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MOUNTAIN BIKE INSTRUCTOR JOBS & SKILLS COURSES

orange square If you are looking to work as an instructor, you may struggle to find many UK based mountain bike jobs advertised online. They do exist, but word of mouth is usually enough to fill a vacancy. More likely you will have to become self sufficient and drum up your own freelance business. But if you are happy to head abroad, even just for a summer season, your options are much improved. The best places to look and those which come up most frequently, are the United States of America, Canada, and the European Alps.


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Activity Instructors


Activity Instructors
Ski Company: OutdoorJAC
Activity Instructors are a key part of any Activity Centre and you will need a NGB coaching qualification in one area. Some companies offer Apprenticeships where they will give you the qualifications needed.

trending icon Trending in July 2016

Canadian Gap Year Mountain Bike Courses


Canadian Gap Year Mountain Bike Courses
Ski Company: Nonstop
Nonstop offer some amazing courses and this one is one of them. Do you love getting on your Mountain bike and setting off into the wilderness to ride downhill? Would you love to do this in Canada? If so look at our courses as we can offer you just that.




Outdoor Instructor Leader at Summer Camp America

Outdoor Instructor Leader at Summer Camp America

Work as an outdoor and adventure trip leader at a USA Summer Camp with Camp Leaders, running activities with children of all ages. From Orienteering to Nature and Hiking, you can work in America for your summer job abroad with Camp Leaders.
Outdoor Instructor Leader at Summer Camp America

Outdoor Activity Instructor – Torquay

Outdoor Activity Instructor – Torquay

If you love nothing more than being active, meeting new people, inspiring others, and spending time in the great outdoors then apply today to join PGL as an Outdoor Activity Instructor at our Barton Hall centre in Torquay, Devon.
Outdoor Activity Instructor – Torquay

Outdoor Activity Instructor – Wiltshire

Outdoor Activity Instructor – Wiltshire

If you love nothing more than being active, meeting new people, inspiring others, and spending time in the great outdoors then apply today to join PGL as an Outdoor Activity Instructor at our Liddington centre near Swindon in Wiltshire.
Outdoor Activity Instructor – Wiltshire

Outdoor Activity Instructor – Whitecliff Bay, Isle of Wight

Outdoor Activity Instructor – Whitecliff Bay, Isle of Wight

If you love nothing more than being active, meeting new people, inspiring others, and spending time in the great outdoors then apply today to join PGL as an Outdoor Activity Instructor at our Whitecliff Bay centre on the Isle of Wight.
Outdoor Activity Instructor – Whitecliff Bay, Isle of Wight

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Many of the US summer camps designed for children now include mountain biking as a main activity and they often hire specialist mountain bike guides and instructors. You will frequently be expected to help teach other sports activities as well. While in Europe, plenty of Alpine ski resorts have realised that mountain biking is big business and fills the gap nicely in the months without snow. The resorts are geared up to cater for mountain sports, so with plenty of lifts to get you to the top of the runs, and more technical single track than we could ever dream of here at home, mountain biking fits right in.

Mountain Bike Leadership Award (MBLA)

If you are a keen off road cyclist looking to progress from weekend rides to blow away the cobwebs, to making the local forests and hills your place of work as well as your playground, then you need to get a recognised qualification in the shape of a mountain bike instructor course. There are several courses you may like to consider though it has to be said, the MBLA is largely seen as the 'highest' of the bunch. If you don't need to instruct in winter conditions, and if you are always going to be working below 600m, then definitely take a look at:

Mountain Bike Skills Instructor Program - Run by the CTC focuses on skills and requires two days of training and one day of assessment.
Mountain Bike Coaching Scheme (MBC UK) - endorsed by the Association Of British Cycling Coaches and comes in four flavours; entry, intermediate, performance, and tutor.
Mountain-bike Instructors Award Scheme (MIAS) - This one is designed for people who are going to be taking groups off road, in the UK, in Spring, Summer or Autumn. It is recognised by the Adventure Mark and by Learning Outside the Classroom, which means it is good for activity centres. It also gets a nod from the Cycle Touring Club (CTC). It is certainly a popular choice, second only to the MBLA. There are six levels covering instructors and trainers/assessors.

Probably the most popular is the Mountain Bike Leadership Award. It is sanctioned by Scottish Cycling which is the National Governing Body, gets the thumbs up for the Adventure Activity Licensing Authority, and is designed to show that you have both technical skills and leader qualities necessary to show other people who to enjoy the sport. The course lasts three days; two of training and one assessment. Most of the people you'll be competing with for jobs will already have this award or one of the others (see below), so make sure you have it too. Even if the job does not specifically ask for it, someone with this qualification will always be taken more seriously, plus the NGB status should give you professional insurance cover (if you are working for yourself, make sure you check your insurance requirements before you take out any groups). The sister qualification is the TCL or Trail Cycle Leadership award, though this one is seen as the more basic of the two.

In order to find out more and get some first hand accounts of what it is like to gain the MIAS and the MBLA, we spoke to some industry experts about their experiences of taking and now teaching the qualifications discussed in this article.

Getting Some Work Experience

We have shown you how to get qualified to become a leader in the sport, but once you have chosen your course and got your certificate, what is it actually like working as an instructor? What does it involve and what is a typical day like?

Working for a company Ask the employers and they will often quote hard work as a key aspect of the job, and while mountain biking may be your dream job, it is unlikely that you will just be riding single track all day. You will be expected to undertake other tasks. Excellent people skills are obviously essential. Apart from on your day(s) off you won't be plugged into your ipod, in your own two wheeled world. Teaching and tuition require great communication, leadership and management skills. You will also be expected to be physically fit and willing to help out in activities other than simply riding. A lot of employers will ask that you are first aid trained. To be honest it is a great asset to your CV in any case. In exchange for your mountain biking expertise, you are likely to be offered flights, meals, accommodation and a wage. Do not take this for granted though, some companies may expect you to make your own way to the resort!

Working for yourself. If you go down the route of instructing on your own, trying to find and build your client base will take up quite a lot of your time. You'll need to be very proactive - having a good contact list and not being afraid to put yourself out there to drum up business will be essential. It's certainly more difficult that working for someone else, but if you can get enough customers then being your own boss, deciding where and when to ride, will be a very rewarding way to work.

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Most 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? >>

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 >>

Mountain Leader awards

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 >>

DofE 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 >>