Field Instructor
Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness

Field Instructors hanging at a waterfall in our field area.

Helping Teens and Young Adults Thrive in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Appalachia

Waterfalls, mountains, and high biodiversity in a temperate rainforest.

  • year round
Clayton, Georgia
$150.00 - $215.00 / day
No experience required
Start Date:
Starts in about 1 month. (Jan 11, 2024)

**Next Wilderness Therapy Field Instructor Training (invitation only) being held from January 11th-18th**

Since 2002, Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness has helped teens (13-17 years old), young adults (18-30 years old), and their families thrive. We strive to provide a superior wilderness experience to help all individuals define their values and overcome their struggles.

Located in the North Georgia and Western North Carolina mountains (office is in Clayton, GA), Blue Ridge’s licensed treatment program provides sophisticated clinical treatment in an immersive nomadic wilderness model. Foundational transformation for families occurs through utilizing individualized clinical treatment, together with intensive family-focused support, and whole-body health and wellness.

Our techniques combine the healing wilderness environment with evidence-based therapeutic approaches that teach individuals, and their families back home, the skills needed to be aware of and act on their values, rediscover their self-belief, and explore practices that lead to healthy living. Removed from the distractions of daily home life, teens and young adults live 24/7 in nature with other students and our supportive field staff.

Field Instructors work an 8-days on, 6-days off schedule (typically working Tuesday-Tuesday, and then off Weds to the following Monday)In a typical week, 3 to 5 Instructors will work with a group of 4 to 12 students. While working, staff live outdoors with their group. We are a nomadic program, meaning we embrace the natural aspect of wilderness therapy by continuously staying in an outdoor setting.

First and foremost, Instructors are responsible for managing the physical and emotional safety of each student and the student group as a whole. Field Instructors also play an integral role in delivering our curriculum and helping students see the connections between their thoughts, feelings, and choices.

While working in the field, Field Instructors can expect to backpack, sleep under tarps, cook meals over a fire, practice Leave No Trace ethics, provide 1st aid as needed, and generally teach students how to practice healthy self-care and self-reliance. In addition, staff demonstrate healthy boundary-holding and communication skills.

You’ll lead group discussions, games and initiatives, and complete written reports of how each student is doing every week. Our dedicated staff are with students to provide support during their most difficult moments as well as their biggest accomplishments!

We invest heavily in ongoing staff development. Each Field Instructor at BRTW participates in a week long, experiential training prior to hire, and is mentored by therapists and other senior staff during their entire employment. We also provide bi-weekly education to staff where we cover a variety of clinical and risk management topics. There are opportunities to advance as a Field Instructor and we pay for committed folks to become Wilderness First Responders.

Our headquarters is in Clayton, GA, a small town that provides direct access to our field area. Most staff reside in Western NC, North GA, Western SC, or Eastern TN. Staff are free to live wherever they choose, however Blue Ridge is unable to provide staff housing while not on shift.

Compensation and Benefits:

  • $150-215 per day (dependent upon experience)
  • Annual Bonuses
  • $1,000 Sign-on Bonus ($500 for seasonal hires)
  • Start accruing PTO from Day 1
  • Health Insurance (Dental, Vision, Short/Long Term Disability, etc.)
  • 401K with 4% matching
  • Pro-Deals Access (major discounts on outdoor gear and clothing)
  • Dog-Friendly (possibility to bring dog into field with stipulations/requirements)


  • High School Diploma or GED minimum (higher degrees or certifications preferred)
  • First Aid Certification, or Wilderness First Aid/Responder (must be completed within 90 days of hire)
  • CPR/AED Certification (must be completed within 90 days of hire)
  • 21 years old (state regulation requirement)
  • Must pass a basic physical
  • Must pass a drug screen
  • Must pass state and federal background checks

Required Skills:

  • Able to hike over various terrain while carrying 50+ lbs
  • Proficient with speaking/writing in English

Preferred Skills:

  • Comfortable working with teens and young adults
  • Small group living
  • Basic outdoor living or guiding skills
  • Mental health, psychology, substance misuse experience
  • Coaching, mentorship, teaching experience

How to Apply

To Find Out More & Apply:

Visit our hiring page and apply there.

OR apply by emailing the following to us at

  • Resume (include significant personal experience in the outdoors)
  • Cover Letter (speak to your qualifications for success as well as your interest in this role)

We will also eventually need:

  • Three letters of reference (not just a list of contacts)
  • Copies of First Aid & CPR certifications (or WFA, WFR, W-EMT, etc.)
  • Copy of your diploma or official transcript (from your highest level of education achieved)