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5 Hot Careers For When the Weather Heats Up

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With record-breaking heat already hitting parts of the country in March, 2012 has the potential to offer more summer weather than normal. Make the most of it with one of these hot careers. While they all offer year-round employment opportunities, there are special benefits to working these jobs in the summer.

1. Meeting, convention and event planner

If you love to throw parties, a career as a meeting, convention and event planner may be right up your alley. Planners work for professional and civic organizations, educational groups and businesses in the hospitality industry to create memorable conferences and other events.

While conventions occur year round, summertime is prime time for annual meetings and events. Planning a conference in a resort town for a professional organization can be a lot of work, but the end result usually means lots of fun for everyone.

The latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics places meeting, convention and event planners at number 10 on the list of fastest growing occupations. From 2010-2020, the number of positions for planners are expected to jump 43.7 percent. In 2010, meeting and convention planners earned mean annual wages of $48,780, according to bls.gov. Get started with a bachelor's degree in marketing, hospitality management or meetings management.

2. Conservation scientist

Who wants to sit inside when the sun is shining? Conservation scientists may have an office, but there are ample opportunities to go out into the field and enjoy the warm weather as well.

These professionals go by many names and may work as range managers, soil conservationists or water conservationists. Most work for federal, state and local governments to minimize land use impact on a surrounding ecosystem. Other conservation scientists may work to prevent erosion, mitigate wildfires and respond to threats from invasive species.

A bachelor's degree in environmental sciences, natural resource management or a related field is generally required for entry-level jobs in conservation. In 2010, conservation scientists earned mean annual wages of $61,200, according to bls.gov.

3. Landscape architect

Another career that gets you out and about during the summer is that of a landscape architect. Don't make the mistake of thinking these professionals are merely gardeners. Instead, they are highly trained to design and implement landscapes that are both functional and attractive.

Landscape architects can work year round designing plans, but the spring and summer is when the heavy lifting occurs. Plans are put into practice, and architects can finally see the fruits of their labors.

A bachelor or master's degree in landscape architecture is required to work in the field, and virtually every state has licensure requirements for this profession. In 2010, bls.gov found landscape architects earned mean annual wages of $66,880.

4. Photographer

Photographers may capture images of people, landscapes or commercial products. While many photo sessions are limited to the indoors during the winter months, warm weather brings new opportunities to move the shoot outside.

Although natural talent can be enough for some jobs, bls.gov says a degree in photography is often needed for photojournalism or corporate positions. In addition, completing an education program can expand knowledge of photography techniques and provide additional skills, such as digital editing, that may appeal to employers.

In 2010, photographers earned mean annual wages of $35,980 according to bls.gov data.

5. Teacher

Really want to make the most of your summer? Then consider a career as a teacher. While some educators teach year round, most have two months or more off during the summer.

Of course, many teachers use that time to prepare lesson plans for the upcoming year or attend continuing education classes. However, even with those activities, educators enjoy a level of summertime flexibility that is virtually unparalleled among professional occupations.

Teachers must be licensed by their state, and each state determines its own licensing process. Generally, teachers must have a bachelor's degree in education although some districts prefer candidates with a master's degree. Bls.gov reports 2010 mean annual wages for school teachers ranged from $51,550 for kindergarten teachers to $55,990 for secondary school teachers.

Don't spend your summer cooped up in a cubicle. Consider one of these exciting careers that offer new adventures and perks once the warm weather hits.