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Outdoor adventure instructor

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Summary of occupation

​Outdoor adventure instructors plan, guide and provide instruction or education in activities such as abseiling, hang-gliding, rock climbing, canoeing and bushwalking. They provide instruction on using equipment, give advice on safety measures, and answer questions relating to local places of interest within the activity region. Instructors may work with children, adults or corporate groups in adventure tourism, eco-tourism or educational settings in locations all across the State.

ANZSCO description: Provides adventure-based experiential education in outdoor adventure and bushcraft.
Alternative names: Outdoor adventure leader, Outdoor adventure guide
Job prospects: Average
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

An outdoor adventure instructors needs:

  • to be passionate about outdoor activities
  • a friendly, patient and helpful personality
  • good physical fitness
  • to be able to lead and motivate others
  • excellent communication and people skills
  • strong planning, organisation and management skills
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Working conditions

​Outdoor adventure instructors work in a variety of locations, depending on the type of activities they run. They work outdoors in bushland areas instructing activities on rock faces, in caves and down mountain tracks, or on rivers, lakes and at sea. They may also work indoors using climbing walls. Instructors work varied hours including weekends, evenings and overnight on camps. Work is often seasonal and dependent on suitable weather conditions.

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Salary details

​On average, outdoor adventure instructors, classified under outdoor adventure guides, can expect to earn between $800 and $999 per week ($41 600 and $51 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As an outdoor adventure instructor develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.

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Tools and technologies

Outdoor adventure instructors use a range of gear including maps, diagrams, bicycles, canoes and rafts.

Protective equipment such as ropes, harnesses, life jackets and safety helmets are used to minimise accidents and prevent injury. On overnight tours they may need to use navigation and cooking equipment.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as an outdoor adventure instructor without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a formal qualification in outdoor recreation. Previous experience in the outdoors or adventure activities may improve your employment prospects.

You can also complete a traineeship. The outdoor recreation activity guide (bushwalking) or (climbing) traineeships usually take 24 months to complete. 

You can also complete a degree majoring in outdoor recreation, or sport, recreation and event management.

Some universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

To work with children in Western Australia, you must obtain a Working with Children Check issued by the Working with Children Screening Unit of the Department of Community Services.

You may also need to hold a current Provide First Aid Certificate.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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