10 cool jobs for cold-weather lovers
Bundle up! If you like to work in bracing temps, these chilly jobs are for you.
Winter is (almost) here—and if you’re at your best when the mercury drops, you’re not alone. Despite the so-called winter blues, a ton of people love to get their 9-to-5 on when it’s freezing out. Cool jobs are a real thing!
Maybe the brisk air makes you feel alive and totally awake; maybe you just like the kind of sporty outdoor work associated with colder climes. Either way, if you’re a fan of frosty temps, one of these occupations could be the perfect fit for your career—or at least a cool way to make some extra cash this winter.
1. Ski instructor
What you’d do: Sure, you need to love hitting the slopes every day (and you’ve got to know your way around the black diamonds). But at its core, being a ski instructor means delivering high-quality customer service. You’ll work with all different kinds of skiers; one day you might be on the bunny slopes with the kids, and the next day you might be teaching advanced adult skiers how to navigate ungroomed terrain.
What you’d need: Number one, you’ve got to know how to ski, and well enough to teach multiple levels. But ski instructors also need excellent interpersonal skills, strong teaching ability, and a friendly, outgoing personality. Some ski resorts require instructors to pass a training course.
What you’d earn: Experienced ski instructors can earn on average $50 per hour and can make a lot of money on tips. (Free ski lift passes for friends and family is a nice perk!)
Find ski instructor jobs on Monster.
2. Skating rink attendant
What you’d do: Working with everyone from teetering toddlers on their first set of skates to teens and adults attempting figure eights on the ice, rink attendants do everything from maintenance and repairs to enforcing safety rules to overseeing skate rentals.
What you’d need: No formal education is needed, but high energy and good customer service will serve you well.
What you’d earn: $11.26 per hour
Find skating rink jobs on Monster.
3. Construction worker
What you’d do: Depending on where you live, construction workers are the unsung cold weather heroes since a majority of the work is done outdoors—or in half-finished, non-insulated construction sites. So this job entails not only strapping on a hard hat but also packing on the extra layers to stay warm during the winter months. What you do day-to-day depends on the nature of the work; cement mixing, for example, is quite different than building scaffolding.
What you’d need: No college education is required. However, high school classes in mathematics, blueprint reading, welding, and other vocational subjects can be helpful. You may need to become certified to remove asbestos, lead, or chemicals.
What you’d earn: $36,00 per year, on average
Find construction worker jobs on Monster.
4. Forest worker
What you’d do: Unlike the bears, moose, and other fur-covered animals of the forest, forest workers face the elements with only thermals and cold-weather gear. But what an office! Forest workers spend most of their time outdoors doing everything from, planting seedlings to reforesting land, clearing away debris from trails and camping areas, and spraying trees with insecticides and fungicides. Forest workers also help prevent and suppress forest fires.
What you’d need: While you typically only need a high school diploma, some forest worker jobs require a two-year degree in forestry, which involves taking courses in forest management technology, wildlife management, conservation, or timber harvesting.
What you’d earn: $15.27 per hour
Find forestry jobs on Monster.
What you’d do: A love of discovery and history may draw you to this job, but an affinity for colder temps could be part of the gig, depending on where you work. If you do field work, your job is to excavate, date, and interpret objects, such as animal bones, prehistoric tools, and tiny organisms, to uncover patterns about human life, culture, and origins. Because many archaeologists specialize in a particular region, you can station yourself in a cold-weather city if you so choose.
What you’d need: You typically need a master’s degree or Ph.D. in archeology; experience as a research assistant is also beneficial.
What you’d earn: $63,670 per year
Find archaeology jobs on Monster.
What you’d do: This job rocks. Also referred to as geoscientists, geologists work for mining companies, study climate change or investigate earthquakes, among other jobs. They study the physical aspects of the Earth to learn about the planet’s past, present, and future. Some geologists opt to work in cold-weather climates.
What you’d need: Geologists typically need at least a bachelor’s degree, although a degree in physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, engineering, or computer science is often accepted if it includes coursework in geology. Camping skills are a plus.
What you’d earn: $92,040 per year
Find geologist jobs on Monster.
7. Environmental scientist
What you’d do: Environmental scientists are like the superheroes of the natural world. Some use their knowledge to prevent, control, or fix environmental problems (e.g., land or water pollution), while others study environmental factors that impact human health. They work in all types of weather, collecting samples of air, soil, water, food, and other materials for scientific analysis.
What you’d need: Most jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree in environmental science or a science-related field, such as biology, chemistry, physics, geosciences, or engineering.
What you’d earn: $71,360 per year
Find environmental scientist jobs on Monster.
8. Wind turbine technician
What you’d do: You’ll want a warm jacket and short haircut for this windy job. Wind turbine technicians (also known as “wind techs”) test and troubleshoot electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic systems to ensure that all components are operating efficiently. They also collect turbine data for research and analysis. You’ll want to leave your fear of heights at home because you might be asked to climb tall towers in order to inspect those windy turbines.
What you’d need: Since this is a trade job, you’ll need to attend technical school for two years. Wind turbine technicians also receive extensive on-the-job training, including manufacturer training.
What you’d earn: $52,910 per year on average (bonus: this job is the second fastest-growing job according to the BLS)
Find wind turbine technician jobs on Monster.
9. Wildlife biologist
What you’d do: If you could watch cute animal videos all day while feeling the chill of winter air on your face, this might be the job for you. You’ll study animals in their natural habitats and learn how they interact with their ecosystems. If you choose to work in a cold-weather climate like Alaska, you’ll get to see penguins, whales, or bald eagles up close and personal.
What you’d need: Wildlife biologists need a bachelor’s degree for entry-level jobs, a master’s degree for higher-level investigative or scientific work, or a Ph.D. for most independent research positions.
What you’d earn: $63,270 per year on average
Find wildlife biologist jobs on Monster.
10. Postal service worker
What you’d do: When a job’s creed includes the words “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom stays these couriers from completion of their appointed rounds,” you know there’s a chance you might get cold. As a mail carrier, you’re tasked with braving the elements to deliver parcels and packages to homes and businesses. And while suburban and rural mail carriers can drive from mailbox to mailbox, postal service workers in metropolitan areas often cover their established routes by foot—hopefully, warm, boot-shod foot.
What you’d need: A high school diploma is required. Postal service workers must also pass a written exam that measures speed and accuracy at checking names and numbers and the ability to memorize mail distribution procedures.
What you’d earn: $52,060 per year on average
Find postal service worker jobs on Monster.
Heat up your job search
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