16 Fun Exploration Careers to Pursue

What are exploration careers? Many individuals strive for a feeling of adventure in their employment. Some people are passionate about adventures and like examining the world around them. If you have a strong sense of curiosity and a desire for new experiences, you should consider a career that allows you to physically or intellectually explore the world.

exploration careers

What exactly is exploration?

Exploration is the act of seeking new information about the earth and its inhabitants. Some exploration is physical, such as when a hydrologist looks for a new water source in a natural park or a wildlife photographer obtains an image of a rare bird species in its natural environment. Other types of exploration are intellectual, such as when a historian uncovers a long-lost document in an archive or a criminal investigator utilizes evidence to solve a case.

Careers in exploration cover various industries and need a wide variety of skills and certifications. Some of these vocations require physical travel throughout the world, while others require staying in one area and engaging in intensive intellectual exploration. They all, however, have the same purpose of learning new things, answering questions about the world, and having new experiences.

exploration careers

Exploration careers

Here are a few examples of popular jobs that involve exploration, travel, and career exploration:

Tour guide

The national average income is $28,593 per year (plus $75.00 in tips each day).

Primary responsibilities: Tour guides accompany guests to a city or nation to view local landmarks, eat real food, and participate in cultural events. Some tour guides work in their own country, sharing their culture with tourists, while others work in other nations, possibly leading tours in their original language. Tour guides of various sorts, such as museum and adventure guides, can provide unique possibilities to explore.

Journalist

Journalists earn an average of $35,694 a year in the United States.

Journalists' primary responsibilities include researching news issues and producing articles and other information to educate the public. They may work as freelancers or for news organizations. Journalists may travel locally, nationally, or globally to gather information for their articles, depending on the news they cover. They spend their days conducting interviews and conducting research to answer inquiries concerning criminal investigations, local developments, and worldwide events.

exploration careers

Travel photographer

The average annual wage in the United States is $39,740.

Primary responsibilities: Travel or wildlife photographers snap intriguing vistas or unusual species. These photographers are mostly self-employed and sell their images to magazines, websites, and other media. Wildlife photographers often picture animals and plants, but travel photographers may photograph people, historic locations, and cultural events in addition to the natural world. These photographers may also collaborate with advocacy groups to use their photos to raise awareness of global concerns.

Pilot

The national average wage for a pilot is $41,907 per year.

Pilots' primary responsibilities include flying planes and carrying people and cargo from one area to another. They might be employed by a commercial airline, a military unit, or a government organization. They may also work as independent pilots or provide aviation excursions. While some commercial pilots fly the same routes for the whole of their careers, other types of pilots' destinations may vary considerably. Military pilots, for example, may fly all over the world depending on their station.

exploration careers

Marine scientist

Salary: $42,674 per year on average

Primary duties: Marine biologists are scientists that perform study on the development and interaction of ocean-dwelling creatures. They might be employed by non-profit research groups or colleges. Marine biologists frequently go to various ocean sites throughout the world to dive beneath the surface and conduct primary research. They also operate in labs, where they analyze the samples they collect and uncover new features of marine life.

Travel writer

Salary: $59,345 per year on average

Primary responsibilities: Travel writers visit various locations across the world and write about their experiences for magazines and other media. They are frequently self-employed freelancers who sell their work to travel websites, magazine publishers, and tourism agencies. They may also run their own travel blogs or write books about their experiences. This profession enables an explorer to travel to other places and remark on what they learn about the animals, historical landmarks, and culture of their trips.

Archaeologist

National average annual salary: $60,422

Archaeologists utilize their expertise and experience to conserve historical objects, unearth historical data, and learn more about the past. They might work for museums, non-profit groups, or colleges. Archaeologists may do research at dig sites, but they may also spend entire days dealing with objects and reading historical writings. Archaeologists who work for colleges and universities may also teach related courses like history or linguistics.

Wildlife scientist

National average annual salary: $70,515

Primary responsibilities: Wildlife biologists perform study to better understand the diverse range of native animal species in a given region. Many wildlife biologists travel to national parks or other unpopulated places to do field studies into the development and interactions of wild animals. They may also work on ways to prevent environmental harm and protect endangered animal habitats.

