Job type

Outdoor activities instructor

£16k - £30k

Typical salary

36 – 38

Hours per week

Outdoor activities instructors lead trips and teach skills in activities like hill walking, climbing, canoeing, skiing and snowboarding.

More info

  • Spend your time outdoors teaching and leading groups doing outdoor activities like climbing, sailing or canoeing
  • You'll need good levels of fitness, practical ability and leadership skills
  • Progress into leadership and management or running your own business

As an outdoor activities instructor, you'll provide activities to help people enjoy their leisure time, team-building training exercises for workplaces, and activity courses for disadvantaged young people.


  • Plan and prepare activities
  • Explain, advise on and demonstrate activities
  • Instruct in specialist areas like sailing or climbing
  • Make sure all equipment and facilities are safe
  • Explain safety procedures
  • You may also have to deal with accidents and support people who may be nervous about taking part in activities


You could work at an activity centre or in the countryside. Your working environment might include frequent travel, be physically demanding and outdoors in all weathers. 

You'll need

For this role, you'll need patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations, the ability to both work well with others and on your own, sensitivity and understanding, leadership skills, thoroughness and attention to detail, and knowledge of English language and teaching.

You could study a relevant qualification at college such as a Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Skills and Activities for Sport and Active Leisure (Outdoor Education). You would then need to find a trainee job with an activity centre. You'll also need coaching or instructor qualifications approved by the relevant national governing body for each of your sports or activities.

You'll need to be at least 18 (21 to drive a minibus), a first aid certificate, and a life-saving certificate if you instruct water-based activities.

You could get into this job through an advanced apprenticeship as an outdoor activity instructor.

The key to finding work is to get as much work experience as possible, to make contacts who can help you find paid work. Activities such as Duke of Edinburgh awards, membership of activity clubs, and volunteering at outdoor activities centres are all good ways of gaining more experience.

Direct application for this role is possible if you've got relevant skills and qualifications. Some instructors have previous experience in youth work, teaching, sports coaching or training, or as physical training instructors in the armed forces.

You'll need clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).


You could work on contract, or do freelance work. With experience, you could progress to centre management, or set up your own activity centre.