If you are the adventurous and sociable type, being an outdoor instructor might be suitable for you. A professional that’s highly in-demand in the tourism sector, venturing into this career gives you a certain sense of fulfillment while letting you enjoy nature and meet people from all walks of life.
From taking up outdoor instructor courses to getting an apprenticeship in outdoor education institutions, here’s how to become a bona fide outdoor instructor.
Being An Outdoor Instructor: Roles and Skills Needed
Like how its name implies, an outdoor instructor is someone who guides and teaches outdoor activities like climbing, mountain biking, skiing, rafting, and more.
Apart from planning outdoor activities and handling instruction programmes, this career also entails assessing risks that come with undertaking a certain outdoor activity. As safety is a top priority, an outdoor instructor is also tasked to organise and impart essential safety procedures. He or she is also expected to know how to provide basic first aid whenever necessary.
This profession also includes organising logistics (e.g. Managing bookings and transportation needs) and keeping log books on the outdoor trips.
When you take up an outdoor instructor course, you’d know how crucial it is to learn various skills to help you succeed in this career — from the skills needed for your outdoor activity/activities of choice to safety-related wisdom to outdoor survival knowledge.
The Road To Becoming An Outdoor Instructor
Though risky and physically challenging, being an outdoor instructor is fulfilling. Here are the most common routes you can take to become one.
Take up an outdoor instructor course. First and foremost, you have to decide which outdoor activity you’d want to be an instructor in. In the country, there are several institutions that offer comprehensive yet extensive outdoor instructor courses — some last three months; others, up to six months. One of this path’s greatest advantages is that it often leads directly to job opportunities.
Enroll in a university and get a degree. If you want to learn about outdoor education more intensely, going to the university and enrolling in a related course is your best bet. Though this can take you three years to complete, it will immerse you in all things outdoor education. Just bear in mind that you’d have to have enough financial resources to choose and complete this route.
Work as a trainee instructor or an apprentice. If you want to simply test the waters (and you’re not yet that serious in your professional development in this field), getting apprenticeship or a stint as a trainee instructor might fit you. However, this option won’t let you have real outdoor activities more often.
Volunteer, join a club, and train independently. This route will allow you to experience outdoor activities, but you’d have to learn the tropes of being an outdoor instructor the hard (yet fun) way — independently, that is by observing and by having real-life experiences. The upside? You will have lesser expenses, plus you can do it in your own time, with your own pace.