Anyone who has done seasonal work knows the frustration of trying to look for a new job every 6 months or so. Or maybe you’re looking for something more permanent and just haven’t quite found the right fit yet. For many of us, having a constantly changing job horizon is exciting and energizing, but it does lead to a bit to a bit of stress in the off-season as you look for new opportunities to fill in your resume and your time.
Because of this, for about the last 5 years I’ve been compiling a list of online job boards for outdoor career opportunities and up until now, I’ve kept this list purely for personal reference. (Though, I have also been known to bombard my job-seeking friends with postings I think they’d like!). I don’t keep this list in any particular order; I simply have all the sites bookmarked in my browser, and when I’m job searching, I routinely go through the daily postings and apply for the ones that look interesting to me.
Well, now that I’m employed for the summer I don’t need to worry about it anymore, but for the sake of others who are still in search of that dream job, I thought I would share my list. Just to be clear, I am not endorsing any of these sites over any other sites — these are just the ones I know about, and the ones I use personally. Please feel free to share your favorite job sites in the comments, and maybe I’ll add them to the list!
1. Texas A&M: Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences Job Board
This job board offers a plethora of frequently updated postings in pretty much any category you’re seeking. A lot of these are tailored to students or post-docs, but it’s also great for seasonals, biologists, or anyone interested in working in the conservation field. They post jobs for anything from private industry to federal government positions.
The National Audubon Society is usually a good bet if you’re looking to work with a well-established conservation organization, and certainly if you’re interested in something involving birds. You can search by keyword, or just hit the “Search” button to see all postings. These include editorial internships with Audubon Magazine; education internships with various Audubon nature centers; bird banders; summer naturalists; program managers; directors of development, and more. Personally, I have found their application process a little difficult to figure out, because it seems like you can only post one resume and it goes to all positions that you apply for — I could be wrong, but for the record, I have been contacted by several positions I applied for there, so the system does work!
Another very well-rounded job board, this one features listings related to conservation, ecology, wildlife, forestry, marine biology, fisheries, environmental education, and outdoor recreation among other fields. Much like Texas A&M, they also post listings from a variety of sources, including private industry, non-profits, local, and federal government. You can also filter your search by state as well, which I find to be a pretty handy feature!
Mainly focused on oceans management and planning, Open Channels is a great resource for finding some cool national and international marine-focused positions. I like this site especially because it often posts positions that I don’t see on a lot of the other job boards, so you can almost always find something new and fresh on it.
This job board doesn’t necessarily feature outdoor jobs, but it does provide a boatload of postings for lifestyle- and action sports-based industries. This board would be great for anyone looking to work with various sports or outfitter companies, with positions including marketing directors, sales reps, merchandisers, product designers, multimedia coordinators, etc.
SCB’s extensive job board is another excellent resource for both national and international opportunities in conservation bio. Their easy-to-use search engine allows job seekers to search by location, discipline, salary type, and job level among other criteria. Plus, they have some pretty incredible looking positions (I mean really, “Freelance Sea-Going Multimedia Journalist
“? Who wouldn’t want to do that??).
Serving 35 countries and all 50 states, the Nature Conservancy offers a multitude of opportunities related to their non-profit organization. Many postings on their job board are for higher level positions, such as field managers, directors of development, field crew supervisors, etc., but they certainly have a lot to offer.
Not gonna lie, this page kind of blows my mind a little. It’s a US Department of State page, but it lists a massive number of adventure, outdoors, and sports job boards from all over the place (like Coolworks, BackdoorJobs, Malakye, etc). I don’t even know. It’s awesome though, and you should check it out.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature offers a good number of mostly international (some US-based) jobs within their organization. For many of these, fluency in a foreign language is required, but the IUCN is a very well-respected and influential organization that would be a great place to get involved for anyone interested in international environmental work.
If you’re interested in trying out a career in the parks & recreation field, this is the place to go. The NRPA lists a ton of job postings for parks & rec professionals all over the country, for everything from park managers to rangers to cooks to life guards, mostly on the city and county level.
Seeing as how this blog is a little biased towards Alaska, it would only be fitting to include the Alaska Conservation Foundation in the list. This organization is really cool though, and every summer they offer a small number of diverse (and paid!!) internships to young adults. These include media internships, fisheries technicians, community organizing, and environmental education among other opportunities. The deadline for applications is usually in February every year.
It can be a little tricky to find relevant jobs on this site since it includes EVERY government job open across the country from what I can tell, but fortunately the search engine is pretty foolproof. It allows you to search by both location and category (i.e. you can look specifically for, say, parks jobs in Colorado
) and you’ll find a huge variety of state and local government positions currently open.
I cannot say enough great things about the SCA. I mean, they did launch my career with the National Park Service and give me the experience of a lifetime, but besides that, they are also a very well-established and progressive organization that matches students and young adults up with conservation internships all over the country. In fact, most of the park rangers and supervisors I’ve worked with started out as SCA interns.
As a park ranger, USAJobs is by far my most-used site for job seeking. You can search by any federal agency (use keyword “NPS” to find all National Park Service jobs), as well as tailor your search by pay grade, posting date, location, salary, etc. You can also build and save your resume directly on the site and keep track of positions to which you’ve applied. There’s kind of a whole strategy to using USAJobs effectively, which I will maybe post about later, but it is THE place to find federal jobs so it’s a good one to keep bookmarked.
And finally, you can also search for job boards specific to your state, community, or interests. Some other random ones that I know of include the Outdoor Industries Women’s Alliance
, Portland’s MacsList
, Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies
, and the Appalachian Mountain Club
. And private industry guiding jobs can be great for those looking for something really hands-on, outdoors, and people-oriented.
Best of luck on your job search, and be sure to comment with any job boards that you know of that would be great to add to the list!