If you are interested in jobs in the field of wilderness therapy, 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:
- A desire for personal progression
- Desire to support and encourage others as they progress
- Comfortable and enthusiastic about promoting morals and values by both word and character
- Belief in our cause and can fully endorse the Aspiro model
- Commitment to a minimum of 12 months at Aspiro
- 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 desired:
- Current safety certifications (WFR, EMT, etc.)
- Related college degree
- Previous experience working with adolescents
- 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 and fulfilling 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 bring on new field guides for both seasonal and permanent positions:
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 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 nine days long and are typically done in the winter and spring months. Participants will engage in various activities that will help us get to know them and hopefully highlight some of their strengths. Hiring decisions are made shortly afterward. Guides hired for seasonal summer employment are required to commit through the end of August.
Fall (permanent position): As our busy summer season winds down, we look towards creating a team of guides that are invested in working throughout 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 the year to find the right team members. Once an in-person or phone interview is successfully completed, we will invite the applicant to come to our volunteer tryout, which lasts nine days. Nothing will provide 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 whether or not an applicant will 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 process is both effective and necessary in choosing the individuals that line up with our philosophies, culture, and vision. Tryouts for permanent staff will be held throughout the year at different times.
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.
Please contact our HR department for our current starting pay. After a minimum internship period of 3 shifts, guides will get a small raise in their daily salary. Guides can earn a higher income through two routes: performance-based raises and a progression towards leading their own group. In addition, lead guides will be recognized and paid for their in-house certifications in adventure disciplines. Aspiro also recognizes that guides are not primarily focused on financial rewards. Guides at Aspiro appreciate the chance to make a difference, build an impressive resume, discover internal advancement opportunities, and experience personal growth in such an intense, challenging environment. Aspiro also provides an in-house Wilderness First Responder course, stipends for professional conferences, health insurance, training in adventure skills and therapeutic skill-building workshops, as well as 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 them and will better them as individuals. Additionally, during the tryout, participants go through 80 hours of training.
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, 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 in any area are paired with highly skilled staff in that area, 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 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 8 days on, 6 days off. 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. 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.