/ Freelance instruction work with an SPA?
One plan which crossed my mind was potentially to move to somewhere in the country, become an SPA and do some freelance instructing as a 'side job'. I can't stand large cities and would much prefer to live somewhere more rural in the South West, but I'd be hard pressed to justify the petrol money if all my work was still in London. Unfortunately I can't find any real statistics for this sort of work - unsurprisingly - so I was hoping someone might be able to shed some light on the situation for me. Is it likely to be worth it? Is there actually work out there for people only holding an SPA (or similar) during the summer, in somewhere in the South West (at least enough to cover the outlay on the qualification and equipment)? Am I stupid for even considering the idea?
Good luck what ever you decide!
We would be loking for a good range of activity qualifactions. Archery, Orineteering, Canoeing on to of ML / SPA.
I think what you describe is very specific to areas near mountains. I did ML training but never finished it off with the assessment, mostly because here in Bristol the incentive was almost completely nonexistent. There's plenty of SPA work around, but relatively little for which you'd need ML.
...... well, ok, there's occasional hill walking in the Brecons, and DofE stuff, but in my experience you can still be staff on those with ML training only, just not expedition leader.
I wouldn't doubt that having ML would give a lot more flexibility as to area. But as I say, in some areas the available work is almost entirely SPA (plus paddling, archery, etc), with ML much less in demand. I'm not making a case for ruling out ML completely, just for prioritising (depending, of course on the area he ends up in). The OP has a main job, is not considering full-time outdoor work, has mentioned the South West, and at the moment is unqualified. Unless near mountains, it would seem to make sense to get SPA first (relatively quick for someone with a climbing background, and relatively cheap), get up and running with an outdoor pursuits company; then bring in the ML process if the time and expense seem merited.
This is imagining him somewhere like Bristol. Obviously if he ended up in Snowdonia the story would be very different, and ML might well be the priority qualification (but is there much call for lighting engineers for shows in Snowdonia?)
I'd say the exact opposite. There is far more ML (well at least DofE) work available all across the country, including around London and across the SW.
I don't know anyone working full-time (outside a climbing wall) as an SPA but I know numerous people working full-time off the back of their ML Summer and a DofE Assessor's ticket.
In fact you don't even need to get your ML, there is plenty of DofE expedition work available around London even if you just have WGL or BELA. It is the same all over - there are many times more kids from Avon and Somerset doing Bronze DofE expeditions in the Mendips than there will be kids going further afield to do Gold Expeditions or wanting to try rock climbing.
Unless you aim to work at a climbing wall, I'd recommend a paddling, walking, caving, sailing or mountain biking qualification over SPA in terms of employment prospects.
Maybe. I was just going by my personal experience, in one area, working mostly for one company. I posted in the first place because my situation when I moved from London to Bristol 8 years ago pretty much replicates that of the OP (main job still on the go, travelling to London, outdoor work as a supplement).
As a long-term climber I found it quick and easy to get SPA. and get some paid work almost straightaway. There's a fair demand for SPA work in my immediate area. I subsequently did ML training, with which I got a little paid hillwalking/DofE work - couldn't be in overall charge, though. In my case, with my employers, the amount of extra work I would have picked up by being ML assessed would have been negligible.
I'd like to complete my ML sometime, mostly because I like to finish things, but I find it hard to find the preparation time and a week in which to do the course, because of the demands of my main job. SPA is much easier for a climber with a main job - much less time consuming (and much cheaper).
Elsewhere on the site
Perhaps the perfect Xmas gift for the climber in your life... Wild Country's Crack School has two of the worlds best crack... Read more
Rock shoes stink – let’s face it. Boot Bananas are the perfect way to fight the funk and keep them fresh. They help... Read more
F ounded in 1993, Mountain Hardwear are a pretty young mountaineering clothing and equipment manufacturer but are also one of... Read more
With four photos in this week's top ten, and a UKC gallery of stunning images we thought it was time we had a chat with... Read more
On Saturday 13th December Greg Boswell and Guy Robertson kicked off their Scottish winter season early by making the... Read more