Outdoor Industry

The outdoor industry is comprised of companies that promote exploration in the outdoors and/or distribute/manufacture outdoor apparel, gear, equipment, accessories, and footwear for outdoor activities. These include climbing, skiing, mountaineering, camping, backpacking, cycling, water and paddle sports, hunting and shooting, fishing, rescue, fitness, adventure travel, and action sports/lifestyle.

Explore Careers


Advertising and marketing professionals in the outdoor industry support the business plans of outdoor industry companies by marketing outdoor gear and products, with an emphasis on the performance and features of specific equipment.


Those working in design in the outdoor industry create and test products in the lab and in the field before they are brought to market. This includes the physical design of the product as well as the materials that make up the product.

Leadership + Guiding

Those working as outdoor leaders (also called "guides") lead groups of individuals into the wilderness. These leaders/guides must embody high levels of responsibility, crisis management, and communication skills. Leaders generally need Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness First Responder certifications, as well as CPR.

Product Management

Product managers are responsible for the success of products and product lines. They are involved in the design process, improving the performance of existing products, and developing and executing product line plans.


The retail floor is another great entry point into the outdoor industry. Many brands recruit for other roles within their corporate offices from their retail floors.


A sales role may be a strong entry point for many wanting to get into this industry. This may include ticket sales for events and venues for sporting events, as well as the sale of products and gear to organizations that use them, as well as to retail chains.


Service and support professionals in this space work with consumers to ensure their gear is performing at an optimal level, and service, maintain, and repair gear.


Press and Podcasts

https://audioboom.com/channels/5020029 (Outdoor Dream Jobs Podcast)

https://outdoorindustry.org/who-we-are/press-room/ (OIA Press Room)

Snews https://www.snewsnet.com/

Industry Network

Malakye https://www.malakye.com/ (Job board/social network for the outdoor industry)


The outdoor industry may attract a broad group of majors including from Sciences and Social Sciences, English, Business, Philosophy, anything!

For someone interested in the Outdoor Industry, it is important to get as much experience outdoors as possible whether that's with classes that go into the field, trips with outdoor education, work experience guiding or other outdoor education jobs, summer camps, etc. even personal outdoor trips are included!

Many companies in the Outdoor Industry value Sustainability and Environmental Justice. It may be helpful to be knowledgeable in these subjects as well. After all, if there aren't any outdoor wild places to visit, there also won't be an outdoor industry!

Networking is important to this field, just like any other. Next time you go skiing or climbing or whatever it is you enjoy doing, talk to the other people who are enjoying the same activities. Attend industry events and trade shows and talk to everyone there too!

Internships in the industry can help round out your resume as well. Some companies advertise their internship programs on their websites, other companies you may have to contact directly to inquire. If there's a specific company you'd like to work for there is no harm in reaching out and seeing if they take interns, or would be willing to take on their first one!

Many brands recruit from the retail floor for corporate jobs and stores are the best entry-point for many people looking to get into the industry

Report an issue - Last updated: 03/21/2023