Working at NCOAE
Professional development — learning that allows you to earn or maintain professional credentials — is key to career planning, especially when it comes to considering a career in the outdoor adventure and education industry. Much more than participating in a bunch of classes, our sector of the outdoor industry looks favorably on applicants with wilderness medicine training and certification, skills training and certification, and hands-on guiding and expedition leadership experience.
Truth is, we here at NCOAE found that operating an adventure education company during a health pandemic was challenging. And staffing our AEE-accredited organization with highly experienced instructors became increasingly difficult but not impossible.
Like other industries, we suffered a staffing shortage, and yes, some of our existing staff left to pursue other pathways. But what we’ve noticed lately is a lack of experience from some people who thought working in the outdoors would — quite literally — be a walk in the park.
Many of these would-be outdoor educators and guides decided that sitting on a couch while looking at photos and films of wilderness expeditions was a suitable alternative for actually going out and experiencing the outdoors.
This potential pool of applicants backed out and went the way of the “Instagram Adventurer” or the “Armchair Explorer.” And in talking with our colleagues across our sector of the outdoor industry, we’re not alone in seeing this trend. Nearly all outdoor adventure and education organizations are taking pause and evaluating the future of trainings, staff recruitment, and what it means to be qualified to head out into “wild places.”
Regardless of what other organizations choose to do about their staffing challenges, NCOAE will not budge on what is required of our field instructor and outdoor educator candidates. Hands-on experience coupled with recognized industry certifications still matter and always will.
If you’re interested in a seasonal or full-time job in outdoor education, here are my recommendations on how to proceed. (more…)
The economy is booming and we here at The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE) find ourselves in the position of seeking a few part-time instructors. Specifically, we’re looking for instructors to supplement our expanding team of EMT professionals who teach courses at our North Carolina headquarters. Among the many courses we offer is an intensive 19-day EMT-Basic course that satisfies eligibility requirements for the National Registry and NC EMT certification. These classes meet Mondays through Fridays with an additional 24 hours of clinical and field practice on either Saturday or Sunday.
If you know anything about us, you know we pride ourselves with employing some of the very best instructors in the industry, and that includes instructors who are also EMT-paramedics, firefighters, military operations specialists, and experts in critical care management.
As an AEE accredited organization, we provide an exciting and one-of-a-kind teaching environment where teamwork is paramount — which means our EMT offerings stand out from most teaching institution’s. Our instructors provide (more…)
Here at The National Center for Outdoor Education & Adventure Education (NCOAE), we recently welcomed three new field instructors, a climbing instructor and a program coordinator to our outstanding team of staff members.
Earlier this year, these five candidates — two women and three men — successfully completed our Winter 2017 Instructor Candidate Training Program, becoming part of a staff treasure trove that annually attracts some of the best outdoor and experientially-based wilderness educators in the country.
Much of the success of our Instructor Candidate education goes to our training program, where NCOAE instructors work directly with candidates who — on their own steam — are highly qualified outdoor educators.
Many of these candidates have worked for top-drawer wilderness organizations, and our training serves as a means of taking their experience and fine-tuning it to fit NCOAE’s extremely comprehensive curriculum.
Our candidates tell us that despite their prior instructor training and experience, an intensive week of training at our North Carolina headquarters only serves to ratchet up that experience, giving them something more meaningful when guiding and instructing in the field with NCOAE’s students and participants.
But enough about us. Let’s meet these five new NCOAE staff members: (more…)
Without going completely overboard, we here at The National Center for Outdoor Education & Adventure Education (NCOAE) liken our popular Instructor Candidate (IC) training to a Hollywood red carpet event — without the egos or trophies.
That’s because this training attracts the best wilderness educators in the world to our North Carolina headquarters for five days of curriculum design and delivery training. It’s a time when NCOAE’s instructors get to work directly with some of the most highly qualified outdoor educators in the industry.
This “invitation only” event draws participants who have worked for other companies and schools on both the domestic and international levels. By the time they arrive on our campus for IC training, they are often looking for something different — something more meaningful.
As NCOAE instructors, we think of this educational training and refresher as a time of (more…)
Oftentimes after a successful outdoor adventure, at least one smiling student comes up to me and says, “Man, I wish I had your job.”
Well, of course you do. As far as you know, I’m getting a paycheck for camping, climbing, paddling and exploring in some of the most beautiful spots on earth. That part’s true. As outdoor education instructors, we get to work with others who share that passion for the wilderness. We love the job and we can’t think of another occupation that would be half as satisfying.
But there’s a lot that goes on before you can go out and bag that dream job. And just looking the part isn’t enough to get you in the door and on the trail.
We want to give you some preliminary — quick and dirty — career tips for those who are serious about becoming an outdoor educator, experiential educator, and/or an adventure educator. Throughout the year we will revisit this topic with additional tips and offerings from the experts here at The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE).
Here are a few of the basics for obtaining that sought-after outdoor educator position, starting off with a short rundown of high-level skills and certifications you’re going to need to get started: (more…)
By Stephen Mullaney, NCOAE Staff Development Director
When The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE) got together to host a multi-day “invitation only” event for instructional candidates, we took the same care as we would when building a campfire.
As a rule, wood doesn’t burn on its own. It’s the gases released, along with a combination of oxygen and ignition that creates the flame. What you need, in fact, is quality fuel, oxygen and ignition.
Here at NCOAE, we have developed, over a period of time, a curriculum that goes well beyond the industry standard and synthesizes best practices that work in wilderness and beyond. Our outdoor education curriculum is our fuel, and it’s the finest fuel to support the courses we offer to students, educators and communities. However, it’s the thought, passion and effort we put into constant improvement that provides the (more…)