national and state parks, ensuring the protection of natural resources and the safety of visitors. While the salary for park rangers varies depending on factors such as location and experience, the average annual salary for a park ranger in the United States falls in the range of $40,000 to $60,000. Entry-level positions may start at a lower salary, while experienced rangers with specialized skills can earn higher wages.

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  1. Wildlife Biologists

Wildlife biologists study animals and their habitats, conducting research to help conserve and manage wildlife populations. The salary for wildlife biologists depends on factors such as education, experience, and the specific organization or agency they work for. On average, wildlife biologists in the United States earn around $60,000 to $80,000 per year. Those with advanced degrees or extensive experience may command higher salaries.

  1. Adventure Guides

Adventure guides lead outdoor expeditions, including activities like hiking, rock climbing, and kayaking. Compensation for adventure guides can vary widely based on the type of adventure, location, and level of expertise. Some guides work on a freelance or seasonal basis, earning income per trip or season, while others are employed by adventure companies. The average annual income for adventure guides ranges from $25,000 to $50,000, but top guides can earn considerably more.

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Wilderness therapists combine the healing power of nature with therapy to help individuals facing mental health and behavioral challenges. These professionals often work for therapeutic wilderness programs or residential treatment centers. The salary for wilderness therapists typically ranges from $45,000 to $70,000 per year, with the potential for higher earnings as they gain experience and credentials.

  1. Foresters

Foresters manage and protect forests, ensuring sustainable timber harvesting and conservation. Their salaries depend on factors like experience, education, and location. In the United States, foresters can expect an average annual salary ranging from $50,000 to $80,000. Those employed by government agencies may receive additional benefits and job security.

  1. Outdoor Educators

Outdoor educators teach outdoor skills, environmental education, and leadership in wilderness settings. These roles can be found in schools, colleges, and outdoor education centers. Salaries for outdoor educators vary widely, with entry-level positions typically paying around $25,000 to $40,000 per year. Experienced educators with specialized skills and certifications can earn higher wages.

  1. Wilderness EMTs

Wilderness Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) provide medical care in remote and outdoor settings. They are trained to handle emergencies in environments where traditional medical assistance is not readily available. Wilderness EMTs often work as part of search and rescue teams or for outdoor adventure companies. The salary for wilderness EMTs varies, with an average annual income ranging from $30,000 to $50,000.

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  1. Outdoor Photographers and Filmmakers

Photographers and filmmakers who specialize in capturing the beauty and adventure of the wilderness can earn income through freelance work, stock photography sales, or collaborations with outdoor brands. Earnings can vary significantly, from a few thousand dollars to six-figure incomes, depending on the photographer’s skill, reputation, and marketing efforts.


Wilderness jobs offer a unique blend of adventure, environmental stewardship, and personal fulfillment. While these careers often involve financial sacrifices compared to more traditional office-based jobs, many individuals find the intrinsic rewards of working in the wilderness to be priceless. Salaries in the wilderness job sector vary widely based on factors such as location, experience, and specialization. However, for those who are passionate about the outdoors and are willing to invest in their education and experience, these careers can provide a fulfilling and financially sustainable path to a life less ordinary. So, whether you aspire to protect wildlife, guide outdoor adventures, or help individuals find healing in nature, the wilderness job market offers a range of possibilities for those who seek them.