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ADVENTURE ACTIVITY ARTICLES

In the following series of guides, we take an in-depth look at currently available jobs, and speak to industry experts who have tips for securing work in your chosen field. Read about everything from the highest paid jobs in outdoor adventure, to our insider tips on how to pass a selection weekend at one of the big UK adventure centres. We have gathered together knowledge from professionals to help you improve your chances of employment.


useful qualifications

Most useful qualifications?

People often ask us which NGB qualifications they should be looking at achieving in order to kick start a career in outdoor adventure. To be honest is isn't an easy question to answer because it really depends on what you are planning to do long term. If you are completely new to the industry and looking to get started, you can either build up a few qualifications on your own, or you can try to get employed with a multi activity centre, who will usually offer you some NGBs as part of your training and qualification - this way you will also get some great experience too. Whichever route you decide, this article takes a look at which qualifications are most useful for budding instructors.
Most useful qualifications?

adventure characteristics

Instructor characteristics

If you want to work outdoors as an activity instructor you need to know the qualities that employers are looking for, and therefore, whether you are going to be suitable for the role. Instructing introduces you to lots of new people, often on a daily basis. You are required to quickly gel so that you can help them get the most from the new skills and experiences that they are there to take part in. That means you need to be a certain kind of person. In this article we look at the characteristics that separate good instructors from the rest, and discuss why these character traits are so important for the role.
Instructor characteristics

triathlon coaching

Triathlon coaching pathway

Inspirational Olympians and Britain's prominence in the sport of triathlon in recent years have resulted in a huge increase in interest, both in people wishing to take part in the three disciplines, and in those looking to coach the new influx of newcomers. British Triathlon is the national governing body, with further divisions for England, Wales and Scotland. In this article we give you a background to the sport, and talk about how to get involved in coaching at local club level and at national level.
Triathlon coaching pathway

climbing awards

Climbing awards

In an effort to find out more about why people choose to take the rock climbing courses that allow you to introduce other people to the sport, namely the Climbing Wall Award (CWA), and the Single Pitch Award (SPA), we spoke to a couple of professionals who have achieved these NGBs and who are now aiming to progress their climbing careers. Click through to read about how these industry standard qualifications allow you to supervise other climbers, and tips for passing the exam.
Climbing awards


mtb coach

Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking is a hugely popular sport and the level of interest has not showed any signs of slowing since the initial boom in the early 1990s. With so many people getting involved, it is hardly surprising to find instructor opportunities available for those people wishing to get involved beyond the purely personal level. So how do you get the right qualifications that will allow you to teach other people? And should you go the MIAS route or the MBLA route? We look at everything you need to consider, and speak to some industry insiders for a low-down on each qualification.
Mountain Biking

mountain leaders

Mountain Leader awards

To get an idea of the full route from beginner climber through to professional mountaineer, take a look at our career guide to climbing, further down this page. This post is all about the Mountain Leader awards which come in two flavours - Summer and Winter. They follow on from Walking Group Leader and set you up on the start of a career leading small groups in mountainous terrain.
Mountain Leader awards

mountain instructors

Mountain Instructor awards

Following on from our Mountain Leader page we now take a look at the even more serious Mountain Instructor scheme, overseen by Mountain Leader Training UK. The leader awards are great qualifications to have on your CV and very useful when it comes to introducing groups to our upland areas, but for serious climbers and budding mountaineers the MIA and MIC scheme is the next target on the horizon.
Mountain Instructor awards

duke of edinburgh assessor

DofE Assessor

The Duke of Edinburgh scheme is well known to most people, but how many know about the expedition element of the award which requires small groups to make their way, unaided, across wild terrain, for up to four days and three nights of wild camping? To make sure each group successfully completes their expedition, we enter the secret world of the assessors - the people who shadow the candidates, often unseen, as they trek through the wilderness. Read our interview with Georgina and find out how you too can add expedition assessor to your outdoor instructor profile.
DofE Assessor


