Adventure Careers that Pay Well

Jan 20, 2020

Those who seek adventure can explore careers across different job fields, including several that pay well. Learn about a few of these professions, their education requirements, median salaries and expected job growth rates.

Well-Paying Adventure Career Options

Although it depends on your personal definition of adventure, some well-paying adventure careers may involve travel, mystery, unpredictability, a certain level of danger and/or heavy responsibilities. Explore a handful of adventure careers, below, that earned an annual median salary greater than $50,000 in 2018, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Job Title Median Salary (2018)* Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Writers and Authors $62,170 0%
Anthropologists and Archeologists $62,410 10%
Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists $63,420 5%
Airline and Commercial Pilots $115,670 6%
Police and Detectives $63,380 5%
Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts and Blasters $49,860 6%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Information for Adventure Careers that Pay Well

Writers and Authors

Writers and authors made a median salary of $62,170 in 2018 (per the BLS) and may go on various adventures and travel in order to conduct research for their writing. These professionals may write books, blogs, articles and other content about their different travels, experiences or any number of subjects. Most writers and authors work with an editor to prepare their works for publication and may need to submit multiple drafts of their pieces. Writers and authors usually need a college degree, and experience in the field is helpful.

Anthropologists and Archeologists

The BLS reported that anthropologists and archeologists made an annual median salary of $62,410 in 2018, and these professionals encounter adventure as they study different civilizations throughout the world. These scientists investigate the development and behavior of humans by examining archeological remains and observing different cultures. They analyze their data and field samples, present their results in reports and advise policymakers concerning the cultural impact of various projects. Anthropologists and archaeologists need field experience and a master's or doctorate degree in their respective field.

Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists

Zoologists and wildlife biologists encounter adventure interacting with and studying different animals in a variety of habitats all over the world and made a median salary of $63,420 in 2018, according to the BLS. They design experiments and research projects to learn more about a particular species' physical characteristics, population dynamics, reproduction patterns and other information that could aid in the conservation efforts of the species. They may also investigate how humans have impacted a species and/or its environment and present their findings in scientific articles and presentations. Zoologists and wildlife biologists usually need a master's or doctorate degree for advanced research positions, but some entry-level positions are available for those with a bachelor's degree.

Airline and Commercial Pilots

Airline and commercial pilots made a median salary of $115,670 in 2018 (per the BLS) and live adventurously as they fly people to various locations around the globe. All pilots have a great responsibility to get passengers to their destination safely, and therefore, carefully monitor the condition of the plane, observe the weather and other factors that may affect travel while staying in contact with air traffic control. Airline pilots typically operate on a fixed schedule, while commercial pilots may charter flights or give aerial tours. Commercial pilots need a high school diploma and a commercial pilot license from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), while airline pilots need a bachelor's degree, a license from the FAA and a FAA-issued Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate.

Police and Detectives

Police and detectives may lead an adventurous career as they encounter criminals and work to solve crimes while making a median salary of $63,380 in 2018, according to the BLS. These professionals protect the public and property by enforcing laws, responding to emergency calls and patrolling areas. They also collect evidence, arrest suspects and testify in court as needed. Police and detectives may have a high school diploma or college degree and need to meet a variety of standards, including being a U.S. citizen and 21 years of age, as well as undergoing on-the-job supervised experience after completing training at the agency's academy.

Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts and Blasters

Explosives workers, ordnance handling experts and blasters made a median salary of $49,860 in 2018, per the BLS, and have adventurous careers working with explosives on a consistent basis. Like pilots, they have a heavy responsibility to keep people safe while performing their job placing and detonating various explosives. They blast areas to remove rock and earth and must carefully follow specific rules and regulations when storing and detonating explosive materials. These professionals only need a high school diploma, but have to undergo extensive on-the-job training.

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