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Athletic Equipment Field Tester

Many workers can't wait for the weekend so they can go mountain biking, hiking, skiing, or participate in whatever their favorite athletics are. Then there are those who get paid to go mountain biking, hiking, or skiing during the week, and use the weekend to get some rest.


(Photo credit  Ross Flikr)

Professional athletes as well as fans and those that just play for fun rely on sporting goods equipment to play their best game. The various competing brands of sporting goods equipment must strive to comply with local and international rules and regulations governing each sport's equipment. Part of quality assurance is field-testing the equipment. Real people get paid real money to test sporting goods equipment. 

CNN reported on REI employee Adam Hockey who designs and tests camping equipment. He said that part of his job is thinking of the best conditions under which equipment should be tested. As a result, sometimes equipment is lost on a field tester's adventure, or gets returned to REI with a lot of wear and tear. But it is an important job because issues come up in the field that do not come up in the lab. Field-testing matters. 

Not all field test positions are full-time, and some are volunteer. Some companies, such as Vibram, invite people to apply to become field testers in return for free sporting goods equipment. This position at Vibram is voluntary. Considering the high cost of good quality sporting goods equipment, free equipment may feel like a paycheck as it frees up the sports enthusiast's money for other things. 

If you want to test field equipment, you may look for "market research" jobs in addition to "athletic field equipment tester" jobs. If you know the company you'd like to work for, try contacting a hiring manager. You may find that it is a way to make money on the side, or work your way up to a full-time schedule. 

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