How Do I Become a Rock Climbing Instructor?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 22 February 2020
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The steps you will need to take to become a rock climbing instructor will vary depending on where in the world you live, but to start, just about anyone with an intention to guide will first need to develop a passion for rock climbing and significant skill in that realm. It is a good idea to spend several years developing rock climbing skills by climbing regularly and even participating in rock climbing classes yourself. Once you feel confident in your abilities, you can become a rock climbing instructor by researching the various governing agencies or guiding associations in your area.

These associations will often offer training classes that will help you become certified to become a rock climbing instructor, or at the very least outline the steps you will need to take. First and foremost, you will need to complete first aid and CPR training, as well as a wilderness first responder (WFR) certification. First aid and CPR training can usually be done in one or two classroom days, but WFR training can be quite prolonged and intensive. WFR training is intended to give you the skills necessary to deal with emergencies and injuries in the backcountry, where you are likely to operate once you become a rock climbing instructor.


Once you complete these certifications, you will probably have to earn an indoor climbing guide certification. This requires two to three days of classroom work, in addition to several hours of guided teaching. Once you complete these requirements, you will become a rock climbing instructor who is qualified to teach climbing skills indoors. The next step is to apply for a single-pitch climbing instruction certification, which will allow you to teach climbing skills outdoors on single-pitch routes. This training will take several days and will qualify you to teach outdoor climbing in certain settings.

In many regions throughout the world, the next step is to take part in a 10-day training that will allow you to become a rock climbing instructor with no restrictions. You will then take part in observed teaching, and once approved, you will become a licensed instructor. You may consider taking the next step to become a rock climbing guide, which requires more training and instruction time, but you may need to spend a certain amount of time as an instructor first before you will qualify to take part in a guiding certification class.


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