15 Best Cities for Outdoor Jobs

Woman picking tomatoes in her garden
goodluz / Shutterstock.com

Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on LawnStarter.

Just like the vast outdoors, jobs working in the heat, cold, sun and rain are varied — roofers, mail carriers, forest rangers and landscapers, to name just a few.

Some jobs require people to be outside — such as ski instructors, garbage collectors, linemen, scuba divers and vineyard managers. Some people just prefer working in the sun.

But not every city or its weather is equally suitable for a career in the fresh air and sunshine.

That’s why LawnStarter took stock of the outdoor employment landscape, to bring you its 2021 Best Cities for Outdoor Jobs report.

We compared the 200 largest employment markets in the U.S. across 26 key factors, from outdoor job opportunities to cost of living to average daily temperature.

Following are the best cities for outdoor jobs, followed by our methodology.

Once you’ve finished, grab a shovel and head out into the sunshine.

1. Frisco, TX

Houses in Frisco, Texas
Fred Mays / Shutterstock.com

Overall Score: 63

Opportunity Rank: 60

Affordability Rank: 1

Work-Life Balance Rank: 199

Safety Rank: 10

Climate Rank: 93

2. Henderson, NV

Henderson, Nevada aerial photo
Khairil Azhar Junos / Shutterstock.com

Overall Score: 62.27

Opportunity Rank: 132

Affordability Rank: 18

Work-Life Balance Rank: 108

Safety Rank: 1

Climate Rank: 46

3. Seattle, WA

Seattle
Albert Pegp / Shutterstock.com

Overall Score: 62.2

Opportunity Rank: 26

Affordability Rank: 23

Work-Life Balance Rank: 91

Safety Rank: 11

Climate Rank: 58

4. Scottsdale, AZ

Scottsdale, Arizona
BCFC / Shutterstock.com

Overall Score: 62.04

Opportunity Rank: 28

Affordability Rank: 17

Work-Life Balance Rank: 147

Safety Rank: 4

Climate Rank: 71

5. Gilbert, AZ

Gilbert, Arizona
Tim Roberts Photography / Shutterstock.com

Overall Score: 61.59

Opportunity Rank: 95

Affordability Rank: 8

Work-Life Balance Rank: 164

Safety Rank: 2

Climate Rank: 71

6. Tempe, AZ

Tempe Arizona
AevanStock / Shutterstock.com

Overall Score: 61.16

Opportunity Rank: 15

Affordability Rank: 87

Work-Life Balance Rank: 8

Safety Rank: 31

Climate Rank: 71

7. Vancouver, WA

Homes in Vancouver, Washington
Rigucci / Shutterstock.com

Overall Score: 61.05

Opportunity Rank: 70

Affordability Rank: 27

Work-Life Balance Rank: 76

Safety Rank: 9

Climate Rank: 39

8. Chandler, AZ

Chandler, Arizona
Mark Skalny / Shutterstock.com

Overall Score: 60.96

Opportunity Rank: 73

Affordability Rank: 12

Work-Life Balance Rank: 145

Safety Rank: 3

Climate Rank: 71

9. Plano, TX

Plano, Texas
ulkare / Shutterstock.com

Overall Score: 59.94

Opportunity Rank: 54

Affordability Rank: 6

Work-Life Balance Rank: 174

Safety Rank: 19

Climate Rank: 93

10. Bellevue, WA

Bellevue, Washington
mandritoiu / Shutterstock.com

Overall Score: 59.73

Opportunity Rank: 16

Affordability Rank: 9

Work-Life Balance Rank: 122

Safety Rank: 115

Climate Rank: 53

11. San Francisco, CA

San Francisco, California
IM_photo / Shutterstock.com

Overall Score: 58.96

Opportunity Rank: 10

Affordability Rank: 148

Work-Life Balance Rank: 168

Safety Rank: 28

Climate Rank: 11

12. McKinney, TX

Wirestock Creators / Shutterstock.com

Overall Score: 58.72

Opportunity Rank: 134

Affordability Rank: 5

Work-Life Balance Rank: 194

Safety Rank: 8

Climate Rank: 93

13. Boston, MA

Boston, Massachusetts
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Overall Score: 58.63

Opportunity Rank: 11

Affordability Rank: 117

Work-Life Balance Rank: 71

Safety Rank: 6

Climate Rank: 146

14. Portland, OR

Portland, Oregon
photomatz / Shutterstock.com

Overall Score: 58.05

Opportunity Rank: 64

Affordability Rank: 106

Work-Life Balance Rank: 44

Safety Rank: 17

Climate Rank: 39

15. Las Vegas, NV

Las Vegas neighborhood with desert hills beyond.
Christopher Boswell / Shutterstock.com

Overall Score: 57.7

Opportunity Rank: 138

Affordability Rank: 45

Work-Life Balance Rank: 89

Safety Rank: 16

Climate Rank: 46

Methodology

Man using too much data on his phone, tablet and laptop
Bacho / Shutterstock.com

We ranked the 200 most populated U.S. cities in descending order — from best to worst — based on their individual score totals in the metrics list below. The city that scored the highest was ranked No. 1, or “best.”

  • Outdoor Job Opportunities per 100,000 Residents
  • Employment Access Index
  • Jobs Accessible in 30-Minute Transit Ride
  • Labor-Force Participation Rate
  • Cost of Living
  • Income Tax Rate
  • Housing Affordability
  • Share of Workers in Poverty
  • Median Household Income
  • Minimum Wage
  • Transit Score
  • Average Commute Time
  • Length of Average Workday
  • Violent Crime Rate
  • Property Crime Rate
  • Traffic Fatalities per Capita
  • Natural Hazard Index Score
  • Share of Roads in Poor Condition
  • Work-Related Fatalities per 100,000 Employed Residents
  • Work-Related Severe Injuries per 100,000 Employed Residents
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Average Yearly Total of Very Hot Days
  • Average Yearly Total of Very Cold Days
  • Average Daily Temperature
  • Average Monthly Precipitation in Inches
  • Median Air Quality

*Data for outdoor job opportunities was collected from Indeed on Feb. 17, 2021. It therefore reflects only a snapshot in time and does not reflect the day this report was published.

Sources: AreaVibes, Center for Neighborhood Technology, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Indeed, National Center for Disaster Preparedness, National Conference of State Legislatures, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Tax Foundation, TRIP, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Walk Score.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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