OUTDOOR activities instructors take people on outdoor trips like hill walking, climbing and canoeing.
If you are great at motivating and encouraging people, and you love outdoor sports, this job could be perfect for you.
To do this job you should have good communication and people skills. You’ll need to be able to remain calm in difficult or dangerous situations. You’ll also need to be able to deal with challenging behaviour.
Although there are no entry requirements to do this job you should be at least 18 years of age. Employers will look for skill in at least one outdoor activity — although the more activities you can offer the better. If you want to work with children or young people, you will need Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) clearance.
As an outdoor activities instructor, you could provide:
ACTIVITIES to help people enjoy their leisure time;
SELF-development activities — for example as part of staff team-building training;
AND COURSES for youth, social and probation services — for example to provide positive experiences for disadvantaged young people.
Your work would include:
PLANNING and preparing activities to suit the needs, abilities and experience of each group;
EXPLAINING, advising on and demonstrating activities;
INSTRUCTING in one or more specialist areas, such as sailing or climbing;
MAKING sure that all equipment and facilities are safe;
EXPLAINING safety procedures;
AND CHECKING weather conditions before starting sessions, assessing hazards and managing risks.
You may also have to deal with accidents, and support people who may be nervous about taking part in activities.
In this profession, you would usually work long, irregular hours, including evenings, weekends and public holidays. Many jobs are seasonal, and part-time work is common.
Your work will be physically demanding, and will usually involve being outside in all weather conditions, often in remote areas. You could work in open countryside with natural features such as mountains, caves, rivers and lakes, or in urban-based outdoor education with facilities such as dry ski slopes, indoor climbing walls and canals.
Courses and expeditions will often involve staying away from home, sometimes camping.
Starting salaries can be around £12,000 a year.
Experienced instructors can earn around £18,000 a year, and senior instructors can earn £25,000 a year or more.
Accommodation and food may be provided.
You should be at least 18 (21 if you need to drive a minibus) and would usually need:
SKILL in at least one outdoor activity — although the more activities you can offer the better;
COACHING or instructor qualifications approved by the relevant national governing body (NGB) for each of your sports or activities;
A first aid certificate;
AND a life-saving certificate if you instruct water-based activities.