Office/Department: Outdoor Program
Supervisor: OP Director
Department Head: OP Program Director
Starting Wage: Minimum Wage + $0.25 for returning employees


Climbing instructors must teach at least one weekly class (1.5 hrs/wk with another instructor) or clinic (1-3 hrs/wk usually by self) lasting. A climbing instructor’s goal is to teach climbing skills and identifying/managing inherent risk. Beginning climbing instructors teach top-rope climbing, basic knots, basic equipment, sport anchors, and sometimes rappelling/cleaning anchors and leading.  Intermediate climbing instructors teach lead climbing and belaying, building and cleaning sport anchors and multi-pitch climbing. Outdoor climbing instructors will usually lead 1-2 SSRA trips per semester, and are qualified to lead OP climbing trips (speak to Outdoor Program Assistant Director)

All Climbing Center Staff will hold the following qualifications

Full-time student

Have and maintain good academic standing

Current CPR, AED and First Aid Certifications

Top Rope Climb and Belay certification at the Climbing Center

Abile to work with others where safety is of utmost concern

Abile to cope with diversified responsibility

Project a positive and professional image

Function on the job with limited supervision

Willingness to commit to the position for the semester

Will find an authorized substitute for a shift if they cannot work. Failure to work a shift or find a replacement will result in loss of pro-purchase privileges and could result in loss of job.

Familiarity with the Outdoor Program and Climbing Center preferred

Principal Responsibilities

-       Be ready to start class on time (usually requires arriving about 15 minutes in advance to prepare) and clean up your materials when finished.

-       Be confident in your teaching so students trust the material.

-       Track individual students’ abilities and the class average so you can present appropriate material.

-       Present interesting, fun, and innovative lesson plans. Bring in pictures, readings, and stories to make climbing become alive and real to your students.

-       Enforce the posted rules for the climbing wall.

-       In general, keep the Climbing Center organized

-       Record your class attendance and update your curriculum checklist (located in your manila folder in the black box).

-       At the end of the semester, give students class evaluations.

Required Knowledge, Skills and Training

All Instructors

-       Current First Aid and CPR certification

-       Effectively, accurately, and enthusiastically teach all elements of SSRA climbing classes

-       Establish a rapport with students.

-       Work with and constructively supervise peers.

-       Comfortably lead 5.9 or harder sport routes

Indoor Instructors

-       Successfully pass CWI (Climbing Wall Instructor) Course OR Advanced Climbing Course

Outdoor Instructors

-       Successfully pass Advanced Climbing OR CWI with Outdoor Training (one weekend training with LIT position on a trip)

-       Whitman van driver certification.

-       Knowledge of local climbing areas (Vantage and Spring Mountain at least)


  • All staff training at the start of each semester.
  • Monthly meetings for all climbing staff.

Staff Application

Whitman College Climbing Center Staff General Application

Copy and paste application into a document, complete and return completed form to:

Brien Sheedy Outdoor Program Director (Reid Campus Center Room 209)

What position(s) are you applying for?

  Desk Staff

  Indoor Instructor

  Outdoor Instructor

  Wall Technician

  Crank Organizer

  Climbing Center Manager

  Climbing Center Equipment Manager


Applicant Name:____________________

Application Date:___________________ Student ID number:_____________________________

Birthdate: _________________________ Email:_______________________________________

Phone:____________________________ Year in School:________________________________

Local Address:______________________ Home Address:_______________________________

City, State Zip:______________________ City, State Zip:_______________________________


Have you held a position at Whitman before? Yes      No

Are you a Washington State resident?              Yes      No

Are you on work study?                                  Yes      No


Please answer the following questions electronically or on a separate sheet of paper.

  1. Current First Aid Certifications: ___________________________________________

(First Aid, CPR, WFR, etc.)

  1. SSRA Climbing classes you have completed or are enrolled in:

Beginning Climbing 138

Intermediate Climbing 238

Climbing Wall Instructor (CWI) 248

Advanced Climbing Systems 387

Improvised Rock Rescue 338

  1. Current Climbing Center Certifications:

Top Rope Climbing and Belay

Lead Climb and Belay

Boulder Route Setter

Vertical Route Setter

  1. Have you taken Whitman’s defensive driving training?
  2. List related certifications (i.e. AMGA SPI), formal training, or other qualifications applicable to this position.
  3. Why should we hire you for this position? What sets you apart from other qualified applicants?
  4. Work Availability

Desired number of hours per week: ______

Can you work a weekend shift? (Friday 12-6, Saturday 2-6, and Sunday 2-6): ______

  1. Other comments:


  1. List previous applicable work experience, paid or volunteer:


Position                                                Employer                     Dates employed



Supervisor’s Name                              Phone                          Reason for leaving



Position                                                Employer                     Dates employed



Supervisor’s Name                              Phone                          Reason for leaving



Position                                                Employer                     Dates employed



Supervisor’s Name                              Phone                          Reason for leaving


Please submit a resume including your technical skills and photocopies of certifications.

Outdoor Climbing Instructor Applicants: Include a climbing log detailing your outdoor leads with the following information: date, location, route name, rating, # of pitches, sport vs. trad . You must have at least twenty 5.8 or harder leads to become an outdoor instructor.