Careers In Survival Training
Survival Training is one of a growing number of career paths that have come forward as traditional factory and office jobs have disappeared. Its growing appeal is bolstered by TV shows that catch the imagination but survival training has been around for decades, only it was generally focused on the needs of the armed forces in the past. Now many private companies, particularly those extracting resources from remote locations, are seeing the need for their staff to be trained to survive an emergency, while many individuals are insuring themselves against the possibility of society’s future collapse or just want to get back to the wild. It’s still a small field but there are opportunities for you to have a good career in it.
A number of colleges and camps train the trainers and, of course, they also need to hire trainers themselves. Washington State is where you’ll find the ‘Alderleaf Wilderness College’, teaching outdoor survival skills as well as a general appreciation for all things natural. A diploma from Wilderness College is a good starting point for a career in survival training, as well as more mainstream careers in the nature, environmental research and sustainability education fields.
Another training organization is the Boulder Outdoor Survival School (BOSS), located in southern Utah, which runs courses and apprenticeships for those looking to learn more about wilderness survival as well as those who want to go on to work in the field.
For those who are in the armed forces or are considering joining, the military is still the biggest training organization in this field and one that pays you as you prepare. Well worth checking out their opportunities if survival training is where you see your future.
A Google search will throw up a number of possibilities, as will searches on the Adventure page of Backdoor Jobs or on other work related websites, such as LinkedIn. For example, two larger employers for survival training skills are:
The National Center for Outdoor and Adventure Education provides courses in many states across the country so there’s likely a center not too far from your home.
Adventure Treks also employs trained outdoor instructors at many sites across the USA.
Your clients in these programs may not be military-style survivalists but they’re the enthusiastic future of this expanding business.
Far more than most careers, survival training requires you to be in good physical, and mental, shape. Is your health such you can sustain a lifetime of severe physical and emotional challenges? While outdoor survival doesn’t require huge physical strength, it does require you to weather the rigors of outdoor life. Also, how are you with isolation? Wilderness camps are just that, isolated. They’re generally away from a life we take for granted and it isn’t until we’re without friends, family and modern conveniences we feel their loss.
Beyond the isolation of the training center, leading a party into the wilderness adds another step-up in isolation with the added responsibility of caring for other people. Careers in this field require character features that aren’t common to all of us so be sure it’s for you before you set out.