North Carolina Mountains Instructor

Why Work For Outward Bound?

Job Description

Founded in 1967, North Carolina Outward Bound School (NCOBS) is a charter member of the leading outdoor education network in the world.  Our wilderness courses, from the mountains of North Carolina to the shores of south Florida to the peaks of South America, deliver our mission to change lives through challenge and discovery.

The Assistant Instructor position is an entry-level instructional role, providing familiarity with OB procedures, policies, and the local course area. The Assistant Instructor works under the direct supervision of the Instructor, Lead Instructor and Course Director and is responsible for supervising students, teaching OB curriculum and facilitating all course activities throughout the course.

The Lead Instructor position is for staff that have 1.5 - 3 years of prior experience in the primary role of leading extended wilderness expeditions with groups. 

We hire staff for the following seasons.

North Carolina Mountains (staff are encouraged to work multiple seasons and possibly have opportunity to work our winter season in the Everglades based on their skill set.)

  •   Spring Season: March – May
  •   Summer Season: Mid-May – August
  •   Fall Season: September – October

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Will be required to manage a student group and all emergencies in Lead Instructor’s absence
  • Is able to locate and use communication systems in the event of an emergency
  • Adheres to all local operating procedures, safety policies and emergency procedures outlined in the NCOBS Policy Manual and LOPP’s
  • Participates in required staff training. New Staff average 35-days of training in their first year.
  • Participates in course planning, including development of educational and technical curricula, route planning, food and equipment organization/packing
  • Assists Instructor in the delivery of Outward Bound mission, educational framework and required components
  • Is able to provide clear, effective and timely communication with the Instructor, Course Director and other staff
  • Consistently strives to give and receive timely, honest feedback with co-workers and supervisor
  • Commits to own professional growth as well as improving technical and interpersonal skills


  • 21 years of age or older
  • Current Wilderness First Responder (minimum 72-hour) and CPR certifications
  • Must be willing to commit to multiple years of work. To blossom as an Instructor requires a commitment of two or more years.
  • Bachelor degree and/or 2-3 years’ experience in the outdoor education/experiential learning field or any similar combination of education and experience
  • Outward Bound or other wilderness expeditionary experience (OB, NOLS multi-day course or equivalent) encouraged
  • Excellent leadership, organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Flexible, adaptable and open to change
  • Strong personal motivation, initiative, follow through and commitment
  • Able to effectively plan and deliver engaging experience-based educational lessons to achieve desired outcomes.
  • Able to work effectively with students of different ages and backgrounds.
  • Have a level of competence in backpacking skills and experience that enables the individual to focus on the student’s performance and not their own. Suggested 20+ days some of which should be extended expeditionary travel.
  • Confident in basic navigation using map and compass
  • Can assess and choose safe route through 3rd class terrain
  • Excellent self-care and ability to oversee self-care of students in a backcountry setting
  • Knowledge of environmental hazards and weather patterns

Climbing Skills (Required for NC Mountains Instructors)

  • Able to effectively teach basic climbing skills, such as knots/hitches, belaying and climbing technique – Be able to climb 5.8 top rope or better and have experience with teaching, managing students at a rocks site
  • Experience with rappelling and ropes courses as a student or staff

Canoeing Skills (Required for NC Mountains Instructors)

  • Possesses a level of competence in class I and II whitewater that enables them to focus on students
  • Knowledge of basic canoe and self-rescue techniques
  • Suggested 20+ days of personal experience as a student or staff
  • Can effectively perform a variety canoe strokes to control the boat in difficult conditions

Physical Requirements

  • Must be sufficiently fit to participate in all site and course activities and maintain ample energy, strength and focus to aid students and instructors
  • On feet most days – sometimes for up to 16+ hours a day, or possibly more in the case of an emergency
  • Ability to carry up to 65 lbs.

Compensation and Benefits

  • Pay is a per day rate and based upon the NCOBS field staff payscale (starting $70 per day)
  • Rustic but comfortable housing is provided; laundry, showers and internet are available 
  • Access to seasonal staff benefits (professional development opportunities and funds, pro-deal, etc.)
  • Staff receive field food while on course, and are fed out of the common kitchen while on base. While not working, staff can receive food and housing in exchange for completing two hours of service per day. There is a cook present for the summer months who prepares lunch and dinner daily. Breakfast food is provided as well.
Application Closing Date: 
1/30/17 or when filled
Employment Type: 
Job Region: 
Job Location: 
Asheville NC
Job Starting Date: 
March and May 2017

Job Details

Job Details: 
Experiential Education
Experiential Training & Development
Group Facilitation & Processing
Outdoor Skills School

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