Adventure travel jobs come in many varieties, from becoming a hiking guide to planning adventure vacations for tourists. Mountain bike guides can travel the world and show tourists the best trails and the techniques to ride them; professional hiking guides can do the same. Adventure travel jobs may include piloting a helicopter into the mountains to drop off skiers, or leading those skiers down the slopes as a ski guide. Climbing guides can also lead tourists up the best climbs while teaching the proper safety precautions and climbing techniques. Other jobs, including guide training, backcountry medicine training, and search and rescue, are also included in the category of adventure travel jobs.
Many adventure travel jobs do not pay particularly well, but they allow a person to travel the country or the world to participate in exhilarating experiences he or she would never have at home. Some photographers, for example, get to see parts of the world most will only read about in magazines. The photographer must capture current events, the local flavor and day to day life of a location, and other specific subjects according to the assignment. A travel photography job may put a photographer in direct danger — such as photographing a war zone — or it may land the photographer on a tropical island to capture stunning sunsets and indigenous people. Pay will vary from assignment to assignment, and some people are able to make a comfortable living off their earnings; others may do it for the experience rather than the pay, which may or may not be very lucrative.
Guiding is perhaps the most common of the adventure travel jobs. Guides are not only responsible for the safety and well-being of their clients, but they are also responsible for educating clients about the sport in which they are participating, the environmental impacts surrounding them, and the local customs, history, and background information that can give the client a better understanding of their surroundings. A guide is a jack of all trades who must be ready for all situations, including emergency situations. Most guides are certified in first aid and CPR, as well as backcountry rescue and medicine.
Other adventure travel jobs may include working as part of a ship crew that travels the world, or working as a skills instructor for any variety of adventure sports or activities, including surfing, skiing, skydiving, cycling, wilderness survival, search and rescue, mountain climbing and guiding, or any other adventure sport in which one can specialize.