Wilderness Therapy Field Instructor

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Careers At Trails Carolina: Wilderness Therapy Field Instructor


Wilderness Therapy Field Instructor

Purpose, passion, and a love of the outdoors are what our organization is all about!

Wilderness Field Instructors become experts in the backcountry, while at Trails, you master valuable hard and soft skills. You will learn more about the students at Trials, build rapport, and develop the ability to support students while better serving their needs. Working as a Wilderness Field Instructor is a robust and meaningful experience that creates a powerful skill set applicable to every aspect of your life.

This role is about you, your professional development, your long-term career goals, and joining a fantastic team where you build lifelong connections.

Join a dedicated team of outdoor professionals!

Trails Carolina is a therapeutic wilderness program located in Western NC offering a unique combination of backcountry expedition and base camp programming to help troubled teens reach their full potential. Our Wilderness Field Instructors (WFI) play an integral role in this process, leading youth as they engage in a wide variety of activities;

– Group backpacking expeditions in the beautiful wilderness of Western North Carolina

– Therapeutic work with horses to teach communication skills

– Yoga and mindfulness practice to foster a holistic sense of wellbeing

– Classrooms that reignite a love of learning through nature and hands-on engagement

– Primitive wilderness skills work to build confidence and mastery in the outdoors

– Adventure education activities like rock climbing and canoeing to challenge comfort zones and create peak experiences.

Wilderness Field Instructors are trained to support our students by building rapport, managing risk, and maintaining close supervision. WFI manage challenging behaviors, create opportunities for therapeutic insight, and work alongside therapists to help our students reach their goals. This role is challenging and requires a combination of passion, grit, and care. Many have called this ‘the hardest job you’ll ever love’!

You can learn more about our program at trailscarolina.com

Wilderness Field Instructors work a full-time year-round shift rotation of 8 days with students, followed by 6 days off (15on/13off schedule also offered). Food and sleeping arrangements are provided on shift.

-Wilderness Field Instructors must be 21 years old or above.

-Must have a clear background and be able to pass a drug screen.

-CPR/1st Aid Certified.

-Experience working with youth.

-Desire to face and overcome the challenges of working with troubled youth.

-Ability to fulfill physical demands of hiking and backcountry camping in a wilderness setting.

-Trails provides extensive training in backcountry skills and risk management, no previous backpacking experience required.

Based in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. Staff housing is provided on-shift, staff can live several hours away on a shift schedule.

-Hourly compensation equating to $36,000.00 – $43,000.00 per year with the opportunity to increase in responsibility and rate based on performance.

-Health, Vision, and Dental insurance is available after 30 days.


-WFR/Approved Training Support and reimbursement for Lead level and above.

-PTO for Lead WFI and above

-Pro Deals and wholesale discounts on gear

-Up to four mental health visits reimbursed by TC

-LGBTQ+ Supportive environment for students and staff

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Interested in applying for a position at Trails? Fill out the form below and our team will contact you shortly.

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Current Wilderness Therapy Jobs Available At Trails Carolina