Field Instructor

North Carolina Outward Bound School
Biltmore Forest, NC
Closing date
Dec 3, 2022

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Organization Type
Job Description
The North Carolina Outward Bound School is in search of individuals ready to take their outdoor career to the next level. For over 50 years NCOBS, a well-established nonprofit organization, has been one of the premier providers of wilderness experiences in the Southeast. We are looking for candidates ready to commit to outdoor instruction as a professional career track.

New Field Instructors come in as an Assistant Instructor. The Assistant Instructor position is a role intended to prepare individuals for the Lead Instructor role. Depending on experience and performance, this promotion process takes 1 to 2 years. This is a full-time seasonal position scheduled on a variety of courses throughout the season ranging in length from 5 to 30 days. Field Instructors are staffed on courses with backpacking, rock climbing, whitewater canoeing, and ropes course components. Assistant Instructors will work a hybrid schedule which includes both field work and base camp work in our Logistics department.

The training and experience available through this position is a valuable step for anyone interested in a long-term career with Outward Bound.

For eligible candidates, this position can be done as part of the NCOBS Fellowship for BIPOC Staff.

If hired, candidates must be available for one of the following mandatory New Staff Trainings:
  • March 15th - April 2nd 2023
  • May 10th - June 2nd, 2023

Work will begin immediately following New Staff Training and run consistently through October 31st.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities
  • Delivery of Outward Bound mission, educational framework and required course components.
  • Participates in course planning, including development of educational and technical curricula, route planning, food and equipment organization/packing, and more.
  • Engages in clear, effective and timely communication with the Instructor, Course Director and other staff.
  • Participates in required staff trainings.
  • Consistently strives to give and receive timely, honest feedback with co-workers and supervisors.
  • Commits to own professional growth as well as improving technical and interpersonal skills.
  • Engages in the community of NCOBS staff, helping create and maintain a positive and inclusive environment at base camps.
  • Works in the Logistics department when not in the field to support courses in operation.

Minimum Qualifications
  • 21 years of age or older.
  • Current Wilderness First Responder and CPR certifications.
  • Full vaccination against COVID-19.
  • Driver's License held for a minimum of 5 years with clean driving record.
  • Able to commit to consistently working 22-24 days per month.
  • Strong personal motivation, initiative, follow through, and commitment.
  • Have experience with backpacking, camping, rock climbing, and whitewater paddling.
  • Must pass a background screening, including motor vehicle record check.
  • Must be sufficiently fit to participate in all course activities while maintaining ample energy, strength, and focus to aid students and co-instructors. This includes:
    • Extended time on your feet - sometimes for up to 16+ hours a day.
    • Ability to carry a 40 - 65 pound backpack on and off trail for up to 12+ hours in a day.
    • Ability to participate in fitness events, like trail running.

Preferred Qualifications
  • Experience in the outdoor education/experiential learning field
  • Excellent leadership, organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Flexible, adaptable, and open to change.
  • Able to work effectively with students of different ages and backgrounds while creating an equitable and inclusive culture in a small group.
  • Familiar with basic navigation using map and compass.
  • Excellent self-care and ability to oversee self-care of students in a backcountry setting.
  • Knowledge of environmental hazards.

Compensation and Benefits
  • Training Rate: $75/day
  • Logistics Work Rate: $100/day
  • Instructing Work Rate: $110/day
  • Work is contracted for up to 6 months at a time with the expectation that the staff member fulfill all work included in the signed contract.
  • Rugged, cabin-style, communal housing is provided (laundry, showers, and internet included).
  • Meals provided from the community kitchen for the duration of contract.
  • Access to seasonal staff benefits (professional development training, staff expedition funds, pro-deal purchase program, etc.).

Application Instructions
  • Complete application fully.
  • Upload a technical experience / trip log which details any and all expedition, hiking, paddling, or challenge course experience you may have.
  • Qualified candidates will be sent a screening questionnaire.
  • Candidates chosen for interviews will be contacted for scheduling.

Interviews will be completed in three waves: Mid-November, Mid-December, and Early January. Applicants will be considered on a rolling basis and offered an interview during one of these time frames based on which New Staff Training block you're available for. We will reach out to inform you of the status of your application once received. However, we appreciate your patience in waiting to hear back from us during this busy time.

The North Carolina Outward Bound School (NCOBS) prohibits discrimination against and harassment of any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, age, religion, sex, gender, pregnancy, genetic information, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, military or veteran status, qualified individuals with a disability on the basis of the disability, or any other category which may be protected under applicable local, state or federal law. NCOBS promotes respect for all people, and will not tolerate harassment based on any of these characteristics nor on differences based on gender identity or expression.

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