best paid jobs

Highest Salaries

Perhaps you want to spend a season working in outdoor adventure as a way of filling the time between college and university, or on a temporary basis before you start working towards that 'proper' job that your parents want you to get. Or maybe you are serious about getting on and making as much money as you can, which still enjoying a career in outdoor adventure. If you are wondering which roles are going to give you the highest disposable income then take a look at this article as we bring you details of eight well paid jobs.
Highest Salaries

multi activity career

Multi Activity Career Guide

You probably went on a residential activity holiday when you were at school; most children do. Getting a job as one of those idolised instructors is actually easier than you may think. Hundreds of thousands of school kids every year means lots of centres and each one requires plenty of instructors. For young people, the wages are pretty good considering the alternatives, and when you factor in the training, experience and qualifications you can achieve in a single season... So how do you get involved? We discuss the different options for starting out, and offer some valuable inside tips on passing a selection weekend.
Multi Activity Career Guide

watersport instructors

Watersports RYA Scheme

With all the options available for the many different types of water based sports, we could probably give it a website all of its own. The guide serves as a basic introduction to the activities you can pursue on water, including sailing, windsurfing and surfing. The skills and qualifications, especially those you can pick up quite early in your career, are also useful to non-water based activity centres. Even far from the coast you will find most activity centres offer some form of watersport. But once you have the Dinghy Instructor qualification, will you be able to stop yourself wanting to become a Yatchmaster?
Watersports RYA Scheme

mountaineer guide

Climbing & Mountaineering Career Guide

In the latest of our career guides, we take a detailed look at rock climbing, hill walking and mountaineering. Although it is quite possible to teach climbing without any recognised qualifications, with some aspirational and high quality courses on offer, it is no surprise that if you do want to get anywhere, most companies will insist you take part in the Mountain Training scheme. Whether you stick with the entry level Single Pitch and Climbing Wall awards, or take it all the way to the Mountaineering Instructor Certificate is up to you. This article will tell you all about training courses and the types of jobs they could lead to.
Climbing & Mountaineering Career Guide


multi activity

Parent's Guide

Are you the parent of a child hoping to work in the outdoor industry? Or are you a young adult worrying about telling your parents that you would rather be working outdoors than sitting accountancy exams? As with most industries, career progression is competitive and based on an individual's performance, but skills acquired are readily transferable and so can aid your future career whether or not you choose to stay in the industry for a prolonged period. This handy guide discusses why the outdoor industry can provide a stable and fulfilling career path for young people.
Parent's Guide

apprenticeships

Apprenticeships

With unemployment at a dizzying high and the real pressure on school and college leavers, and graduates, beginning a career in outdoor education is often a great way to avoid the dole queue. The government want to get young people into training, and activity and adventure centres need young people to help teach their visitors. This perfect match is often supported by apprenticeship schemes which act as a fantastic stepping stone towards a career in the industry.
Apprenticeships

orienteering coach

Orienteering Coach

Orienteering is a sport we often first get introduced to at school, and today more than ever, schools, with the help of trained instructors, are setting up orienteering programmes that meet national curriculum requirements. So what happens if you are interested in orienteering and would like to get involved in the development of the activity? There are several qualifications you can achieve if you want to teach or coach orienteering. We discuss the various options and speak to UKCC Level 3 Coach, Josh.
Orienteering Coach

windsurfer

Windsurfing Guide

If you are thinking about a career as a windsurf instructor there are several routes available to you. A cross between surfing and sailing, the sport falls under the Royal Yachting Association's control, and it is their instructor scheme you will be looking to follow. Find out more about course costs, instructor levels, and a skills guide, all inside this article.
Windsurfing Guide


kitesurfing

Kitesurfing Guide

The relatively new activity of kitesurfing is taking off in more ways than one. The British governing body is catching up with the international body, and both are acceptible routes for people wanting to work at, or set up kitesurf schools. We spoke to a qualified instructor about his experience of the qualifications on offer and share some great tips for getting involved yourself.
Kitesurfing Guide

