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The 8 Best Jobs for People Who Love To Travel

SmarterTravel

If you want travel to be a bigger part of your life, why not find a job that allows you to do it more? There are a lot more opportunities to travel for work than ever before. Some jobs offer paid housing, free flights, hotels, and more. Here are some great jobs for people who love to travel. You’ll learn what it takes, how much it will pay, and what kind of travel benefits to expect. 

Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

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Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers are listed as some of the highest-paying jobs in the United States, with a median salary of $160,790 per year. Pilots are operators of airplanes, helicopters, and other aircraft. Jobs for pilots are expected to grow more than 5 percent in the next ten years. 

  • Requirements: Commercial pilots need to have a high school diploma (or equivalent) and have earned a pilot’s license from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Above the requirements for commercial pilots, airline pilots typically need a bachelor’s degree and the FAA-issued Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate.
  • Pay: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, airline pilots earn a median salary of $160,790 per year. The median salary for commercial pilots was $93,300. 
  • Travel benefits: Pilots often have overnight layovers due to flight time limitations that require rest for pilots. For leisure travel, pilots can be given a number of free flights every year, depending on the airline they’re employed by. In addition, flying standby for 90% off (or even for free) is a perk offered to many pilots. 

Flight Crew

If you’re not interested in the amount of education it takes to become a pilot, you may want to consider becoming a member of the crew. Flight attendants provide routine services and respond to emergencies as members of a flight crew. Growth for this occupation is expected to exceed 17 percent over the next 10 years. 

  • Requirements: Only a high school diploma (or equivalent) is required to apply to become a flight crew member. Flight attendants receive on-the-job training from their employer and must be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
  • Pay: The median annual salary for flight crew members is $59,050. 
  • Travel benefits: When flight crew members are traveling for work (e.g., an international flight), the hotel is paid for by the airline. As with pilots, most airlines offer a combination of free and discounted flights for the employees of their organization. 

Foreign Services Worker

A foreign service worker represents the United States around the world for the U.S. Department of State. Also known as diplomats, foreign service workers can be stationed in 270 embassies, consulates, or other diplomatic missions in the The Americas, Africa, Europe and Eurasia, East Asia and Pacific, Middle East and North Africa, and South Asia. Assignments typically last three years and provide unique, challenging opportunities to experience communities throughout the world. 

  • Requirements. There is an extensive, competitive selection process for foreign services workers, which begins with a test called the FSOT (Foreign Services Officer Test). There are five career tracks to choose from, ranging from consular officers to public diplomacy officers. 
  • Pay. Foreign Service employees are paid based on the Foreign Service pay scale, which ranges from $30,414 to $172,500 based on grades and steps. Overseas foreign service agents who have a bachelor degree and no experience, would be placed on a grade and step earning $57,649. 
  • Travel Benefits. Foreign service officers live in government-paid housing, which makes the salary look even more attractive. Moving expenses to the country you’ll live in are paid for and international school tuition is covered if you have children.  

Yacht Crew

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If you’d rather cruise the water than the skies, you may want to look into crewing a yacht. It may be hard to break into, but the compensation can be lucrative. 

  • Requirements: Some jobs, such as a yacht stewardess, look for experience in hospitality. Other requirements include STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers) basic training, and the ENG1 certificate (medical fitness for working at sea). 
  • Pay: A deckhand or beginning stewardess can make $2,500 per month, while a captain can make as much as $20,000 per month on a large, luxury yacht. A chef can make between $4,000 and $11,000 per month, and a chief engineer can make between $3,500 and $13,000 per month.  
  • Travel Benefits: Exotic locations and free housing (albeit in tight quarters).

English Teacher

If you want to teach English in another country, there are a lot of jobs around the world that you can look for. Opportunities range from private companies hiring English tutors to government jobs with housing provided.

  • Requirements: A bachelor’s degree is required for most jobs. Some jobs like a teaching certification or another certificate, like a TEFL or TESOL, to go with it. 
  • Pay: While there is a wide range (including many opportunities where you’ll need to pay to go), you can earn around $2,000 per month teaching in South Korea. Keep in mind your housing is paid for, so this salary is on top of that.
  • Travel Benefits: One country that stands out for its generous benefits is South Korea, which offers flights to and from the country as well as paid housing. 

Consultant

Consultants are experts in their field who provide advice and recommendations to businesses. Because the expertise of the consultant is valued, companies will pay for the consultant’s travel.  

  • Requirements: Expertise in your field
  • Pay: The pay varies widely, but expect it to be very lucrative for a short-term contract.
  • Travel Benefits: Companies seeking expert advice pay for the consultant’s travel, often in business class. Hotels, meal allowances, and other perks may also be provided to the consultant.

Sales Representative, Sales Manager

Large contracts are best handled by someone the company trusts to close the sale, so if you’re professional and great at sales, you’re likely to be flown around to meet clients. 

  • Requirements: Sales managers typically have a bachelor’s degree, though this is not always a requirement. 
  • Pay: The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an annual salary of $132,290 for sales managers. 
  • Travel Benefits: Travel is paid for by the business you work for, sometimes in business class. You’ll get to meet clients from all over, so whether you’re flying across the states or hopping across the pond, there’s always a great people component to this job. 

Scientists 

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Scientists study the world around us, and often, a particular study will require time spent near subjects in their natural environments. Biologists, astronomers, atmospheric scientists, archaeologists, hydrologists, and other scientists may have some unique opportunities for travel. 

  • Requirements: Most scientists have extensive education. Many hold a master’s degree or higher, though there are some exceptions to this. 
  • Pay: Wildlife biologists earn a median income of $66,350; physicists and astronomers earn a median annual income of $128,950; and geoscientists earn around $93,580.
  • Travel Benefits: Travel can be funded by research grants, fellowships, and sponsorships. 

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