One of the main reasons why people join a Pure Exploration Program is to upskill and break into the outdoor industry. Jobs in the outdoor industry are coveted, as they allow you to work in your passion and eliminate that voice in your head that many of us are well acquainted with, the one that calls for a better work/life balance. So, we’re asked two questions above all else, how to get a job in the outdoor industry and what can I work as after doing a Pure Exploration program? We’re here to help answer those questions.
How to get a job in the outdoor industry?
1. Narrow Your Focus
Knowing you want to work in the outdoor industry is an amazing first step, however in order to figure out the next steps on how to achieve that, you need to narrow your focus. Within the outdoor industry do you want to work as an adventure guide, or get stuck into behind-the-scenes logistics, do you want to work in an office for an outdoor brand with their media and marketing, or do you want to work more in the environmental realm? Reflect on your interests, skills, and values to determine which aspect of the outdoor industry resonates with you the most. Understanding your passion will help you focus your efforts and make informed career decisions.
2. Gain Relevant Knowledge and Skills
Now that you have decided a direction to head in, you need to acquire the knowledge and skills to get there. This is where we come in! Our Adventure Guide Programs are suitable for anyone who wants to embark on a career to become an outdoor adventure guide, or simply to challenge their own understanding of what it means to take on the wild. Gain skills you'll use your whole life as a hiker, climber and lover of exploring untouched regions. We run Adventure Guide Programs in Nepal, Patagonia and Queenstown, New Zealand.
All of our programs cover a multi-faceted syllabus and skillset. Maybe you'll start a program wanting to be an outdoor instructor, but discover you love Wilderness First Aid and want to go down the Search & Rescue path. Our courses are designed to introduce you to many different areas of the adventure tourism industry.
Building a strong network is crucial in any industry, and the outdoor industry is no exception. On our Queenstown Adventure Guide Program, we run a networking evening and invite all of the top adventure operators in the area to come and meet you.
Spending three months in any of the three iconic mountain towns we run programs in, you’re bound to connect with the local community, and of course your instructors and fellow students. You will also become part of the Pure Exploration Alumni group.
What Our Alumni Have Gone On to Do
We met up with a few of our Alumni from our Queenstown 2023 programs to see what they are working as post-program.
Pure Exploration Program: Outdoor Instructor Program, Queenstown, New Zealand
Current Job: Via Ferrata Guide, WildWire Wanaka
"I take people on via ferrata routes up the side of waterfalls here in Wanaka, New Zealand. One of our Pure Exploration instructors used to work here. During the course, we all came here just for a day of fun on one of our rock climbing weeks and I think we all had a ball. We had a great time at the via ferrata and it got me thinking that it would be a cool job to have. I asked while we were here what qualifications you would need to have to work here and as it turned out the Rock 1 qualification that we got was what they accepted to work here. As soon as I knew that, i was bugging them for a job!"
What’s next for you in your career?
"I’m just going to keep enjoying these guiding roles. I’m hoping to get a job that will get me access up to the ski fields over winter and then I’ll be back here over the summer. This is the career change I was looking for. I spent my whole life working in construction before this. It wasn’t a bad gig, it paid well. I enjoyed it for the most part. I just always had this thing in the back of my head wondering if there was something else out there that I could do. If there was a different career, something with a better work/life balance. That’s when I saw the course advertised and it turned out to be exactly what I was looking for. I’ve been in New Zealand 8 months now, been working for about a month of that and ya, I have no plans to go home."
Pure Exploration Program: Queenstown Adventure Guide Program
Current Job: Program Advisor, Pure Exploration
"I did the Queenstown Adventure Guide Program in Fall 2022, and I now work for Pure Exploration as the Program Advisor. So basically I got into this role straight after I finished up on the program here in Queenstown. The course had been a long time coming due to things happening with Covid. In the meantime, I did a few different jobs. I actually got a little bit into guiding beforehand. I was working for a quadbike tour company in Australia, doing some kayaking and fat bike training as well so that was really fun, so by the time I actually got onto program, I had changed my idea of what I wanted to do for work. So it was amazing as I built some personal skills that allowed me to get into the outdoors more on my own but i also wanted a different change within the same sort of pathway so i got in contact with Pure Exploration as i wanted to learn the behind the scenes of how a business works in this field. And now I'm here as a Program Advisor.
"Since finishing the course, I’ve been able to really get involved in the community here in Queenstown. Before I started, I lived in a small town in Adelaide in Australia. There was a lot to do but there wasn’t a lot you could do that enabled you to get confident in a lot of outdoor things so it was more small walks and it wasn’t really pushing my boundaries a lot. Doing the course, I was able to meet a community of climbers and hikers that really helped you get involved more and pushed you and you were also doing things really repetitively so you got quite good at things and now, since the course has finished, I‘ve met a group of people who I can push myself with, people that are more comfortable in this sort of scenario, more in snow, so I’ve gotten into more mountain biking, more mountaineering and am looking forward to the snowboarding season coming up soon. I am just surrounded by people who are just frothing about the outdoors and always keen to get out and do more things."
Pure Exploration Program: Queenstown Adventure Guide Program
Current Job: 4WD & Quad Bike Guide, Nomad Safaris
"I did the Adventure Guide Program here in January this year, 2023. I now work for Nomad Safaris as a four-wheel drive and quad bike guide, basically driving people up a mountain and doing four wheel drive tours. I basically got into this job after the program. I was looking for something that tailored my interests. Back home, I loved 4WDing. I basically get to drive my dream car here. I saw the ad and thought this will be great for me. I wanted an intro into the guiding industry and I thought 4WD and quadbiking would be a great start for me."
How did the AGP help you get into this role?
"The program helped me get into this career, you may be getting the hiking and climbing qualifications, but the course also teaches you how to teach a skill, whether that be quadbiking, kayaking or whatever it is. The course gave me the knowledge to actually take something and teach people how to do it. Rock climbing is quite an advanced one so anything other than that has been quite easy, teaching people how to ride a bike basically. The course gives you great overall knowledge on teaching rather than just learning how to do something."
What’s next for you?
"My future plans now are basically I want to work and travel all around the world doing cool jobs. Quad biking is pretty cool. I would love to do surf instructing at like a surf camp or snowboard instructor. Pretty much anything where I am outdoors, active and in the adventure guide industry. Now that I have the tools, each place I go to I want to further my knowledge, more skills, and basically work all around the world doing cool things."
Work Outside New Zealand
The examples above were all students who completed the Queenstown Adventure Guide Program and then chose to stay on in New Zealand to work. But what about the other programs or working in other countries? Read about Carmanah who did the Patagonia Adventure Guide Program and now works as a Via Ferrata Guide at Mt. Norquay Ski Resort. Or there's Avery who did the Queenstown Adventure Guide Program and now works as a Tour Guide in Alaska or Maddie who now works as a Tour Guide all over the world.
If you’re ready to take the first step on your career in the outdoor adventure industry, we run Adventure Guide Programs in Nepal, Patagonia and Queenstown, New Zealand. See here for prices and availability. Want to work for Pure Exploration? Check out what it takes, and our current vacancies here.
If you like this, check out our other blogs:
- What are NZOIA qualifications and how do I get them?
- Taking a Gap Year after college | Everything you need to know
- How to become an Outdoor Adventure Guide