Work with Adventure Treks

Adventure Treks offers summer field positions for its 13- to 30-day middle and high school programs in the North American west, and spring, summer, and fall field positions for its 42- to 74-day gap semester programs in the Pacific Northwest, Costa Rica, and North Carolina for people ages 18–20.

I absolutely loved my staff team; I’ve never felt closer to a group of people in a professional setting. We worked together so well and had so much fun. I am most proud of how I handled stressful situations and how much I bonded with students. – Jordie Beresin, AT instructor, summer and fall 2021

Want to change young people’s lives? You’re in the right place.

Adventure Treks hires people who are passionate and enthusiastic about working with students ages 13–20 in the outdoors. On our programs, you’re not only an integral part of a close-knit instructor community, but you’re also a role model who will make a lasting impression on your students.

In our 29 years of providing life-changing, community-based outdoor adventures, Adventure Treks has earned a reputation as one of the most professional organizations in the industry. In addition, Adventure Treks has the highest instructor (and student!) return rate of any comparable program—our staff create such strong bonds with each other and their students that our instructor tenure averages 4–5 seasons (though many have been with us for much longer).

Our instructors lead trips in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Alaska, British Columbia, North Carolina, and Costa Rica. But being an Adventure Treks instructor isn’t just about visiting beautiful wilderness areas—rather, it’s about empowering young people to create a supportive and respectful group of peers; bringing joy and fun to every day and activity; and experiencing and growing through both type I and type II fun throughout your adventure.

Through activities like backpacking, mountaineering, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, whitewater kayaking, canoeing, sea kayaking, mountain biking, and ice climbing, Adventure Treks instructors help our students grow in self-confidence, leadership and active followership, collaboration and teamwork, resilience, and environmental awareness.

Adventure Treks instructors often say this is the most rewarding job they’ve ever had.

Adventure Treks is committed to building a diverse community that is inclusive of people from all backgrounds to reflect the world we live in. Adventure Treks does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, genetics information,  socioeconomic status, medical condition, or any other consideration made unlawful by federal, state, or local laws.

Read instructors’ frequently asked questions here

I feel so grateful for the personal growth I gained this summer… it feels exponential. I feel I have more power to choose my attitude, fewer blind spots, and so many invaluable experiences. – Kyle D’Ambrosio, AT instructor, summer 2021

Middle and high school summer program positions

Job description

Course size is generally 20–24 students with 5–6 instructors. The outdoor skills that instructors teach include backpacking, rock climbing, mountaineering, mountain biking, canoeing, cooking, orienteering, Leave No Trace concepts, and general environmental education. Other specialized skills like whitewater rafting and kayaking will be taught in conjunction with outfitters.

On each program, the instructor team works closely together to coordinate all aspects of the trip, including instruction in all outdoor activities, risk management, driving 15-passenger vans and towing U-Haul trailers, managing group dynamics, planning menus, purchasing food, laundry, coordinating with outfitters, turning in blog and photo updates, maintaining equipment, and handling medical issues. Instructors receive additional ongoing support from the director team.

Minimum requirements
  • At least 21 years old
  • College graduate strongly preferred
  • Wilderness first responder and CPR certifications
  • Several years experience working with young people
  • Several years experience in outdoor education and leading wilderness programs
  • Genuine interest in students’ personal growth
  • Proficiency in multiple outdoor skills
  • Expertise in Leave No Trace principles
  • Maintain a clean driving record with no major infractions
  • Ability to maintain high energy and a positive mental attitude with little to no time off and limited personal time
Benefits

Personal and professional skills learned at Adventure Treks are applicable to many different careers for years to come:

  • Leadership and responsibility: Responsible for being a role model to 20–24 teenagers and running a safe and fun trip
  • Communication: With your students, co-instructors, trip leader, parents, and Adventure Treks directors
  • Resilience and adaptability: Positively overcome adversity and creatively solve problems
  • Decision-making: Confidence in safe, quick, and intentional decisions
  • Strong work ethic: A challenging yet fulfilling job
  • Relationship-building: Creating strong connections and building an inclusive community
  • Feedback: Ongoing opportunities to provide and receive constructive feedback to students, co-instructors, and trip leader

Additionally, instructors will have:

