Outdoor Activities Instructor or Leader

Outdoor activities instructor leading a group through a gorge

An outdoor activities instructor or leader teaches individuals and groups, of all ages and abilities, outdoor based activities and watersports such as hillwalking, abseiling, orienteering, canoeing, sailing, skiing and snowboarding.

The Work

You could be:


The figures below are only a guide. Actual salaries may vary, depending on:

Pay can vary depending on the employer and conditions. It could be based on the National Minimum Wage. The apprentice rate, for those aged under 19 or aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship, is £6.40 an hour (1 April 2024).

Some jobs may include accommodation/food and a salary, which could be around £20,500. For a job with a standalone salary, this could be up to £30,000 a year.

If you work freelance, wages could be £100 to £180 a day or more plus expenses.


Workforce Employment Status

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Useful Subjects

Getting In

Outdoor education centres (except those where members of an organisation run courses for other members of the same organisation, or where parents accompany young people) must meet the regulations of the Adventure Activities Licensing Service run by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) which arranges licences for staff. See the HSE website for more details. There are several ways into this career.

You need:

There are jobs in local authority outdoor centres, centres run by sports bodies and private activity holiday centres. Note that to work in a local authority centre, you may need a teaching qualification – check with the local authority.

Workforce Education Levels (UK)

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Job Outlook Scotland


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Job Outlook Scotland and UK

6.2 %
  United Kingdom
4.6 %

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What Does it Take?

You should be:

You need to be:

You must have a responsible attitude to health and safety. The ability to swim is normally required.


Getting On

More Information

Interest in outdoor sports and activity holidays is increasing and VisitScotland is encouraging active tourism throughout Scotland. So there are more jobs for outdoor experts who are able to teach others. Your prospects are better if you have qualifications in at least two activities. Some centres specialise in outdoor activities for people with disabilities.

For more information please see organisations listed below:


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