Occupations

Outdoor Occupations

There are many different occupations in outdoor recreation – here are a few …

Outdoor Recreation Instructor

Instructs and guides individuals and groups in outdoor adventure activities such as bicycle touring, bushwalking, canoeing, caving, cross country skiing, horse trekking, rafting, rock climbing and sailing. Instructors develop the skills of participants so that they can act independently or with minimal supervision following the program, and may be required to conduct assessments.

The outdoor recreation sector may work with special populations, young people or corporate groups. Work is often based on adventure tourism or eco tourism, in holiday camps, or in outdoor recreation activities such as abseiling or canoeing.

Duties and Tasks

While specific duties and tasks may vary according to the specialisation, an outdoor recreation instructor may perform the following tasks:

  • prepare for individual and group participation in outdoor recreation experiences
  • demonstrate and teach basic body movements and skills used
  • supervise outdoor activity skill practice sessions
  • assist in the supervision and control of individuals and groups involved in outdoor recreation journeys
  • demonstrate the use of equipment required for participation
  • provide advice on safety measures and risk minimisation strategies for outdoor adventure activities
  • respond to emergencies during outdoor recreation activities by providing first aid assistance and organising means of evacuation
  • provide advice on such matters as equipment selection and appropriateness of particular destinations or activities
  • plan and prepare the activities for both individual and group participation
  • demonstrate the relevant body movements and skills required
  • supervise and maintain control of the individuals and groups involved
  • demonstrate the use of and maintain equipment required for the activities
  • provide advice on safety measures and risk avoidance strategies
  • respond to emergencies by providing first aid assistance and take appropriate further action if required
  • develop skills development programs
  • develop training programs
  • critique technique, apply a variety of appropriate instructional strategies and assess participant’s skill acquisition at the end of a program or session.

Work Conditions

Outdoor recreation instructors spend most of their working time outdoors. They are required to work in all weather conditions and in all types of terrain. Locations may include national parks, rivers, mountains, forests, at sea or underwater.

Personal Requirements

  • high level of skill in one or more outdoor activities
  • good planning and organisational skills
  • good communication and interpersonal skills
  • instructional skills
  • able to motivate and supervise other people
  • leadership skills
  • good negotiation skills
  • physically fit
  • patience and tact

Employment and career opportunities

Outdoor recreation instructors often work irregular hours that include nights and weekends. Due to the industry having seasonal fluctuations, there may be periods of low demand and jobs may be difficult to find.

However, employment opportunities for outdoor recreation instructors are steadily increasing with the growth in the numbers of international and domestic tourists taking outdoor adventure holidays in Australia.

Education & Training

The Certificate II in Outdoor Recreation provides the learner with the opportunity to acquire skills to independently participate in several outdoor recreation activities and to guide or instruct those activities or to complement activity skills with a specialisation chosen from several non-activity areas.

The Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation (Multiple Activities) provides the learner with the opportunity to acquire skills to independently participate in multiple outdoor recreation activities and to guide or instruct those activities.

The Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation provides the learner with the opportunity to enhance skills to independently participate in outdoor recreation activities and to guide or instruct those activities. Alternatively, this qualification enables the learner to enhance their skills in non-activity areas.

The Diploma of Outdoor Recreation: Likely functions within the Outdoor Recreation Industry for those who have this level of competency include those working as Operations Managers and Program Managers and/or those working in challenging locations and/or in situations (such as with difficult or challenging client groups).

To work as an outdoor recreation guide, a first aid certificate is essential. You may also need your Bronze Medallion before guiding certain outdoor adventure tours. The ability to handle a 4WD and have a bus driver’s licence is useful.

As safety is very important in this industry, training and formal qualifications in safety related areas are becoming vital for securing employment.

Outdoor Recreation Guide

An outdoor recreation guide instructs and guides individuals and groups in outdoor recreation activities such as bicycle touring, bushwalking, canoeing, caving, cross country skiing, horse trekking, rafting, rock climbing and sailing. They lead or guide clients so that they can take part in a particular outdoor recreation activity, but there is no intention of imparting skills or knowledge to clients beyond that which is necessary to enable their safe participation in the activity. At the end of a session or program with a guide, the intent is not for the client to have acquired the skills to independently participate in the activity.

