/ Help to become an instuctor
Does anyone have any good suggestions on how to go about it?
If you really want to become an outdoor instructor, then university is not the place to do it. You'd be better off doing it off your own back, and/or working at a centre. Alternatively, a route that a few people I know have taken is to go to uni to do a course in something general (chemistry, engineering, History etc) that gives you a fall-back qualification, and use the long holidays and spare time to climb/walk/paddle and get the qualifications you need to instruct.
Most people I know who have done outdoor ed degrees (or similar) are now geography teachers.
I've got a defered conditinal for outdoor pursuits managment at scottish agricultural college. google it
I did outdoor ed at edinburgh uni - an absolutely brilliant course! - and then went off in my own time and after the course to gain personal experience(!)in the mountains to be able and ready to start gainin some basic the NGB awards. I think traineeships with outdoor centres (there are loads out there if you look into it!) are the best way to gain experience working with people in the outdoors and work on your quals at the same time! - good luck! it is a brilliant job! :-)
Thanks so much, I've only recently started climbing so I do need alot more experiance but I love it and know it's what I want to do.
I'll look into other options aswell then.
Thanks for the help :)
> If you really want to become an outdoor instructor, then university is not the place to do it. You'd be better off doing it off your own back, and/or working at a centre. Alternatively, a route that a few people I know have taken is to go to uni to do a course in something general (chemistry, engineering, History etc) that gives you a fall-back qualification, and use the long holidays and spare time to climb/walk/paddle and get the qualifications you need to instruct.
> Most people I know who have done outdoor ed degrees (or similar) are now geography teachers.
+1 Unless you are very lucky most HE courses won't put you seriously on the path to gaining NGB qualifications (there are honourable exceptions!).
Bear in mind that there are courses and qualifications that give you an understanding of outdoor education in a broad, theoretical sense and there are also technical qualifications that make you employable!
And the wider the spread (climbing / walking/ caving / paddling/ orienteering etc) you get the more employable you are.
as part of the SAC course you do several NGB's including CWA, SPA training, BCU paddlesports level, 1 BCU FSRT and a first aid cert. I will already have at least 2, probably 3 of those but its a good start. Another thing which os sometimes not invloved is experience at a centre (SAC also intergrates this into the course)
not in any way related apart from getting an offer. I just looked into a lot of different courses at different places
Hope this helps.
Thanks for all the info though. I'll have a look into it all
Think thats a great bit of advice and what im also hoping to do! Going to uni and studying a general degree gives you a fallback if you end up not wanting to be an instructor / become injured.
Also gives you the oppurtunity to join Mountaineering/kiyaking/cycling clubs in the university and gain experience in the committees of these clubs, which is good practice for an instructor. Gives you a wide range of potential partners, and long summer holidays to do the qualifications that are most relevant to becoming an instructor (ML's etc...).
As has been said above, an even more direct route is to get a job at an outdoor centre like Glenmore lodge or Pyb. Glenmore has a special program for nightshift staff looking to become qualified instructors I think.
I did the outdoor ed degree at John moores (i m marsh back then) as a mature student and never looked back.
However I wouldn't necessarily recommend the fe college or uni route.there is such a vast difference in course quality from superb to those I wouldn't touch with a shifty stick.
Go and play, get your own skills and experience up first,navigation,campcraft,climbing,paddling at the least. Job experience,get your ngbs,build networks,get your name known.
If you need any more advice feel free to get in touch.its a wonderful career if you can make it work for you.I've travelled the world,met wonderful people from all walks of life and earned a good living.
It depends how you want to go about it?
Bangor Uni do a BSc in Sport Science with Outdoor Activities.
UCLAN do degrees in Outdoor and Adventure Coaching.
There are also palces where you can do 'Fast-Track' course to gain NGB Awards. Or alternatively you can start by looking at the Mountain Leader Training website, and see what the pre-requisits are for SPA and ML. These are stepping stones for the MIA which is the UK qualification for teaching all type of rock climbing in multipitch environments.
I offer instructor mentoring on my website, I'd be happy to answer any quyestions you have regarding the whole process.
I left a previous job and went back to Uni to do a relevant Degree (Outdoor Education in the Community). This gave me some theoretical knowledge but at least as importantly (if not more so) gave me time to build experience, get a feel for what career paths there were and to pick up some (crucial) NGBs. The placements i did were also vital. Meeting people already working in the outdoors let me learn a great deal from them and working hard with them meant i was offered work when I finished my Degree.
Equally I have friends who started with Traineeships and have gone on to being Freelance or Full Instructors.
Your temperament, academic bent or otherwise (a huge number of Outdoor Instructors are dyslexic and avoid academic work) and financial situation will all have an impact on the route you choose. But any can work.
My own perspective (and its only mine):
NGBs are essential to getting employment.
Experience well above the minimum required for NGBs will help you pass them. I notice a big trend of people coming for Assessment with just the bare minimum requirements. They can often produce set piece solutions to situations but the lack of experience shows through as soon as you as a question that needs them to apply basic principles in anything but a basic fashion.
When hiring people I was always cautious of those straight off of 'fast track' schemes. They often had the NGBs but little or no experience having only the minimum requirements.
Work with lots of different people, question what they do to understand the approaches they use and the tools they apply. Then through this understanding develop your own style.
You are only as good as your last piece of work. Everyone knows everyone in the outdoor world. If you adopt a professional approach to your work, work hard and seek out opportunities for experience and to improve word will get around slowly. If you let one person down or do one poor job everyone will get to hear about it. Your reputation will be at least as important as your CV.
Don't expect to get rich.
Do expect to trash your body so start taking care of it now (cross train, don't ignore minor injuries- seek treatment and advice, use trekking poles etc.).
Don't do it if you want to do climbing. Do it if you want to work with people whilst going walking/climbing/mountaineering/paddling/biking etc to help them get what they want out of the experience.
If you are going to specialise you had better be very good at your job (note: this may not be the same as being a good climber).
The day you think you have nothing more to learn stop and think again.
The day you stop looking forward to going to work get another job.
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