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  • Photo: Paul Giamou

    Before You Grow Up

    There are only a few carefree summers in your life. Don’t waste them interning at law firms—opt for one of these adventure-packed seasonal gigs instead.

    Frederick Reimers

  • Photo: Freesolo Photography


    Great outdoor jobs are rare for kids marooned in suburbia. Climbing trees in a harness with a chainsaw? An exception.

    » How to work as an arborist

  • Photo: Leif Skandsen/Flickr

    Deckhand, Luxury Yacht

    To be clear, this is not cruise-ship work (which is terrible). Sign on to assist a private charter boat and you’ll polish chrome, sling drinks, and clean cabins, all while seeing the world (or at least Bermuda) from an extremely posh vantage.

    » How to get a job as a deckhand

  • Photo: Justin Bailie

    Raft Guide

    What’s not to love? You get paid to float a river, and vacation days offer climbing, hiking, kayaking, and mountain biking.

    » How to become a raft guide

  • Photo: Monty Rakusen

    Deckhand, Lobster Boat

    The Good: you’re on the open ocean, the pay’s great, and you’ll never complain about hard work again. The Bad: it’s nearly around-the-clock, demanding physical labor—hauling traps out of the water, removing the lobsters, cutting up bait fish with huge knives on rolling waves.

    » How to work on a lobster boat

  • Photo: Alessandro Cosmelli

    Pedicab Driver

    Hauling tourists around the historic quarters of a scenic city on a clunky tricycle may not sound (or look) too glamorous. But you make your own hours, you exercise on the job, and there’s no better way to get to know a new town.

    » How to become a pedi cab driver

  • Photo: Josh Bingham/Flickr

    Seasonal Service Worker, National Parks

    Cooking or waiting tables in a national park is a rite of passage for college kids out west, some of whom cycle among parks until their mid-twenties. The views are amazing, and there’s a jubilant camaraderie that comes from working in some of the country’s most beautiful places.

    » How to work as a park ranger

  • Photo: Nick/Flickr

    On-Call Wildlands Firefighter

    Think of this as the minor leagues for aspiring hotshots and smoke jumpers. On-call firefighters, many of whom are college students, learn the ropes by working 14-to-21-day stints as mop-up crews at forest-fire sites, dousing flames and clearing out felled brush.

    » How to work as a hotshot

  • Photo: Paul Giamou

    Next Up:The Doers: 0 to 20

    Ocean Lifeguard

    Your office is the beach, your uniform a pair of boardshorts, and you could rescue dozens of people. According to 30-year veteran Southern California lifeguard Lance Dempsey, “On a busy week-end, there might be 2,000 people in front of your tower.”

    » How to become an ocean lifeguard