The outdoor recreation sector may work with special populations, young people or corporate groups. Work is often based on adventure tourism or eco tourism, in holiday camps, or in outdoor recreation activities such as abseiling or canoeing.

Duties and Tasks

While specific duties and tasks may vary according to the specialisation, an outdoor recreation guide may perform the following tasks:

  • prepare for individual and group participation in outdoor adventure experiences
  • demonstrate and teach basic body movements and skills used
  • supervise basic outdoor activity skill practice sessions
  • assist in the supervision and control of individuals and groups involved in basic outdoor adventure journeys
  • demonstrate the use of equipment required for participation
  • provide advice on safety measures and risk minimisation strategies for outdoor adventure activities
  • respond to emergencies during adventure activities by providing first aid assistance and organising means of evacuation
  • provide advice on such matters as equipment selection and appropriateness of particular destinations or activities
  • plan and prepare the activities for both individual and group participation
  • demonstrate the relevant body movements and skills required
  • supervise and maintain control of the individuals and groups involved
  • demonstrate the use of and maintain equipment required for the activities
  • provide advice on safety measures and risk avoidance strategies
  • respond to emergencies by providing first aid assistance and take appropriate further action if required
  • provide advice on such matters as equipment selection and appropriateness of particular destinations or activities

Work Conditions

Outdoor recreation guides spend most of their working time outdoors. They are required to work in all weather conditions and in all types of terrain. Locations may include national parks, rivers, mountains, forests, at sea or underwater.

Personal Requirements

  • enjoy outdoor activities
  • good communication skills
  • good negotiation skills
  • good organisational skills
  • able to motivate and supervise other people
  • ability in sport and expertise in a specific area such as swimming or outdoor recreation

Employment and career opportunities

Outdoor recreation guides often work irregular hours that include nights and weekends. Due to the industry having seasonal fluctuations, there may be periods of low demand and jobs may be difficult to find.

However, employment opportunities for outdoor recreation guides are steadily increasing with the growth in the numbers of international and domestic tourists taking outdoor adventure holidays in Australia.
Education & Training

The Certificate II in Outdoor Recreation provides the learner with the opportunity to acquire skills to independently participate in several outdoor recreation activities and to guide or instruct those activities or to complement activity skills with a specialisation chosen from several non-activity areas.

The Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation (Multiple Activities) provides the learner with the opportunity to acquire skills to independently participate in multiple outdoor recreation activities and to guide or instruct those activities.

The Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation provides the learner with the opportunity to enhance skills to independently participate in outdoor recreation activities and to guide or instruct those activities. Alternatively, this qualification enables the learner to enhance their skills in non-activity areas.

The Diploma of Outdoor Recreation: Likely functions within the Outdoor Recreation Industry for those who have this level of competency include those working as Operations Managers and Program Managers and/or those working in challenging locations and/or in situations (such as with difficult or challenging client groups).

To work as an outdoor recreation guide, a first aid certificate is essential. You may also need your Bronze Medallion before guiding certain outdoor adventure tours. The ability to handle a 4WD and have a bus driver’s licence is useful.

As safety is very important in this industry, training and formal qualifications in safety related areas are becoming vital for securing employment.

  • Recreation Officer
  • Horse Riding Coach or Instructor
  • Climbing Instructor
  • Fishing Guide
  • White-water Rafting Guide
  • Trekking Guide
  • Bungy Jump Master
  • Hunting Guide
  • Mountain or Glacier Guide
  • Swimming Teacher
  • Recreational Therapist
  • First Aid Officer
  • Lifeguard
  • Bushwalking Guide
  • Sea Kayaking Guide
  • Raft Guide
  • Ropes Course / Zipline Operator
  • Caving Guide
  • Canoeing Guide ( and SUP)
  • Mountain Bike Guide
  • 4WD Guide
  • Rock Climbing / Abseiling Guide
  • Canyon Guide
  • Camp Ground Manager (and other staff?)
  • Cycle Tour Guide
  • Surfing Instructor
  • Photography Tour Guide
  • Sailing Instructor
  • First Aid Providers / Trainers

Become a member

QORF welcomes applications for new Community and Green Circle Members from organisations and individuals involved in the outdoors

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