Frequently asked questions
What kind of staff training do you require?
There are a variety of types of positions, but new instructional staff should plan on attending a two week field-based introductory training beginning in May. New Staff Training is designed to provide new instructors with a clear picture of our course curriculum and the expectations of how to run an OB course. Additional All Staff training follows, focusing on Local Operating Procedures, emergency call-out protocol, techniques for program delivery, building community and diversity training. Training days for new staff are not paid.
How do I get the required certifications?
We encourage as many staff as possible to be WFR certified, including Interns and Support Staff. Nationally recognized certification providers include:
- SOLO (www.soloschool.com)
- Landmark Learning (www.landmarklearning.org)
- Wilderness Medical Associates (www.wildmed.com)
- Wilderness Medical Institute (wmi.nols.edu)
Many Outward Bound base camps offer WFR courses or recertification prior to the start of their season at a discounted rate to staff. Inquire during your hiring process about the specifics of your location.
Is there a required minimum age to be an instructor?
All Outward Bound staff, including Interns, must be 21 years of age or older.
What age group would I be working with?
During the summer, the majority of work we do at Outward Bound is with youth aged 14 to 17. We are always looking for talented folks who are interested and excited about working with adolescents. We also offer some adult courses, as well as semester courses and Outdoor Leader courses for students over 18.
What benefits are provided to field staff?
- Room and board at one of our base camp communities
- Professional Equipment Purchase Program
- Worker’s Compensation
- Health Insurance Reimbursement Program for staff may be available at some locations
- Professional development opportunities at no or little cost
- Discounted rates on Wilderness First Responder courses sponsored by Outward Bound
What is the salary range?
The top of our instructional pay scale is $128/day; starting salary for Assistant Instructors is $60/64 per day. Starting salary for Logistics Staff is $50/day. This my vary slightly by region.
How long does it take to become a Lead Instructor?
The role of the Assistant Instructor has been designed to allow individuals who are new to our school an opportunity to become oriented to the expectations of the job, and to demonstrate the skills required to take on the full responsibility for the emotional and physical safety of our students and the overall quality of OB courses.
The amount of time it takes to move from Assistant Instructor to Lead Instructor varies widely from individual to individual and depends mainly on how much experience one has in similar leadership roles prior to starting at OB. Folks commonly move up during their second summer season of instructional work. Individuals with significant prior experience may progress more quickly.
Is there year-round employment?
A portion of our instructional staff work in the field year round, alternating between work at our various base camps depending upon the time of year. The majority of field employment is offered seasonally, with instructional staff receiving work agreements arranged specifically course by course, while support staff and specialists are offered seasonal work with a start and end date.
Can I bring my pet?
Unfortunately, due to the extended time spent in the field by our new staff, we cannot accommodate their pets.
Am I required to take an Instructor’s Course to work for OB?
No, you are not. Depending on your skill set and experience, it may actually be a great option for you, but it is not necessary. These courses are wonderful for folks looking to break in to the industry but who possess few skills to do so. You will gain a great baseline of skills and experience that will help you find work in many entry level positions in the outdoor education industry.
Am I eligible for work in the fall, winter, and spring if I did not work in the summer?
Given that the bulk of the work available occurs in the summer months, we offer as much of the school year work to staff who have already committed to us over the summer. Several locations (primarily Centers and At Risk Programs) do increase their staff needs in the school year and hire accordingly.
If hired as an intern, am I guaranteed to eventually be hired as an instructor?
Internship and apprentice programs are development opportunities.
While many participants continue to work for Outward Bound, it is not a guarantee of continued employment. We are committed to staff development, so if you are not offered a position, you will be told the skills you need to develop in order to be considered for employment in the future.
What should I do if I don’t think I qualify now, but eventually want to work for OB?
This is a tricky one as there isn’t a singular path to become an Outward Bound instructor. To work in the field right away as an instructor, you need several qualities:
• Required technical skills for your desired program area
• WFR (Wilderness First Responder)
• Good judgment
• Flexibility, good sense of humor, humility, etc
• Experience working in a leadership role in the wilderness is a bonus!
• Above all, you need the desire to work with students (youth in particular) and to help provide them with life changing experiences
If you don’t have the experience listed above, you have several options:
• Consider an internship.
• Consider a logistics position.
• Consider working in one of our offices as a seasonal staff.
• Take a course to improve your technical skills.
• Seek employment elsewhere in order to build your skill set and then reapply.
When should I apply for a position?
Administrative jobs are posted when available. Field positions are open throughout the year, but the bulk of the new staff hired begin work in May each year. Hiring for these positions begins in the fall (October/November) and usually concludes sometime in March or April.
What kinds of students does Outward Bound serve?
Outward Bound is proud to serve a wide variety of students. Folks of all ages attend courses with us. We serve Adjudicated and At Risk students in our programs in FL and AL. In our Urban Centers, we serve the students through local schools and community groups. On our Wilderness Expeditions, our primary audience is teens. Although we do work with adults and college age students, the primary students that new staff serve are 14 – 18. We are looking for staff who are interested in serving youth.
Once I get hired, I can move all over Outward Bound, right?
Not exactly. It takes quite a bit of energy on OB’s part to help folks become Lead Instructors – the staff that are ultimately responsible for the student experience and for training/mentoring the newer staff. We ask that staff stay in one place until they reach this level and have helped OB by training a couple of new instructors. We try to offer other incentives for development such as Staff Expeditions, Advanced Trainings, etc so that field staff can get some of their developmental needs met prior to changing locations.
Is there room and board available?
Yes, most programs have some type of room and board. It varies from place to place (electricity vs. open air) but most often there is a place to lay your head and keep your stuff while you are on trail.
What happens during time off?
In our shorter seasonal programs, there actually isn’t a lot of time off! During our busy summer months, staff will spend most of their time in the field with students. While not on course, staff go off to play or rest and relax before the next course. If housing is available at the base, staff are asked to do nominal service in exchange for room and board.