10 Careers for People Who Love to Travel

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Some people's idea of a vacation is visiting their in-laws on the other side of town. Others want to get away at any and every opportunity -- the farther away the better. If given the chance, they'd climb Mt. Kilimanjaro one day and compare Impressionists at the Louvre the next.

These intrepid travelers will brave any terrain or climate. They'll even repeatedly subject themselves to airport security just for the chance to go somewhere new.


If you get twitchy staying in the same place for too long, why settle for a few measly vacations a year? Satisfy your wanderlust on every one of those 365 days by embarking on a career that will have you really going places -- and not just up the corporate ladder.

When you think about travel jobs, the travel industry (pilot, flight attendant) probably jumps to mind, but there are also many not-so-obvious career options for people who like to get around. We've searched the globe and found 10 of the best careers for people who love to travel. So update your resume, pack your bags and get ready to explore.

10: Travel Nurse

These days, good nurses are in high demand and short supply. That nursing shortage can work to your advantage if you're trained and capable.

You could always get a job at your local hospital, but then you'd be dealing with the same responsibilities and working with the same people every day. Or you could travel around the country going from one hospital gig to another and caring for people in many different cities.


Travel nurses temporarily fill open positions wherever they're needed. You might tend to a jellyfish sting in Hawaii one day and nurse a broken leg in Aspen the next. Labor and delivery nurses, emergency room nurses, and operating room nurses are just a few of the positions that are in constant high demand around the country.

As a travel nurse, you'll work for a company that will provide you with accommodations (often a furnished home), a travel stipend to help you get from one hospital to another and a very competitive salary that is usually higher than what permanent nurses earn.

9: Athletic Scout

To make a great athletic scout, you have to know how to spot extraordinary talent in others.

How do basketball players make the leap from the high school court to the NBA? How does a football player go from the college bowl to the Super Bowl? Athletes wouldn't be able to achieve their dreams without the help of athletic scouts.

Athletic scouts work for colleges and professional sports teams, or they can freelance for several different teams. Their job is to seek out the best and brightest young athletes and recruit them onto the teams they represent. To find those players, scouts scour newspaper and TV reports for stories of gifted athletes. They also have to sit through a lot of high school or college games around the country, and sometimes abroad.


To make an effective athletic scout, you need to know your sport inside and out from playing it, coaching it or watching it incessantly. You also need to have a knack for spotting young talent on the field and court. Pro teams and colleges shell out a lot of money for scholarships and contracts, and they want their investment to pay off with winning players. That means athletic scouts are under a lot of pressure to find good talent.

8: Roadie

Who hasn't dreamed of going out on the road with the Rolling Stones or U2? How many music fans have imagined traveling from gig to gig and hanging with their favorite band? If the touring part of being in a road crew weren't exciting enough, there's also the thrill of working with some of the biggest names in the music and entertainment business.

Road crew members -- affectionately known as roadies -- are the folks who handle the stage productions for touring acts. Lighting and sound engineers, riggers, stagehands and instrument technicians are all considered roadies.


As with most jobs, you've got to pay your dues to make it in the roadie business. You'll probably start out lugging around lighting and sound equipment at a small venue or theater to start. Once you've learned the ropes, and with a little luck, you can work your way up to touring with the major music acts.

7: Tour Guide

If you want to be a tour guide, you've got to be knowledgeable and resourceful

One of the most obvious career choices if you love to travel is to become a tour guide. In what other job can you spend your days exploring cities like Athens, Rome or London -- and get paid for it?

Every city that attracts tourists needs tour guides. Some guides work for a particular location (such as a museum), while others lead themed tours (like ghost tours or historical bus tours). If you're particularly good at your job, you can eventually work your way up to become a director or even owner of a tour company.


To be a tour guide, you not only need to know your city inside and out -- its history, culture and hidden secrets -- but you also need to relate well to people. You've got to make your tour group feel comfortable in a city that's unfamiliar to them. Depending on the type of tour, you may also need to help them handle small emergencies that arise, from getting medical care to finding lost luggage.

If you're planning to be a tour guide abroad, it helps to speak another language (or two, or three) and to have a solid education in the history and culture of the area.

6: Civil Servant

If you want to work for the U.S. government and see the world at the same time, check with the U.S. Department of State. This government agency has hundreds of different job opportunities available for people who want to represent U.S. interests abroad. The government has 265 different embassies around the globe, as well as many other offices where people can work in civil service jobs.

Whether your background is in engineering, security, accounting, healthcare, management, IT or operations, there's probably a civil service position related to your skills. Civil service jobs not only give you the chance to travel, but many positions pay well and offer relocation, cost-of-living allowances and excellent benefits.


One caveat: If you haven't paid your taxes in a few years or you've broken the law a couple of times, you'll have to satisfy your wanderlust in a nongovernment gig. The U.S. Department of State requires all civil service applicants to undergo a rigorous security clearance process that can take two to four months. They might even interview your friends, family members and neighbors.