armed forces

Armed Forces

The UK job market has been badly affected by the economic downturn, not least our armed forces. A scaling down of our country's involvement abroad and a sea change in how our forces are to be split between full time and reservists. For the men and women who are leaving the army, navy or air force, the already saturated jobs market is a difficult place at the moment. Thankfully the adventure industry is geared up to take advantage of their skills. In this article we explain why, and look at the job options available.
Armed Forces

new activities

New Activities

A while ago we tried to compile a list of every outdoor sport we could find mention of. It was pretty much endless. Give someone a ball or a boat or any other way of interacting with our natural environment and they will invent a new game. Some are frankly silly and you probably wouldn't want to do them more than once, but some of the lesser known activites are actually amazing fun and growing fast. Inspired by a recent new experience of our own, let us introduce you to some alternative ways to get out and play.
New Activities

team adventure

Team Building

If not through a school residential holiday when you were younger, perhaps your first experience of an outdoor activity such as archery or quad biking was through a company team building day. The benefits of these corporate days, or weekends out of the office, are well recognised, and this article looks at why outside assistance can be useful when helping teams of people work better together, and how an adventure centre is the perfect place to take staff if you want to help them gel, bond, and generally improve their productivity through teamwork.
Team Building


overseas adventure

Overseas Adventure Jobs

You are probably on this website because you are looking to work or train in the outdoor adventure sector. It is a growing market here in the UK. Private companies are filling the void left by Local Education Authorities, who are selling off their activity centres as part of the great dismatling of the public sector. But there are plenty of British companies opening centres in Europe, creating the chance to work abroad for a year or more. We take a look at why this may be a good career move.
Overseas Adventure Jobs

caving instructors

Caving Instructor Certificate

If you have ever been caving you will know how dangerous and difficult these environments can be. Having been a few times myself, I can well appreciate how people get interested in the hobby, and why they would want to take it a stage further and get qualified to share these secret places with a wider audience. Have a read of the following tales from people who have achieved the Caving Instructor Certificate. This qualification takes serious dedication. I know I couldn't do it.
Caving Instructor Certificate

adventure education

Classroom vs workplace

This article looks at the academic qualifications currently available to people who want to work in outdoor activities, what each course involves, and the relative merits of educational qualifications. We also include comment and advice from some prominent employers in the outdoor industry.
Classroom vs workplace

tough mudder

Tough Guy

So there we were, sat enjoying a few beers in a warm summer beer garden when we got on to the subject of challenging ourselves and giving us something to train and aim for over the Winter months. Coming from a background of rugby, mountain biking and various other adventurous activities, I wasn't keen on the idea of running 26.2 miles on the road so a marathon was out of the window, and another of the group doesn't like heights so the 3 Peaks challenge was soon rejected. Then we came across the idea of registering for the Tough Guy Challenge.
Tough Guy


extreme adventure jobs

Extreme Adventure Jobs

We cannot really think of a job where you get to teach people sports and activities in the great outdoors, that we do not like. They are all great fun and spending large parts of the day in an office talking to people who are on mountain tops or on rivers, makes us want to get out there too. But occassionally a job comes along that makes us say, "now that's an adventure job!". You'd have to work hard to find yourself lucky enough to do any of these, and you'd have to be pretty tough too.
Extreme Adventure Jobs

adventure race

Adventure Racing

Here in the office we enjoy getting outdoors as often as we can. We have entered a few mountain bike races, done a bit of sea kayaking, we've even entered the tough guy challenge (see below), but what we haven't dared try yet is adventure racing. This relatively new sport is an amazing cross between biathlon and orienteering, where navigation skills and a willingness to run and cycle yourself into the ground will help you compete for victory. If you want to find out more about this type of racing, please read on.
Adventure Racing