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5 In-Demand Skills to Put on Your Resume as an Outdoor Instructor

Being an outdoor instructor might seem like a walk in the park (literally), but it is a challenging job that requires dedication, training and a diverse set of strengths. The skills you develop from your time as an instructor will help you in every stage of your career, whether you decide to continue in the outdoor industry or pursue one of your other passions.


Leadership is the most obvious skill you develop, as instructors are tasked with leading a group of youth in a challenging and supportive manner. Over the course of an expedition, you must quickly learn how to motivate each participant, know when to take over and when to hold back, and empower them to work through a challenging situation. With each trip you lead, you will better understand how to use and adapt your leadership style depending on the situation and participant.

Problem solving

When out on course the conditions often change at the whim of nature. With only the supplies you and your group have brought with you as tools, you must overcome obstacles and challenges. Coming up with innovative and out-of-the-box solutions is a must. Once you have figured out how to set up a tent in the wind and rain, you will approach future problem-solving scenarios in your career with confidence.

Ability to Work Under Pressure

Many employers now list the ability to work under pressure as a desired skill in job postings. The weather is a built-in job pressure when working as an outdoor instructor. Remaining calm when an unexpected storm forces your group to completely change course is a skill every instructor develops early on in their role.

Communication and Emotional Intelligence

A lack of communication is often at the core of many issues that will arise during your time as an instructor. Understanding how each of your students communicates and responds to challenging situations will help you to support students and bring out the best in them. Being proficient at adapting your communication style is a life skill many people struggle with throughout their careers.

Data Analysis and Decision Making

Making well-informed and firm decisions is another important skill instructors develop in the field. Using information from maps, GPS, weather reports, the level of the group’s skill and stamina, and numerous other inputs, instructors must decide on a course of action and commit to it. Being able to analyze a large volume of data to confidently make wise decisions will help you no matter what field you choose to pursue in the future.

Interested in becoming an instructor with Outward Bound Canada? Apply today.