Outdoor Education Overview

Do you have a passion for the outdoors? If you love being surrounded by nature and teaching others about it, you might be a good fit for a major in Outdoor Education.

Outdoor Education majors learn the skills to teach others about the outdoors, act as guides for hikes and other activities, and lead courses in wilderness survival. Classes in topics such as environmental studies, first aid, survival skills, and outdoor activities, such as rock climbing, ropes courses, and backpacking prepare students for a successful career working with and teaching others about the great outdoors.

Required Skills

A majority of your career will be spent working with others making strong communication and interpersonal skills very important. Whether you're teaching classes, giving nature tours, or leading hiking adventures, you must be courteous with customers and provide excellent customer service. Students who excel in this field often have a background in environmental studies and previous experience working in the outdoors.

A career in Outdoor Education can be either part time or full time depending on where you're hired. Some parks have a busy season requiring more staff while other places require year round staff. Location and your level of experience and education will play a role in what type of job you're hired for.

To gain experience in this field, it is recommended you find a summer job or internship with a campsite, outdoor adventure company, the National Park Service, or another organization within the Outdoor Education field.


A degree in Outdoor Education gives graduates the opportunity to work outdoors in a variety of jobs. Some graduates have decided to become park rangers, teach outdoor survival courses, lead hiking and backpacking trips, and work for kayaking and canoeing companies. Since you will have an advanced knowledge of the outdoors, you will be able to find a job in any outdoor related industry. This occupation is growing at an average rate, meaning most students should be able to find a job after graduation in their area. Those who are willing to relocate will have a better chance finding work.

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Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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