Program Instructor

Join our Team!

The Program Instructor is an exciting position at North Cascades Institute that teaches, leads and supports youth, adult, and family programs at the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center for a ten-month period, from mid-February to mid-December.


On the trail with Mountain School students

Do you want to ...

... work inside one of the wildest, most dramatic national parks in the country surrounded by trails, peaks, lakes, streams, old-growth forests and the mighty Skagit River?

... engage people of all ages from across the country in a wide variety of environmental education settings, topics and programs?

... collaborate with a team of coworkers dedicated to environmental awareness, connection, stewardship and education?

We invite YOU to come work with us in one of the most beautiful places in the country for one of the highest-regarded nonprofit organizations on the West Coast! For ten months, from mid-February through mid-December, you can soak all this in and have the experience of a lifetime.



Leading high schoolers on backcountry camping trips with Youth Leadership Adventures

This position is designed in particular for people who are early in their careers as educators and leaders. Past instructors have appreciated the comprehensive introduction to the broad field of environmental education and outdoor leadership. We are committed to helping you gain the skills you need to empower your career.

Position Location and Description

The work location for the Program Instructor is at the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center located in the heart of the North Cascades National Park on the shore of Diablo Lake.

From February through early-June, Mountain School—an overnight environmental education program for local 5th graders—will be your focus.

In the summer, mid-June thru August, your role will depend on your interest and experience: 

  • You may be engaged in delivering a variety of fun educational programs to guests at the Learning Center. 


In September, Mountain School resumes and continues to mid-December.

Different Kinds of Value


Guiding Big Canoe excursions on Diablo Lake during Family Getaways

When you serve as a Program Instructor at the Institute, there are valuable elements of our compensation package that go beyond your paycheck, including:

  • Paid Time Off: Paid sick leave, paid vacation, nine days of paid holidays and two paid service days.

  • Staff Housing: Subsidized housing is available to staff for rent. Private rooms in shared houses are typically available. In some cases, roommates in shared rooms may be required - with an associated discount to rent. 

  • Staff Meals: When programs are in session, staff can join meals for a small cost. Our meals are nutritious and delicious, and planned to serve a wide variety of dietary needs.


Interpretive activities during summer programs

  • Professional development: Receive the equivalent of about one month professional training over a ten month period. This includes Wilderness First Responder (if not previously certified), Canoe Safety Training, 2.5 weeks of orientation and initial program delivery training, and ongoing program support training during season transitions.

  • Supervisory Support: Receive careful, regular feedback from skilled, experienced supervisors to help you succeed in this and future work.

  • Community: We excel at creating a learning community among our staff. We work together, live together and learn together. It’s not always easy, but we come together to work hard at work worth doing—and to have a lot of fun. It might be a weekend music jam session, wilderness adventures in the epic North Cascades ecosystem, mushroom foraging, animal tracking, a bird identification session, or fishing for salmon on our property where Diobsud Creek joins the Skagit River.

  • Union Representation: This is a bargaining unit position represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, District Lodge 751. All terms and conditions of employment are subject to change in accordance with a collective bargaining agreement.

Over 10 months together, you’ll gain friends, knowledge, skills and new experiences to last a lifetime! Check out our photo album of past Programs Instructors in action.