The Outdoor Sector offers a wide range of options for people of all ages.
If you work in the outdoor sector you can expect to meet people with a passion for the outdoor environment, a desire to meet and get to know others, a love of developing knowledge, skills and experience, and a willingness to contribute to a strong team atmosphere.
There are full-time, part-time, voluntary and self-employment opportunities for people of all ages. You can work delivering, leading or managing outdoor learning as well as in operations, hospitality, logistics, accounts, maintenance and grounds.
What is working in outdoor learning like?
Developing skills and knowledge and provide exciting and often transformational experiences to children or adults can be rewarding and deeply fulfilling. You can turn a personal interest in an outdoor adventurous activity or appreciation of nature and the natural environment into something more than a hobby.
If engaging others in your passion, and helping them learn, develop and grow as individuals is what gets you out of bed in the morning come rain or shine, you can do it again and again in outdoor learning. It’s a lifestyle thing.
What will you need to teach, instruct or lead outdoor learning?
Leading outdoor learning experiences is all about how you use an activity to help others gain skills and learn more about themselves, each other and connect to the environment.
It’s more than just instructing or coaching others in an activity or sport. It is making a positive difference for others.
To work in outdoor learning you will need to start with a love for the outdoors come rain or shine, reliability and organisation, and enthusiasm for working with people.
Employers often look for evidence of your interest in the outdoors through your hobbies and interests, clubs or societies or perhaps membership or voluntary work with scouts, guides, or other voluntary organisations.
You will need to gain activity skills to inspire and keep participants safe and teaching skills to coach and develop people through the activities you lead.
Some of these skills can be learnt during college or university courses, or on specific activity training courses from National Governing Bodies or Awarding Bodies. Many you will learn in the workplace and from personal experience.
Experience and further training and coaching will help you gain the judgement and leadership expected of an outdoor professional.
You will develop your decision making in changeable conditions, leadership styles and advanced facilitation and training skills with further training, coaching, and ongoing reflective practice.
Whatever your role, employers will need you to be trained and up-to-date with first aid, safeguarding and data protection and be deemed “competent” before you lead an activity or programme. Being able to drive a minibus may also be required.
What options do you have for working in outdoor learning?
Whether you have just completed school or university, are changing your career, want to give back to society, or looking to make the most of retiring early, there are many routes into in Outdoor Learning.
All ages are welcome but you will usually need to be at least 18 to have instructional or leadership responsibility. There is no upper age limit.
You might be looking for a full-time role with an outdoor centre, national park, college, or adventure activity provider, or perhaps want to provide some outdoor learning as part of your job at a wildlife trust, expedition company, or school.
Volunteers have always been a core part of the outdoor sector. Giving your time to help others benefit from the magic of an outdoor learning experience is very rewarding.
You could work with children, young people, young adults, families, adults across all ethnic groups and communities. Some people choose to work with disadvantaged, less able or more vulnerable people. Others work with elite performers or high-flyers.