If action sports are your passion than the last thing you want is a job that is inflexible and time consuming.
If you prefer to spend your days at the skate park instead of in a cubicle than we have come up with a list of careers that may be for you.
These are jobs that will keep you paid while still granting the freedom to stay dedicated to the pursuit of the perfect wave, carving the slopes, or perfecting your 360 flip.
The criteria are simple: maximum free time! In no particular order:
This one is a no-brainer, right?
It's hard to beat the great hours, evenings, weekends and summers off, not to mention Spring Break and snow days, too. This is a work schedule that easily lends itself to a recreational pursuit of action sports and even the rigorous demands of competition.
Teaching does require a minimum of four years of college, dedication, and some patience, but imagine the respect you would earn from your students when they witness you crushing it at the local skate park.
If lesson plans and grading papers make you shudder than you can always consider being a gym, er, uh...physical education teacher.
2. Computer Software Engineer
This is THE fastest growing field with projected growth of 30% over the next ten years.
Being a computer software engineer requires at least an associate’s degree, but in most cases a bachelor’s is necessary.
This is the highest paid job on the list and can be the most time consuming if you let it, but there is an increasing movement towards telecommuting and independent contracting, which means earning big bucks while working from anywhere and dictating your workload.
You may have to work a little more, but you will be able to afford that world-class backyard skate park you have always wanted.
And there is a growing need for engineering even in the action sports industry. Large brands (and even some startups) require engineers to develop websites, apps and other interactive items made for today’s plugged-in world.
You could earn good money and work in the industry you love.
3. Graphic Designer
Just like with the computer software engineer "freelance" is the keyword here, as in working for yourself, dictating your workload and setting your own schedule.
As a graphic designer, you can look for work at action sports companies. These companies need design help for things like:
Companies in all industries, including action sports, look to hire designers for full-time, part-time and contract (freelance) work.
You can choose the best fit for your personality and lifestyle.
Graphic design requires an associate’s degree at minimum, but in many cases a bachelor’s is recommended.
You might be able to get by without if you have a strong portfolio of work that you can display on your own, professional website.
Design has been a popular choice for a career over the last decade so the projected growth rate is a lot lower in this field but if you have a knack for design it can be a very rewarding career with a self-employment rate around 24%.
4. Licensed Massage Therapist
With the recent revival in alternative medicine, Massage Therapy is one of the few fields that have projected growth over the next decade.
The certification process can be as short as a year to an 18 months and the pay is typically good to great. This is a career that travels extremely well and also offers you the ability to work for yourself and set your own hours.
Working in a touristy resort area certainly means forfeiting your weekends, but the good news is that you can land yourself right around the corner from some of the best surf, snowboarding, or mountain biking spots in the world. 20-25 hours a week is considered "full-time" for a massage therapist, which makes for a short workweek and you will never have problems making friends around the fireplace in the lodge.
When someone says they are a writer you may first think of a novelist, which of course as a career would lend itself freely to a life of action sports, but writing as a profession has grown significantly with the advent of the internet, where content is king and the continual demand for new content has created a great demand for writers.
Somebody has to write all this stuff. An education in writing will serve you well, but is not always necessary as the quality of the writing itself is the most important thing.
Writing jobs abound and vary greatly from technical writing to blogging and editing.
As with a couple others jobs above, you might be able to find work in the action sports industry. Any brand that has a website could usually use help with website content, catalog content and even with their sales content and marketing email content.
Writing work is normally deadline oriented which gives you the ability to set your own hours and the option of working from home while in your underpants, if you desire.
Just don't forget to pull on a pair of shorts before heading down to the skate park.
6. Sales Rep in the Action Sports Industry
At Sk8 Clothing, we work with a lot of industry sales reps.
In general, these people LOVE their jobs.
They go around the country (and sometimes the world) selling products they love and often products they use themselves like clothing, equipment and more.
They also get to hit all the best skate spots each city has to offer, which is awesome! You can wake up and hit the skate park in a new city before meeting a client for an afternoon meeting.
You can go rock climbing or hiking in the evening after your sales lunch is done.
Plus reps host great contests and giveaways and all kinds of events. The brands often host events for charity or sponsor professional events. It’s a chance to be around great people in the action sports industry.
And if that’s not enough, sales reps often get to keep the sale samples. Who doesn’t love free shirts and free equipment?
Sales can be tough and stressful, but you can ease your way into it. Some companies have beginning positions even if you don’t have a formal education.
But a degree can help and if you’re willing to learn the business you can start building your career in an industry you love.
There is our shortlist of careers that will not hinder your love and pursuit of waves, trails, slopes, and rails.
All decent choices to keep you decked out in the freshest gear with a roof over your head and food on your table, without the forty-hour a week commitment that can hinder the adrenaline rush you have grown to know and love.
What careers did we miss? We’d love to hear the ones that work for you in the comments!