If the 9-5 office grind is wearing you down, maybe it’s time to bring your work into the great outdoors. Here are five great Canadian outdoor jobs to consider, how to get them, and what they’ll give you in return.

For more extreme careers, check out our list of Canada’s 5 Greatest Outdoor Jobs.

JobTrekker.com is also a great resource for jobs that’ll get you out from behind a desk and into the wild.

Tree planter
Credit: Alex Indigo

Tree planter

Tree planting is the layman’s term for reforestation; replacing forests that have been harvested for paper or lumber. Tree-planter.com is an online community for Canadian planters currently gearing up for their 2012 season, which will run from May 1 to July 1.


What you need

It will come as no surprise that planting trees all day is hard labour, so you’ll need to be physically up to the task. Additionally, it takes resolve and determination to live in a remote bush camp for several months, and deal with insects, wild animals, extreme weather, and everything else that comes with the territory.


Highlights

Being able to say you contributed to the continuing survival of Canada’s forests can feel pretty amazing. Bonus: You’ll probably be in the best shape of your life by the end of the season. Many tree-planting alumni also value the strong bonds they forge with other workers while at camp. If you like a challenge, this is the job for you.


What you’ll earn

You’re paid by the tree, and rates can range from $0.08-$0.25 per unit. So the faster you sow during the three-month season, the more you’ll reap.
Canadian Coast Guard

Canadian Coast Guard

What you’ll need

To join the Canadian Coast Guard as part of a seagoing crew, you’ll need to pass a medical exam. You’ll also need to meet marine standard requirements, a list of which can be found here. All of the required courses are available through the Canadian Coast Guard College and other accredited institutions.


Highlights

Coast Guard duties range from navigation and icebreaking, to rescue missions and scientific research expeditions. You could be responding to a pollution report, handling radio transmissions, or even saving lives.


What you’ll earn

Working as part of a ship’s crew, you can earn anywhere from $45-$54,000 depending on your position. Employees work for a scheduled period of time on board (which can range from 7 to 42 days at a time) and then get an equal number of paid days off.

For more extreme careers, check out Canada's 5 greatest outdoor jobs.

Tip: JobTrekker.com is also a great resource for jobs that’ll get you out from behind a desk and into the wild.
Park warden

Park warden

In addition to keeping the park in top condition, park wardens make sure that guests understand and follow the rules. Acting as a security guard for the great outdoors, you’ll educate the public and ensure that visitors enjoy their time at the park.


What you’ll need

A big part of a park warden’s job is protecting public safety and enforcing legislation— in other words, laying down the law. You’ll need to be physically fit, and have great communication and conflict resolution skills. You may also need special certification, licences, or qualifications, depending on your position. Leadership, motivation and—of course—basic outdoor skills are also essential.


Highlights

It goes without saying that Canada’s parks boast some of the most beautiful scenery imaginable. You’ll also get lots of learning opportunities: Ontario Parks offers a number of training programs to its workers, including CPR, first aid, and “problem bear management”—which might also come in handy for difficult coworkers.


What you’ll earn

As an Alberta Parks warden, you can expect to bring home about $24-30 an hour.


To find out more, or to apply for a position in your province, visit Parks Canada.
9-5 grind wearing you down?

9-5 grind wearing you down?

Maybe it’s time to bring your work into the great outdoors. Here are five great Canadian outdoor jobs to consider, how to get them, and what they’ll give you in return.

Wildlife care worker

As a wildlife care worker, you’ll be responsible for transporting injured animals from the wild back to the facility, administering first aid, conducting lab tests, and preparing food and medicine in addition to routine cage-cleaning duties.


What you’ll need

Post-secondary education in a related field is usually required (such as a biology degree or an animal health technician diploma). You must be able to identify the native birds and wildlife of the region you’re working in, plus have a few years of experience caring for and handling wildlife.


Highlights

If you love animals, this job will allow you to get up-close and personal. A warning: It will probably tug at your heartstrings.


What you’ll earn

The starting annual salary for most animal health technicians in Canada is between $20-25,000.


To find out more, visit your local wildlife organization, such as the Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Edmonton.
Mountain guide

Mountain guide

Mountain guides are elite climbers, responsible for leading tour groups along mountain routes. Summer months mean rock-climbing, while in winter you might be ice-climbing or heli-skiing.


What you’ll need

To become a professional mountain guide you need to be certified, which requires extensive exams and about 6-10 years of experience. To work both at home and abroad, you may be travelling far from home, sometimes for weeks at a time. And since the work is dangerous, brush up on your wilderness survival skills—you never know what might happen out there.



Highlights

As with many outdoor jobs, you’ll get the satisfaction of combining your passion and your paycheck. If you love rock climbing, there’s no better way to make a living. As well, you’ll get to introduce others —sometimes first-timers —to the thrill of the sport.


What you’ll earn

Depending on how many days you work out of the year, mountain guides can earn between $50-$70,000.
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