An outdoor educator can have many different titles, but they all involve showing and teaching others about the great outdoors.

A mountain guide leading others up a mountain.

Like any great educator, your goal is to foster independence so others can safely and wisely experience nature by themselves.

You can be a...

  • Camp Counselor

  • Park Ranger

  • Naturalist

  • Wilderness Guide

Beautiful mountain lake

Day To Day

It’s not just enjoying the beautiful outdoors.

Park Ranger

You must be prepared to:

  • Plan and lead outings, trips, and expeditions.

  • Identify plants, animal signs, and geological features.

  • Instruct others in wilderness survival (e.g. knot tying, camp set-up, and Leave No Trace practice).

  • Design activities and tools to best teach about the environment.

You are the expert if something goes wrong. You need to know...

  • first aid, 

  • survival skills,

  • and be a Wilderness First Responder.

First Aid Kit Health GIF by Lehigh University

Quiz

An outdoor educator might be expected to know

The area's edible plants

CPR

The history of the region

All of these

What Does It Take?

Outdoor Education is a broad field ranging from a camp counselor to a coordinator of a nature organization.

Yosemite National Park signPhoto by Austin Neill on Unsplash

Most career outdoor educators have a bachelor's degree focusing on the environmental sciences, the humanities, or education.

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Some of the places you might work for are youth camps, the park service, and wilderness guiding companies.

Pay

Outdoor educators love the work they do but they still need to pay the bills.

In the U.S. the average pay is $41, 500 USD.

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In Canada the average pay is $44,000 CAD .

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This Is For You if...

You should consider being an outdoor educator if you are...

  • Social: you like presenting in front of people and collaborating to get the job done.

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  • Realistic: you like working with your hands.

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  • Artistic: you like to be creative in how you accomplish a task.

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Consider Something Else If You...

  • want a fast paced, competitive work environment.

  • like clear structured tasks.

  • enjoy working independently.

Silhouette of a park rangerPhoto by Brian Mann on Unsplash

Take Action

Being an outdoor educator can be a dream job, but you must lay the groundwork in order to make it a reality.

Wild flowers overlooking a riverPhoto by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

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This Byte has been authored by

SS

Sam Schmoker

International Educator | Academic Advisor