If you are interested in Wilderness Therapy jobs, then look no further!
Much of Aspiro’s success in the Therapeutic Industry can be attributed to the caliber of staff that are employed here. Qualifications to apply:
- Desire personal progression
- Desire to support and encourage other people as they progress
- Are comfortable and enthusiastic promoting morals and values both by word and character
- Believes in our cause and can fully endorse the Aspiro model
- Can commit to a minimum of 12 months to Aspiro
- Are at least 21 years of age
- Can pass a drug screen as well as a criminal background check (mandatory)
- Current First-Aid and CPR certifications
Other qualifications that are favored:
- Current safety certifications (WFR, EMT, etc.)
- Related college degree
- Previous experience working with adolescence
- Professional experience: rafting, canoeing, mountain biking, rock climbing, canyoneering, backpacking, snowshoeing, skiing, etc.
Aspiro needs employees that can use their skills to not only provide a safe, awesome experience for the students, but also provide a therapeutic experience that will help the student learn critical life skills. If you are interested in working as an Aspiro guide, we generally bring on new field guides twice a year. The format and process for these two hiring times differ slightly: Summer (seasonal position): our largest hiring opportunity is for our summer season, which runs from the beginning of May to the end of August. Our number of students greatly increases during this season, and we need the extra guides to help support these numbers. Due to the larger number of available summer positions, we hold an intensive Guide Tryout. All tryouts are a week long, and are typically done in late March or early April. Participants will engage in various activities that will help us get to know you and hopefully highlight some of your strengths. Hiring decisions are made shortly afterwards. Guides hired for seasonal summer employment are required to commit through the end of August. Fall (permanent position): as our busy season of summer winds down, we look towards creating a team of guides that are invested in working consistently through the following fall, winter, spring, and summer. This is a 12 month commitment. Because there are fewer spots available for these positions, we sort through applicants on an individual basis throughout July and August. Once an in-person or phone interview takes place, if we want to move forward we will invite you to come and do our volunteer tryout week with us. Nothing will provide you a more realistic idea of what the job of a therapeutic adventure guide is like than actually participating in our training and spending time with a group of students and veteran guides. Likewise, this will give us a much better read on if you would be a good asset to our team. This is the final step in the interview process and after reviewing your week, you should know shortly if you’ll be joining the Aspiro family. This can be a time consuming process, but we’ve found it to be effective and necessary in choosing the individuals that line up with our philosophies, culture, and vision.
Compensation & Benefits
Aspiro seeks individuals at all levels of skill and experience. In order to advance between levels, guides are required to pass off on skills and obtain specific certifications. With the exception of certain time requirements, guides have a lot of autonomy and control in determining how quickly they advance through the organization, and subsequently, what their pay is. Our guide base pay is $130 per day, although most guides will make the equivalent of $135/day within 6 months. There are some opportunities for paid internships, and Aspiro rewards many different kinds of educational opportunities with raises or monetary bonuses. Guides who are committed to Aspiro for many years can expect to approach an annual salary of $40K. Aspiro also recognizes that guides are not primarily focused on financial rewards. The chance to make a difference, the impressive resume guides build, the internal advancement opportunities available, and the personal growth experienced in such an intense, challenging environment are all factors that Aspiro guides appreciate. Aspiro also provides an in-house Wilderness First Responder course, stipends for professional conferences, health insurance, hard-skills and soft-skill based workshops, and other professional development opportunities.
New Employee Training: Much of the training is provided on the job. However, we strongly encourage guides to become their own teacher and continually strive for knowledge in areas that interest, and will better them as individuals. Additionally, during the tryout, participants go through 80 hours of training (so come tryout!).
Gear Requirements: Staff should be prepared for camping in the most extreme conditions. Aspiro operates year round and runs itineraries from 4,000 ft. to 13,000 ft. in elevation. As a result it is important to have the right gear. Click Here to see the required gear list.
What is an Adventure Therapy Guide and what do they do? An Adventure Therapy Guide is a professional in outdoor recreation and using those outdoor activities in a therapeutic experience. He/She is highly experienced, or will become highly experienced in activities such as: rock climbing, biking, canoeing, rafting, backpacking, canyoneering, etc., and safely teaches these activities to students as a tool for therapy.
What if I’m not yet a professional in all of the activities Aspiro facilitates? Can I still work at Aspiro? Of course! Don’t worry if you currently don’t have the skills to be a guide. Staff training at Aspiro is hands on and constant. You may not feel like a professional now, but through training and experience, you will develop the skills required to be a professional guide. Once hired, staff that are not as skilled are paired with highly skilled staff that can train you in all aspects of outdoor recreation.
What is the difference between Wilderness Therapy and Wilderness Adventure Therapy? While many programs employ wilderness therapy, we knew there had to be more. For years we’ve known direct mentoring, in-the-moment coaching, and repetitive practice are powerful mechanisms for change. In fact, adventure therapy has been a well documented method with amazing results since the 1960s. With strategic planning and intentional research, we added the concept of adventure therapy to wilderness therapy, thereby fully crafting our model of Wilderness Adventure Therapy (WAT).
How does learning outdoor skills help the students with their problems? Each skill taught at Aspiro can be compared to real life skills that will help our students succeed. For example, rock climbing and bouldering are great ways to teach, metaphorically, about overcoming “problems” in life. After each activity, Field Guides sit down with their group and process the activity. This provides students with an opportunity to see personal achievement, how they can improve as well as transferring the lessons they learn to their lives in the bigger world outside of Aspiro.
What is a typical work week? Guides work an 8 days on, 6 days off schedule. The work week starts on Tuesday and ends the following Tuesday. Each Tuesday, the on-coming staff are trained and briefed on the groups they will be guiding that week while the students are preparing for the trip. The rest of the week is spent running the itinerary (mountain biking in the Wasatch, backpacking in the Uintas, Rock Climbing in Southern Utah, Skiing at Sundance Resort, etc). The group then meets back on the following Tuesday to continue this rotation.
If you have carefully read all of the above information and are still interested in applying to Aspiro, please apply below.