Get Sun and Exercise by Working an Outdoor Trades Job This Summer (French version available)
Summer break is coming up, which means it’s time for many students to start looking for a summer job. While most towns and cities will have the usual restaurant and retail opportunities, not everyone is cut out for – or interested in – these jobs. If you prefer being active and outdoorsy, then summer is a great time to find a job that lets you work outside and stay physically active.
Luckily, there are lots of outdoor trades that hire high school and college age students during the summer.
Gardening, Horticulture, Landscaping, and Forestry
Some of the most common outdoor summer jobs for students can be found in the areas of gardening, horticulture, landscaping, and forestry. You’ll find a wide variety of opportunities, all of which involve working outdoors with plants for contract companies, municipal governments, and businesses such as golf courses or nurseries.
Gardening and landscaping companies are busiest in the summertime, with busy work schedules and many customers. Working for a gardening or landscaping company includes tasks such as mowing lawns; planting flowers, shrubbery, and grass for commercial and residential customers; installing and maintaining specialty features such as fountains, ponds, or ornamental landscaping; and assessing or treating diseased plants and trees.
Horticultural businesses such as plant nurseries and greenhouses need workers to water plant stock, move and arrange the plants available for purchase, and assist customers with choosing their purchases and loading plants and supplies into their vehicles.
Forestry jobs that hire students over the summer include tree planting, brush trimming, assisting with tree surveys and assessments, and working in tree nurseries.
You will find these jobs under titles such as Arborist, Landscape Gardener, Horticultural Technician, Conservation Technician, Lawn Care Specialist, Forestry Technician, Tree Planter, and Groundskeeper, to name a few examples.
National and Provincial Parks
Canada’s national and provincial parks system are a popular destination during the summertime, with events, campers, and day visitors coming to enjoy our country’s natural beauty. Student summer workers are an integral part of the parks system, fulfilling roles including trail and campsite maintenance, guided tours and customer support for park guests, or setting up before and cleaning up after events.
Many parks also need tradespeople skilled in water and wastewater management, equipment operators for forklifts or ATVs, maintenance and operation of boats and marine equipment, as well as general mechanics, carpenters, plumbers, and electricians.
Working in the parks system also provides lots of opportunities to interact with people, both your coworkers and the park visitors.
These summers jobs can be found under titles such as Park Staff, Park Interpreter, Maintenance Technician, General Labour, Groundkeeper, Tour Guide, and more.
Green energy is a growing industry, with a great deal of energy generation from renewable sources involving at least some work outdoors. Trades jobs in this industry can include installing and maintaining green energy equipment or technologies such as solar panels or energy-efficient HVAC systems, as well as working with power generation stations dealing with hydro or wind turbines. Other opportunities could include assisting with site surveys for future green energy projects. While some jobs in this industry require technical training or certification, if green energy is a career you’re interested in, there are internship and co-op positions that are suitable for students.
Jobs in green energy can be found under titles such as Solar Panel Installer, HVAC Technician, HVAC Installer, Sustainability Technician, Wind Turbine Technician, and others.
Become. “Get Outside! Careers in the Great Outdoors.” https://www.learnhowtobecome.org/career-resource-center/outdoor-careers/.
Indeed. “Jobs That Help the Environment That Require No Degree.” https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/jobs-that-help-the-environment-no-degree.
Job Bank. “Forest technologists and technicians.” https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/marketreport/occupation/17904/22437.
Job Bank. “Landscape and horticulture technicians and specialists.” https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/marketreport/occupation/22564/22437.
Ontario Parks. “Careers at Ontario Parks.” https://www.ontarioparks.com/careers/.
Taylor, Philip. “40 Summer Jobs for Teens and College Students.” Part-Time Money. https://ptmoney.com/10-fun-summer-jobs-for-teens-and-college-students/.