7 careers that let you live full-time in cottage country

park ranger looking out onto cottage country Photo by Orhan Cam/Shutterstock

If you’re sick of the grind, city living isn’t necessary to have a fulfilling, profitable career. Many jobs are transferable to rural areas—notably, doctors, nurses and teachers are in high demand in Canada’s smaller municipalities.

But if you’re trying to get away from fast-paced life, there are many careers that allow you truly revel in the cottage country lifestyle year-round. Here are eight jobs that you can still do dockside—or at least outdoors.

Real estate agent

Having a legitimate excuse to scope out other people’s homes is only half the fun of working as a realtor. Particularly in Ontario, cottage country real estate isn’t showing any signs of cooling down. According to a 2017 study, 63 percent of Ontario realtors reported an uptick in prices and sales this spring. With a national average sale price of $439,000 on cottages, you’re set to make a tidy salary with this job.

Virtual assistant

The tasks for virtual assistants are just as varied as they are needed—from helping produce marketing campaigns and proofreading presentations to managing social media and websites. No experience as an administrative assistant is necessary, but putting in face time to find work is. In addition to offering your services on sites such as People Per Hour, you may also find local clients by attending Chamber of Commerce events in your community.

Rental & property manager

Love hospitality and tourism, but not keen to open a bed and breakfast in your cottage? This might be the job for you. Rental and property managers help advertise and book cottages, clean between guests, and offer on-call services in case of emergency.

Website developer

Not only can you work remotely for clients based in urban centres, you can also become the go-to web designer for local cottage country businesses that are beginning to hop online. First though, you’ll need to know how to code and use platforms such as WordPress. Knowing how to use graphic design tools, such as Illustrator, will put you a step ahead of the competition.

Online tutor & instructor

Teachers are in high demand in rural areas, but if you’d like a job closer to home, becoming an online tutor might fill the bill. Canadian-based virtual high schools employ qualified teachers, and there’s a growing market for English as a second language online. Not a teacher? No worries. Now that working remotely is increasingly the norm, rather than the exception, virtual instructors can offer everything from business management to guitar lessons over the Internet.

Freelance writer

If Hollywood is to be believed, writing and cottage getaways go hand-in-hand. Even if you’re not up for penning the next great Canadian novel, your services as wordsmith may still be in demand. Many businesses rely on skilled writers for website copy, newsletters, content marketing projects, and social media management.

Park ranger

If you don’t have your own cottage, but would like to live in cottage country, becoming a park employee might be the way to do it. Every year, Parks Canada hires interpreters, campground managers, and other personnel to help maintain parks and educate visitors. Each of the provincial parks programs also hires regularly. (Parks Ontario, for example has 50 types of jobs available in over 100 operating parks.) Alternately, independently owned campgrounds employ managers and seasonal staff to run their parks and facilities.

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