Geologist

National average income for a geologist: $74,411 per year

Primary responsibilities: Geologists perform study to better understand the composition and evolution of the rocks and minerals that make up the Earth's crust. They may work for a government agency, a nonprofit research organization, or a commercial corporation, and their jobs may require them to travel throughout the world conducting field research. Some geologists advise government agencies and businesses on industrial ways for preserving geological formations, while others forecast the consequences of earthquakes and tsunamis so that government agencies may prepare for these natural disasters.

Geographer

The national average compensation for a geographer is $81,959 per year.

Geographers' primary responsibilities include conducting research on land features and relating new information to existing maps and global positioning data. They may work for the federal government, state and municipal governments, or private architecture or engineering businesses, advising leadership teams on new buildings or other industrial activity. Human geographers analyze population density patterns and other metrics to understand the interaction between people and the land, whereas physical geographers investigate geological formations and the placement of natural resources.

Historian

Historians earn an average of $82,828 a year in the United States.

Historians are historians who research and write about the past, either disclosing new knowledge or altering conventional interpretations of historical events. Many historians work for historical groups, government agencies, or universities, as well as writing historical works and teaching pupils. Some historians may go to the sites of significant historical events to read original documents and conduct research, depending on their area of specialization.

Oceanographer

National average income for an oceanographer: $91,294 per year/

Oceanographers are scientists who study the geological, chemical, and biological makeup of the world's seas. They may work for a government agency, research institute, or university, doing a study into ocean concerns and developing solutions to enhance the ocean's state. Some oceanographers investigate the consequences of pollution or climate change, while others examine ocean mineral composition or evaluate ocean conditions to assist legislators in regulating coastal building.

Criminal investigator

The national average wage for a criminal investigator: $92,860 per year.

Criminal investigators' primary responsibilities include gathering evidence and applying critical thinking to solve crimes. They might be employed by a municipal police department, a federal agency, or a military criminal investigative office. Criminal investigators go out into the field to gather witness statements and forensic evidence, which may require them to travel locally or nationally. In addition, they collaborate closely with lab technicians and other specialists to assess evidence and create criminal cases.

Anthropologist

National average wage for an anthropologist: $66,130 per year.

The primary duties include investigating the origins and biological evolution of human races. Through the study of fossils, conduct research on the evolution of humans. Participate in and provide anthropological presentations at seminars and conferences. Investigate the age and history of human races using fossils and archeological objects.

Detective

The national average wage for a detective: $63,464 per year.

They conduct interviews, review documents, keep track of suspects, and take part in raids and arrests. Detectives usually look into major crimes including assaults, robberies, and killings. Detectives in major police agencies typically specialize in one sort of crime, such as homicide or fraud.

Astronomer

National average wage for an astronomer: $134,686 per year.

Astronomers conduct scientific experiments to test ideas and discover the qualities of matter and other types of energy. Here are some examples of an Astronomer's responsibilities: Plan, design, and carry out observational experiments, as well as analyze data from telescopes, radios, and satellites.

Common FAQ's

Questions from job seekers and students:

Do I need a bachelor's degree for these jobs?

Many of these positions require formal education. If you're looking for career paths that don't require earning a bachelor's degree, pursue being a police officer or photographer.

What's the job market like for these positions?

Many of these positions have growing job outlooks for professionals. Before pursuing a career path, it's best to look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics and see which career options fit your passion, education, and interests.

Does a wildlife photographer travel?

Yes. Wildlife photographers have to visit historic sites across the world and United States. Wildlife photographers often capture animals and plants, but travel photographers may photograph people, historic locations, and cultural events in addition to the natural world.

Favorite Resources

Our favorite resources are included below.

Job interview resources

Resume and cover letter resources

Job search resources

free interview question and answer full guide

Interview Question and Answer Guide (PDF)

Download our full interview preparation guide. Complete with common interview questions and example answers. Free download. No email required.

Download PDF
author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

Fact checked: Our small and dedicated team rigorously evaluates every article, guide, and reference to ensure the information is accurate and factual. Learn more.

Share

Help us by spreading the word