How to become an Outdoor Instructor
Lead Instructor, Will Moy, explains how to get started in an outdoor career.
Firstly, the Outdoor Industry is a thriving, rewarding and great industry to be a part of. I've been involved with delivering outdoor activities for almost 10 years and I will hopefully be doing so for as long as possible.
On the face of it, the outdoors can seem to be a very specialist sector to get into, especially when you have little or no experience. Don't let this put you off - there are loads of ways to get your foot in the door...
Outdoor Adventure at College
Many budding outdoor instructors, including myself, go down the Further Education route. For school leavers a free BTEC level 3 course is a great option, these courses give you a fantastic base competency in a number of activities as well a good academic grounding for employment or higher education. Here's a few courses...
Outdoor Adventure at University
I went directly from sixth form into a University course with little outdoor activity experience. I had a fantastic time and came out with a good degree which for some employers is quite important.
The downside to this pathway can be that students leave degree courses with very few national governing body qualifications which employers really need. I was lucky to have graduated before the student fee's increased.
Now undergraduates need to really consider the burden of student debt after finishing a degree course.
You DO NOT need a degree to have a successful career in adventure - but it can help.
Volunteering in Outdoor Adventure
Volunteering is a great way to gain experience.
Scout groups, canoe clubs, climbing clubs, local D of E centres or outdoor centres are all places were you can volunteer your services in return for experience.
This can be a long process, as people usually do this in free time over weekends (etc).Gaining a trainee position within an outdoor centre is a good option.
Typically you would be on a years contract and live near or onsite. The wages are low, but they are balanced with investment in training courses.
For many this a great way to gain the necessary qualifications and gain some excellent experience.
These jobs however are in very high demand and they are few and far between.
Outdoor Instructor Training - Full Time - Starting a career NOW
Students focus on gaining experience and nationally recognised qualification over a 3 - 6 month time frame.
Its a great option for anyone who wants to work in the outdoors but doesn't have the qualifications to do so.
They range in price and qualifications achieved but typically cost much less than the cost of going to university for a single year.
There is some great government funding option such as a career development loan, which is a low interest bank loan for training courses to help gain employment. It just so happens that Land and Wave deliver one of these fantastic courses.
Lead Instructor and Project Manager at Land and Wave