Surfers: there's always a way to balance work and waves | Photo: Shutterstock

Catching the best surf means needing a career that provides the freedom to spend time by the waves and explore the best beaches the world has to offer.

Flexibility and mobility are important career factors to consider for any passionate worker when looking at the best jobs for surfers.

The following list offers seven of the best job opportunities for those who value their board as much as their briefcase, so read on if you've been asking yourself what jobs surfers have.

Surf Instructor

When it comes to combining work and breaking waves, it goes without saying that working as a professional surf instructor is one of the best job opportunities out there.

If you're asking yourself: "How do I get a job in the surf industry?"

This is the most logical starting point, as you're literally getting paid to surf - what's not to love?

Professional instruction has a lot of learning to go with it: emergency actions, safety procedures, coastal regulations, and teaching methods - just to name a few.

For this reason, becoming a surf teacher requires getting the proper certifications.

But once qualified, surf instructors have the freedom to travel, explore different beaches, meet students from all around the world, and discover a whole wealth of surf industry careers.

For those who are particularly passionate about passing on their love of surfing to new waves of students, setting up your own surf school is a great way to take advance a surfing career to the next level.

Surf instructors: they have the freedom to travel, explore different beaches, and meet students from all around the world | Photo: Shutterstock

Flight Attendant/Pilot

What could be better than exploring new work surf locations across the globe and knowing you're getting paid to be there?

Working for an airline enables avid surfers to earn a great salary and make travel a paid part of their routine.

These are just a few of the reasons why piloting and flight attending are jobs surfers love.

Training to become a flight attendant usually only takes 4-8 weeks, and then the world's surf is yours to explore.

For those willing to dedicate more time to taking to the sky as much as to the sea, with most airlines, it takes only two years to become a licensed commercial pilot - making it an ideal surfing career.


Maybe it's the case that you don't yet have the certifications to become a surf instructor but still want to find a way to earn your wage by the waves.

Becoming a lifeguard is one way that beach-dwellers can work and move freely.

To become qualified, you have to be a strong swimmer and pass a qualification test.

Lifeguarding is a great way to earn money and be able to jump straight into the sea with your board once your shift is over.

Not to mention saving lives and giving back to the community - lifeguarding on beaches around the world truly is one of the best surfer jobs out there and can provide an opportunity to travel and discover surf industry jobs.

Lifeguards: a great way to earn money and be able to jump straight into the sea with your board once your shift is over | Photo: Shutterstock


Wherever there are people, something will need fixing.

Becoming a tradesperson, such as a carpenter, welder, or construction worker, is a career with universal appeal - and a job surfers love.

One of the best jobs for those looking to make themselves useful wherever they go and even those looking for surf travel jobs, trade work allows for a flexible work schedule and keeps you in shape for riding the waves.

Eventually, this lets you literally job-surf your way around the world.

What could be more refreshing after a day of good hard work than hopping on your board and diving into the sea?

In order to become a tradesperson, one usually studies as an apprentice until they are experienced enough to pack up their toolkit and earn their wage wherever the surf takes them.

Marine Biologist

If your love for the sea extends beyond just the surf, a career as a marine biologist allows you to play an important role in protecting the beaches needed for riding the waves.

As the ecological crisis threatens many of the ecosystems that surfers rely on, there is more and more important work to be done by experts in marine biology.

A job in this industry could see you performing field research, working with marine life, or dedicating yourself to conservation efforts.

While not a job directly in the surf industry, by becoming a marine biologist, enthusiastic surfers can ensure that their work and the waves are never far apart.

Marine biologists: they play an important role in protecting the beaches needed for riding waves | Photo: Shutterstock


Surfers with a creative streak can put their talent to good use by becoming a photographer or a videographer.

With just a camera in hand, you can build a surfing career out of capturing your travels.

Some photographers dedicate themselves exclusively to capturing surf, whereas others branch out and create content based on travel, nature, or the environment.

Either way, photography is a great way to work surf on the go and memorialize your travels in breathtaking images.

It's definitely one of the best opportunities for creative individuals when it comes to a surf industry job.


While it might not come with all the benefits of a long-term contract job, working as a freelancer has many unique perks that make it an especially suitable career path for those looking to balance work and surf.

Working at your own pace, never having to show up to an office, and having the freedom to take a last-minute getaway are just a few of the reasons why freelancing has become a popular choice among many surfers.

The internet has made it incredibly simple to establish oneself as a freelancer, and there are many well-respected platforms out there designed to connect freelancers and clients.

Freelance work can cover almost anything - writing, editing, proofreading, translation, content creation - you name it.

Freelance jobs in the surf industry are a great way to make the most of your skills and make the beach your personal office.

These are just a few of the best surfing jobs and opportunities for surfers looking for a career that allows them to travel, explore, and enjoy the swell.

Words by Alex C. Porter | Career Coach at CraftResumes

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