How to Become an Abseiling Instructor: A Step-By-Step Guide

How to Become an Abseiling Instructor- A Step-by-step Guide

Do you love abseiling, or as it’s known in other parts of the world, rappelling? Would you love to do it for a career?

Well with a lot of effort and a little bit of luck you can make that dream a reality, you can become an abseiling instructor.

There’s no telling where you’ll end up as an abseiling instructor, you may be teaching little kids the basics in a climbing gym or teaching more advanced techniques to experienced rappellers.

Or maybe you might find yourself guiding people on an adventure holiday through the Hawaiian jungle and teaching tourists how to rappel safely down a waterfall.

In any case, becoming an abseiling or rappelling instructor is a wonderful way to make your passion your job. This is something that most of us strive for in our lives, but few of us achieve.

You may have to balance your rappelling with other less fun duties.

For instance, if you’re a rope access technician, you’d have to balance your abseiling responsibilities with cleaning windows or maintaining something on a wind turbine.

In any of the positions involving rappelling, you might be required to take a course or get a certification.

But once you have these, the possibilities are almost limitless, but one thing is consistent through all these stories: you’d be rappelling and teaching people to rappel for a living.

So Who Are Abseiling Instructors?

Abseiling Instructor

If you’ve ever been on a rappelling adventure holiday and been guided by a knowledgeable, personable guide, then you’ve met an abseiling instructor.

An abseiling, or rappelling instructor is anyone who understands rappelling and can impart that wisdom to other less knowledgeable people.

Very often an abseiling instructor will need to do other jobs while they’re teaching people to abseil. Perhaps they’re an instructor at a climbing gym in charge of showing the ropes to young children.

Then the instructor would be balancing the teaching of the important technique, and keeping an eye on all the children to make sure that they’re safe.

This job would be half rappelling instructor, half babysitter.

Or maybe the abseiling instructor is working as a guide in some national park. In this case the abseiling instructor needs to wear many hats at once:

  • Not only must they be able to teach the basics of rappelling or abseiling to all of the people they’re guiding regardless of their skill level
  • They must also know the area very well so that they don’t get lost
  • They must be prepared for any emergency and know how to apply first aid
  • They must know things about the ecosystem and help maintain the health of the park

Very often you’d find an abseiling instructor at your local rock climbing gym. They will assist people with their climbing and impart their rappelling knowledge when it is required of them.

You would also find an abseiling instructor at an abseiling instructor course.

Many organizations hold seminars and courses to teach people every minute aspect of rappelling and the surrounding disciplines.

How to become an abseiling instructor?

Teaching How To Climb

In order to become an abseiling instructor you have to know what you’re doing.

You can gain the experience you need over many years of training, learning from the best climbers and rappellers you have access to.

However this can take years, and we maybe aren’t patient enough to take the long route.

If you want to fast track the process of becoming an abseiling instructor, that means doing your research, asking a lot of questions of people who now more than you.

Sometimes it helps, especially when you’re applying to abseiling instructor jobs that you have a certification in abseiling.

There are plenty of organizations out there that will literally show you the ropes and make sure you understand all the ins and outs of rappelling.

They’ll provide you with tests to make sure you truly understand the information being relayed to you.

They’ll put you through courses of varying levels of difficulty and they’ll watch you instructing others and give you valuable feedback.

To obtain an abseiling instructor certification requires you to have consistently advised students in the proper technique.

Shown them the dangers of rappelling and taught them how to mitigate these dangers.

Some organizations require you to log upwards of 200 hours of rappelling and rappelling instruction without any incidents.

This can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t already have a job where you can rappel regularly.

Having a rappelling certification is only half the battle. Once you have the certification you have to get a job using it.

When applying to abseiling jobs, be sure to mention your certification, and also mention the fact that rappelling is a passion of yours.

You don’t have to start from scratch either. Very often the best rappelling jobs come through a referral of some sort, rather than a job application site like Indeed or

Ask around in your community if there are any openings for an abseiling instructor. Tap your friends who are already in the industry.

It helps when you’re already friends with people in the industry who can vouch for your respectability and skills.

You may struggle at first to find an employer to hire you, especially if this is going to be your first job in the industry. But worry not, persistence is key here.

If you keep your head down, send in as many applications as you can, and continue to network your way into the industry, you’ll find yourself teaching abseiling in no time.

When you are in the industry, look out for other people wanting to get in too, and do what you can to help them out with the knowledge that you have now.

What jobs can you do with certification in abseiling?

A certification in abseiling is essentially proving that you know what you’re talking about when it comes to abseiling.

This lets you confidently apply for any job that requires a bit of rappelling. Here we’ll go over some of the possibilities.

Rock Climbing Instructor

Teaching Climbing

The most obvious possibility is to work for a rock climbing gym as a rock climbing instructor.

Your certification shows that you now know how the ropes work and you can keep yourself and those around you safe.

You would be teaching children and adults alike how to control a rappelling system, either for straight up rappelling or teaching proper belaying technique to belayers.

Professional Caver

With your certification, you can combine rappelling with one of your other interests.

If for instance one of your interests is geology and caving, why not do that for a living.

You could work with researchers who are venturing deep into the underground caves that are all around us, searching for new species and for a greater understanding of the world we live in and on.

Abseiling Instructor

You may find during your certification, that what you’d really like to do is to help other rappellers get their certifications.

You could find work for one of the many organizations out there which provide rappelling certifications and spend your days instructing people on proper abseiling technique and etiquette.

Rappelling Guide

Perhaps you love nature, and that’s why you love rappelling so much?

Maybe you love making people’s vacations that much better by helping them discover the joys of both nature and rappelling. Why not become a rappelling guide?

There are many different types of rappelling adventures on offer out there, and you could work for any of them with a rappelling certification.

You could find yourself helping tourists scramble down the side of a waterfall, or helping them make their way into a deep dark cave and tell them spooky stories on the way down.

Rope Access Technician

Technical Rescue

With your certification in hand, you’re clear to work as a rope access technician.

These are the people who suspend themselves from a bridge or some other high place to do their job.

Window cleaners who slowly lower themselves down the side of a skyscraper to clean the windows are rope access technicians.

Wind Turbine Repair

Rope access technicians aren’t just limited to bridges and skyscrapers though.

With the boom of renewable energy that is happening at the moment, there’s never been a better time to become a rope access technician so that you can find yourself dangling from the fins of a giant wind turbine.

Rescue worker

While rappelling is just one small part of this job, a rescue worker does need to know how to safely rappel into and out of dangerous situations.

They also need to know how to rappel an injured hiker or climber, in situations where they may not already know how to rappel.

This is just a sampling of all the jobs out there that require a rappelling certification.

There are many more jobs out there that you can use your rappelling certification to apply for, but listing out every single one of them would take too long for me to write, and also too long for anyone to be interested read.

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