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A Path Toward Being an Outdoor Professional

first_imgThe outdoor industry is very intimate and heavily networked. Getyour foot in the door by joining clubs and alumni groups, industrypartnerships, and member organizations. NOLS Alumni is one of the largest ofthese groups of like-minded folks, and they organize gatherings and outings throughoutthe country and our region. Outdoor Gear Builders (OGB) is an innovativecollaboration of the local makers of outdoor gear in western North Carolina.OGB is sponsoring this year’s Outdoor Economy Conference in Asheville thisOctober. Consider attending!             “What’s your success/pass rate?”  Seek educator training opportunities. Treat all your “customers”as though they are your “students”. Give them more than what they came for.Care for them and teach them to care for each other. Lead groups and graduallyhone your instructor skills. Become an educator in non-traditional classroomsand/or with non-traditional student bodies. Our phones stay busy with prospective students, asking aboutcourse outcomes and making decisions about investing in different courses. The interest is in employment: students are on a path towardbeing an outdoor professional. To all these resume builders, add certifications. They not onlycompliment your skills base, they add to your ability to make good judgementsand manage risk in austere work locations. As a consumer, you should bediscriminatory and pick the best of the best: the right course type, aconvenient location and the best value for your dollar. Certification coursesare demanding, intensive, time-consuming, and come at an expense. They alsomove you to the head of the pack when it comes to hiring. Cross-train. If you’re a climber, it could help you to also havewhitewater skills so if you find yourself in a wet region of the world you havea marketable skill set. Prepare yourself to work seasonally – many of mycolleagues are raft guides half the year, and work ski patrol during the coldermonths. First, build your outdoor resume. Travel and explore on your ownand with friends. Keep a hiking journal, a climbing journal, a paddling log, orsimilar as evidence of your time dedicated to these pursuits and to illustrateyour skill development. Keeping a social media profile active with travel andadventure photos lends a lot of credibility to potential employers, and trustin your skill set. According to the Outdoor Industry Association (, outdoor recreation is an economic powerhouse in the United States, each year generating $887 billion in consumer spending and 7.6 million jobs. So how do you go about taking your step forward into the outdoor industry? To add to your outdoor resume, visit, the premier provider ofoutdoor certification training courses in the southeastern United States. Be patient, stay alert and flexible, and stick to your path.Among those 7.6 million jobs in the US, one of them is perfect for YOU! Take any guiding jobs available, in your specific pursuit or anyother. Whether at a youth camp, working with therapeutic groups in theoutdoors, guiding on rivers, or volunteering on a trail crew, every minutespent lends to your overall experience in the outdoor and leading or workingwith others.             “Do you do job placement?”              “Can I get a job after I take your course?” last_img read more