Great outdoor jobs are rare for kids marooned in suburbia. Climbing trees in a harness with a chainsaw? An exception.
Prereqs: A willingness to get dirty—think feeding branches into a chipper—and hang out in high places. “There’s lots of rope work, so rock-climbing skills translate well,” says Nicholas Dankers, of Seattle’s Tree Cycle.
How to Break In: Find a local arborist who needs an assistant and will teach you to use a chainsaw. You’ll do the menial stuff—debris, work the chipper—before getting in the harness. “I ran the chipper for three weeks, until my boss realized I wasn’t an idiot,” says Calgary, Alberta, arborist Mike Bedard. “But I thought the chipper was awesome!”
Pay: Varies from $10 per hour in Ohio to $14 in Seattle.
Romance Potential: Extremely poor, unless you're female. It’s a male-dominated (and wood-chip-covered) field.
Résumé Skills: Teamwork, belaying, safe operation of heavy machinery.