So you want to work outdoors?

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If the idea of sitting in an office all day doesn't appeal, you might want to consider joining the millions of people in the UK who spend all or part of their day working outdoors.

What kinds of jobs are there?

Generally, demand for new entrants to the outdoors industries is on the rise. If you want to work outdoors, you have a huge range of job sectors and careers to choose from.

You could decide to work on the land, you might want to improve the environment, perhaps you prefer plenty of contact with people, or maybe the construction industry is for you.

There are opportunities to work in all parts of the UK, in towns and cities, as well as in the countryside.

Careers are available at every level. You can join after leaving school, college or university, or after gaining experience in other occupations. Some people enter the work after growing up in the outdoor environment, for example a lot of farmers and fairground showpeople carry on their family businesses.

So if you are interested in working outdoors, you should be able to find a job to suit you.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of working outdoors?

In many cases, you are surrounded by nature and you an breathe in the fresh air in a stress-free atmosphere.

Working outside often give you a certain amount of independence, responsibility and the freedom to move around and work in different locations.

As well as this, the variations in the seasons and the weather mean that the environment is constantly changing, which keeps the work interesting.

However, you might find that it can become uncomfortable when it becomes very hot in the summer, cold in the winter, or when it rains and snows. Sometimes, tasks have to be fitted around poor weather conditions, which can make jobs more difficult.

In some jobs you may have to work on your own for all, or much of the working week.

You also have to be prepared to work in dirty conditions for certain jobs.

Finally, early starts are frequently a feature of outdoor occupations such as farming, street cleaning, market trading and construction careers, which may not suit everyone.

What qualities and skills will I need?

You need to have fitness and stamina, as outdoor jobs can be physically demanding. Even if the job does not require lifting and carrying, it is likely that you will spend a lot of time on the move.

Practical skills are necessary for the majority of roles. In addition, a responsible attitude and the ability to work as part of a team are required for many careers, especially as health and safety is such an important part of most outdoor work.

What are the entry requirements?

Some posts require no or few qualifications, while others require qualifications up to degree or postgraduate level in relevant subjects.

As well as qualifications, there may be other entry requirements. For instance, many employers and course providers in the land-based and environmental industries prefer or require applicants to have had some relevant paid or unpaid work experience.

Once you are in employment, you can work your way up into higher positions as you gain knowledge, experience and qualifications. You might even decide to set up your own business.

How do I train?

Training for many jobs is given to you while you are working. Employers often provide training in health and safety and first aid. It is also possible to work towards qualifications such as NVQs/SVQs and BTEC national qualifications while in employment. In addition, Apprenticeships are available in a variety of career areas.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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