Work at Wilderness Adventures

Become a Trip Leader

Job Description

Wilderness Adventures boasts 48 years of success in providing life-changing summer adventures for students. Nothing is more essential to this success than the enthusiasm, skills and dedication of our leaders. Leading for Wilderness Adventures offers the opportunity to experience a wide range of exciting locations, cultures, and remote wilderness areas, all the while providing a group of students with an unmatched opportunity for growth that they will remember for the rest of their lives.

Wilderness Adventures is looking for trip leaders who are enthusiastic about working with student ages 11-20 in group settings.  Leaders will guide groups of 10-15 students, with a co-leader through exciting yet challenging adventure activities, as well as teach the curriculum designed for each of our trip types: Discovery Adventures, Explorer Adventures, High Trails Adventures, and Gap Semester Programs. The trips are both mentally and physically challenging for leaders and participants, with adventures ranging from one to six weeks in duration.

Wilderness Adventures seeks leaders who will be a positive influence on the participants, an inspirational role model, devoted to supporting student growth and education throughout the trip and creating a fun and non-competitive environment in which the students can thrive. Our leaders and students participate in a wide variety of activities such as: mountain climbing, backpacking in over 30 National Parks and wilderness areas, rock climbing, sea kayaking, whitewater rafting and kayaking, ice climbing, canyoneering, sailing, snorkeling, SCUBA diving, trekking through Europe’s hut system, international and domestic service projects, and language programs. Experience in these activities is helpful, but not required.


  • Minimum of 21 years old by June 2021.
  • Applicants must have and maintain an excellent driving record with no major infractions of unsafe conduct. You will be required to drive a 15-passenger van towing an 8-foot utility trailer if leading one of our domestic trips.
  • A minimum certification in Wilderness First Responder by June 2021. (You can apply and then complete the certification before June or through our sponsored course).
  • College graduate or in the process of completing a degree.
  • Quality experience teaching/leading in a variety of settings, ideally with students in grades 5-12.

Salary & Benefits

  • Leaders are contracted to lead one to three trips ranging from one to six weeks each.
  • All program expenses will be paid for while working for Wilderness Adventures (transportation and flights to the trip start and end locations, all accommodations, all meals, all activities).
  • Wilderness Adventures sponsored WFR course.
  • Wilderness Adventures offers many pro-deals and industry discounts.

How to Apply

Click here for the 2021 Application.  If you have any questions about the application process, please e-mail:

What do I need to apply?
  1. Complete the online application
  2. Upload your resume as a PDF Document
  3. Complete background check form
  4. Upload a copy of your current driver’s license
  5. Upload a profile photo along with your online application, or e-mail a digital headshot of yourself to

Frequently Asked Questions

Once we have reviewed your application we will set up an interview via phone or videoconference. Qualified candidates will go through a second round of interviews. Keep in mind, we hire for the program as a whole and do not place leaders on trips until the spring. We make our offers on a rolling basis, and occasionally we will ask qualified candidates to remain “on hold” as we determine our exact needs.

Our leaders are required to have Wilderness First Responder and CPR certifications by the beginning of staff training. If you do not have a current Wilderness First Responder, WA offers a sponsored WFR course prior to staff training. This course includes CPR. You can submit your application prior to being certified, but you must have a set date for your certification, either through the WA course or on your own. We welcome additional certifications as well: Lifeguard, Swiftwater Rescue, PADI, WEMT, etc. If a WEMT is currently held, you do NOT need to obtain a WFR.

Placement on a Wilderness Adventures trip is based on age, experience, skills, and our staffing needs. Considering an applicant’s application, references, resume, interview, and past experience, we place new staff on trips applicable to their skill sets and with co-leaders that will compliment both their skills and personality. Most first year staff members will co-lead with a returning staff member. This allows first year staff members to have the chance to lead any of the trips we offer in any location, worldwide.

The summer begins with a two-week staff training. A portion of this training is spent in small groups in a backcountry setting, modeling a Wilderness Adventures trip. As a large group, we will come together to discuss Wilderness Adventures various policies and procedures. During this time, staff members will meet with their regional directors in order to plan their upcoming trips. Rest assured, staff training will leave you well prepared for a summer as a WA trip leader. After training, trip leaders head off to their respective corners of the world to start their trips. Depending on your contract, you may have one, two, three, or more trips! In between each trip, you will generally have some downtime in order to prepare for your next trip. But, keep in mind, a summer as a leader is extremely dynamic and full of hard work. Do not expect any traditional “days off.” That being said, it will be as rewarding and incredible as it is challenging and tiring! After your trips end, we will all reconnect at the end of the summer to share stories and debrief with administrative staff.