Working outdoors no doubt has its perks; access to fresh air, sunshine, and nature makes many outdoor jobs enticing. The reality of outdoor work, however, is often harsher than one might imagine. Postal workers in many northern cities deliver mail on foot in freezing temperatures. Loggers in the Pacific Northwest are currently felling hazardous trees in the midst of raging wildfires. (Here are the 25 most dangerous jobs in America.)
Obviously, location and climate have a large impact on the desirability of outdoor jobs. 24/7 Tempo has compiled the 50 best cities for outdoor jobs using a ranking formulated by LawnStarter, a lawn-care startup that frequently researches city and state amenities. LawnStarter compared the 200 most populous cities across 26 metrics including air quality, average temperature (and temperature extremes), precipitation, outdoor job opportunities, cost of living, transit access, and rate of work-related injuries.
Cities in Texas, Arizona, and Washington dominate the top 10. Milder climates and lack of precipitation contributed to the high rankings of both Texas and Arizona, with many cities in Arizona also receiving high job opportunity and safety scores. Some cities in Washington earned high scores for public transit access, high minimum wage, and affordability — factors that overcame Seattle’s high precipitation rate to move it into third place. (It’s one of the 25 cities with the highest paying jobs.)
Cities in the sweltering Deep South and the far north tended to have lower scores based on their extreme temperatures, while many cities in California scored low in the air quality and natural hazards metrics.