  • The opportunity to be a teacher, mentor, and friend to highly motivated students
  • Multiple seasons of employment (spring and fall opportunities are also available in Costa Rica and North Carolina)
  • Dynamic work environment
  • Highly organized and well-planned adventures
  • A focus on year-round personal and professional growth, including career resource webinars and reimbursements toward professional development
  • Competitive salary
  • Outdoor experiences throughout the United States
Compensation

We’re pleased to offer competitive compensation: Salaries for new instructors start at $3,100–$3,400, dependent on experience, hard skills, education, and certifications. Instructors also receive:

  • Travel reimbursements to help get to and from staff orientation
  • All-inclusive employment: all accommodations, meals, outfitted activities, group equipment, and transportation to and from the trip’s locations are included while on course
  • Pro-deal access to hundreds of outdoor brands

I loved my staff team and the beautiful places we got to experience. The best part of each trip would be the students and seeing them grow and accomplish things. I feel so proud to help facilitate students’ growth during really challenging activities and see them succeed, when when they didn’t think they could. – Liz Hertz, AT instructor, summer and fall 2021

Leadership Adventure Semester (LAS) gap program positions

Job description

As with our middle and high school programs, Leadership Adventure Semester (LAS) instructors are expected to be excellent role models and mentors for students ages 18–20. LAS programs are longer (42 to 74 days), which means instructors will have more personal and hands-on time in teaching a variety of hard and soft skills. Course size is generally 12–24 students with 3–6 instructors, depending on the program.

Outdoor skills taught include backpacking, rock climbing, mountain biking, canoeing, whitewater kayaking, cooking, and orienteering. Instructors will also teach Leave No Trace concepts, leadership and communication skills, and general environmental education, while focusing on fostering constructive group dynamics and facilitating games and activities. Other specialized skills will be taught in conjunction with third-party outfitters.

The instructor team works closely together to coordinate all aspects of the program, including instruction in all outdoor activities, risk management, driving 15-passenger vans and towing U-Haul trailers, managing group dynamics, planning menus, purchasing food, laundry, coordinating with outfitters, maintaining equipment, turning in blog and photo updates, and handling medical issues. Instructors receive support while in the field from the regional directors.

Minimum requirements

Applicants must meet the instructor requirements above, while also having:

  • Bachelor’s degree or more advanced degree
  • Proficiency in teaching two or more of the following areas: backpacking, whitewater kayaking, whitewater canoeing, rock climbing (including site setup), and mountain biking
  • Prior experience leading programs for Adventure Treks preferred
  • Ability to create and foster educational experiences
  • Several years’ experience in outdoor education and leading wilderness programs
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills
Benefits

LAS instructors will enjoy the same benefits as listed above, in addition to:

  • Support from directors in designing and evolving curriculum
  • Potential for achieving additional certifications on-program
  • Gaining experience and improving facilitation skills while working with college-aged students in an immersive and hands-on environment
Compensation

The salary for new LAS instructors starts at $5,000 and will increase $250 for additional advanced degrees and hard skill certifications (excluding minimum requirements for medical training), plus bonus opportunities. LAS instructors will also receive the following benefits:

  • Travel reimbursements to help instructors get to and from staff orientation
  • Accommodations, meals on your trip, outfitted activities, group equipment, and transportation to and from the trip’s locations
  • Pro-deal accounts with access to discounts on a wide range of outdoor brands
  • Reimbursement for wilderness first responder (WFR) certification for returning instructors
  • A focus on year-round personal and professional growth, including career resource webinars and reimbursements toward professional development
  • An opportunity to work multiple seasons

Adventure Treks student internships

Are you an Adventure Treks alumnus who wants to help provide the same incredible experience to students that your Adventure Treks instructors gave to you? For former AT students who are not yet 21 and who have completed either one of our Leadership Adventure Semester or Leadership Summit programs, we offer limited student intern positions.

The responsibilities of an intern vary slightly from those of an instructor (persons under 21 will not drive our 15-passenger vans), but like all staff, they work hard, have fun, create lasting connections, and have a powerful impact on our students’ lives. Interns must have a current wilderness first responder certification and attend our staff orientation in June.

We will accept student intern applications until February 1, 2022. In February, intern interviews will begin, with decisions on hiring by March 2022.

One of my greatest moments at AT was when a student contacted me after the trip to tell us how confident she felt after having been put in a leadership role, and how impactful that was to her. It made my whole summer. – Matthias Kelderman, AT instructor, summer 2021

How to apply

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