5: International Aid Worker

As an international aid worker, you can travel the world and do some good at the same time.
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While civil service employees represent America's interests in other countries, international aid workers export some of our abundant goodwill abroad. People who work for aid organizations like USAID and the Peace Corps work to improve the health, economic outlook and education of people living in developing nations.

International aid workers help countries that are struggling or recovering from economic crises, natural disasters, war, famine and despotism. Depending on their experience, aid workers might teach in Afghanistan, organize relief convoys to combat areas in Somalia, or introduce new heat-resistant crops to nations throughout Africa.


The desire to help others is a plus if you want to be an international aid worker -- but it's not the only prerequisite. You also need to have a background in a relevant area, like agriculture, engineering, private enterprise, education, health or crisis stabilization.

Becoming an international aid worker has its rewards -- and not just the gratification of helping people in other countries. Some international aid workers earn salaries well into the six figures.

4: Archaeologist

Imagine discovering the world's oldest known tool, or unearthing the skeleton of one of our very first ancestors. Every day, archaeologists are discovering the kinds of buried treasures that give them a glimpse into life thousands -- or even millions -- of years in the past.

The typical image of an archaeologist is a khaki-clad adventurer, up to his or her neck in dust on a dig. In movies and TV shows, archaeologists are typically found in countries like Egypt and other ancient civilizations.


Archaeologists do more than just dig, though. Once they make a great find, they have to identify and analyze their discoveries so they can be catalogued, restored and displayed by collectors or museums.

Some archaeologists don't dig at all. They conduct research for museums or governments, or teach archaeology at universities. Other archaeologists are in charge of protecting historic sites, excavating them for relics before construction crews can dig there and accidentally destroy an important piece of history.

3: English Teacher

Teaching English as a second language allows people to immerse themselves in a completely different culture while traveling the world and helping others.
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English is one of the world's most spoken languages. It helps connect diverse cultures and bridge the gap between countries that want to connect for trade or diplomacy. Many people in non-English-speaking countries have the desire to learn the language, so there's always a need for people who can teach English-as-a-second-language (ESL) classes abroad.

As an ESL teacher, you'll get paid for the privilege of being immersed in a different culture. Many English teachers are provided with free accommodations while they're working abroad. You'll also get the satisfaction of knowing that you're teaching a valuable skill.


You can either teach children from kindergarten through high school, or work with adults. Most positions require you to have at least a bachelor's degree, but you'll earn more if you also have a master's. Depending on the program, you might need to be certified to teach as well.

English teaching positions are available through the U.S. Department of State, as well as with companies that place teachers internationally. Asia and Eastern Europe are two of the biggest markets for English teachers today. You can work in private international schools and universities, U.S. military bases or with an organization like the Peace Corps.

2: Field Service Technician

Many jobs that allow you to travel also require you to have a four-year college degree -- and often an advanced degree. If you don't have that kind of education but you still want to travel, consider working as a field service technician. These mobile repair techs travel wherever they are needed to perform equipment maintenance and repair.

Field service technicians are like equipment doctors making technical house calls. They might go to a construction site to fix a broken crane, a big-city high-rise to fix an elevator, or a remote train track to bring a disabled engine back to life.


Field service technicians can work for the government, equipment manufacturers, computer repair companies or construction and transportation businesses.

You don't need a four-year degree to be a field service technician, but a two-year associate's degree and some technical training are helpful. Many companies offer on-the-job training, so after a few years of working in this industry, you should be highly qualified.

1: Professional Yacht Crew

If you hit the lottery, you can travel the world on a yacht like this one. Even if you don't, working on one can be its own reward.

Everyone dreams about what they'd buy if they hit the lottery. For a lot of people, a superyacht tops that lottery wish list. Superyachts are like floating mansions, packed every possible amenity that can fit on a super luxurious oceangoing vessel.

Instead of just dreaming about floating away on a private yacht, why not actually do it? A seven-figure salary isn't a requirement. You don't even need to have sailing experience.

Thousands of superyachts are floating around the world, from Sydney to Singapore. And most of those yachts need crews to keep them afloat. (Did you actually think Jay-Z and Beyonce sailed their own $40 million chartered superyacht on the French Riviera last summer?)

Yachts need captains to drive them, deckhands to maintain the exterior, stewardesses to dust and polish the interior, engineers to keep the engines running and chefs to satisfy the dining pleasures of the yacht's well-heeled occupants. Speaking of the occupants, yacht crews have the chance to meet some of the biggest names in business, politics and entertainment while they're sailing around the world and getting paid for it.

Lots More Information

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  • Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Heavy Vehicle and Mobile Equipment Service Technicians and Mechanics." (Dec. 3, 2010)http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos197.htm
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