Careers & Majors

Not all jobs are confined to a cubicle! Everybody has different needs and dreams. Do you like to work outside? Do you want to be your own boss? Are you entrepreneurial? Here are a sampling of jobs that you might not have thought of:


Tree trimmers come with varying degree of skill and education. Some have horticulture degrees, others have the ISA certification and/or years of experience with chainsaws, aerial lifts and wood chippers. Arborists may work for the utility company to lop the tops off of trees below power lines or the Forest Service or may manage their own landscape company. An arborist might have a PhD and know all about pathology and xylem and phloem and work for a university! (Future professors, see our page "Which Desk Will Be Yours in 10 years")


Dog Trainer: 

Animal lovers work in a myriad of environments...depending on the level of passion and education. Do you want to be a dog walker, dog doctor, animal trainer, pet sitter. Do you want to work in a kennel, a stable, a clinic or a zoo?

You could be earning this:

...or this:

Animal lovers clearly have a passion for what they do. There is a lot of on-the-job training or learn-by-doing. To be a professional, eg. a Vet Tech or a Vet, a college education is necessary. Majors include: animal science, animal husbandry, equine science. There are a many 2-yr or certificate programs to be a Vet Tech. The 4-yr programs are found at colleges like Cal Poly Pomona or Purdue.


Winery Representative:

Is serving wine a food service job...

...or a food scientist job...

You will probably live near something that looks like this:

Oregon Pinot Noir Grapes

Oregon Pinot Noir Grapes

If you want to work in a winery, you can study to be a food scientist at colleges like: UC Davis, Oregon State, Texas A & M, Fresno State. Wineries are usually tourist-friendly so you could also study hospitality and tourism and work in the front office and/or interact with the customers.

Baseball Scout:

Not all scouts work for the MLB. Scouts recruit at showcase tournaments and high schools and for all levels of play (D-1, D-2, D-3, etc).

Your work environment will be similar to this:

...or this...

Most scouts have played their sport in college or in the professional leagues. They clearly love the game. Next time you see a scout, ask them 'how much do you love the parents' of their recruits!


Interested in owning an oyster farm? Agriculture provides less than 2% of all jobs in the US and is slated to decrease about 0.5% over the next ten years. 

That said, a new generation is entering the farming sector as a way to live a high-quality, sustainable life. Artisan cheeses? Range-fed beef? Biodynamic greens? Nationally, a slight uptick of people under the age of 35 are heading back to the farm to produce just these sorts of products.

More than 30% of farmers have attended college. So, where do you go to learn the tricks of the aggie trade? How about University of California at Davis, Fresno State, North Carolina State, Texas A & M, Oregon State, just to name a few.

Fire Science:

Firefighting is a science! You can study 'fire' at schools as varied as George Washington University and Palomar College. Most degrees are 2-year, others are 4-yr. In many Counties, to be a firefighter first requires being an EMT and/or paramedic. As in most fields, the more education undertaken, the better the pay and position.

As firefighters are hired by the government and are, generally, unionized, job growth is directly correlated to number of positions funded and the pay scale is arbitrated . Demographics are an important consideration.  Did your County just hire hundreds of firefighters? Then, your job prospects may be influenced by the retirement plans of the firefighter classes ahead of you.

Firefighters are known for their comfortable rec rooms...

...but there is serious training involved. Remember, firefighters run into burning buildings as everyone else inside flees!