Outdoor adventure instructor

What they do

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.

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.

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.

How do I become one?

Education and training

It is possible to 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 qualification in outdoor recreation or a related area. Previous experience in the outdoors or adventure activities may improve your employment prospects.

The Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation is offered at registered training organisations in Western Australia. Browse courses through Jobs and Skills WA and Search on the My Skills website to find a registered provider near you.

You can also undertake a traineeship in outdoor recreation (levels 3 or 4). The outdoor recreation traineeships usually take 24 months to complete.

You can study a degree majoring in outdoor recreation. The University of Notre Dame offers a Bachelor’s degree in Outdoor Recreation. Contact the university for more information.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend  time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.

You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Required registration and licensing

If working with children in this occupation in Western Australia, you must obtain a Working with Children Check (WWCC) from the Department of Communities.

You may also need to obtain a Provide First Aid certificate.