Huge thanks to Karen Quinn for the information in our latest Jobs of the Wild article on working with the expedition company, World Challenge.

If you are a qualified Summer Mountain Leader, have experience working with young people and have travelled for at least a month in either Central/South America, Africa or South East/Central Asia then a rewarding and life changing job as expedition leader could be yours. Read on for all the info on working for World Challenge.

World Challenge

Founded in 1987, World Challenge is one of the UK’s leading expedition companies, offering challenging, educational adventures for schools and students to 40 worldwide destinations. The company’s ethos is driven by people working hard to achieve a common goal – to offer the best experience for young people.

Working for World Challenge provides an incredible opportunity to travel the world. As well as expedition staff, the company also employs people in various administrative, logistical and marketing capacities.

Job Description

Expedition Leader: Leading Challengers through incredible experiences in amazing destinations across the world.


  • Competitive pay scale (for detailed PDF download see Useful Links below).
  • From £55 to £85 per day dependant on the length of time you have spent on expeditions with the company
  • Bonus daily rates for additional Leader qualifications
  • Various expenses paid including visas, travel and subsistence
  • Staff discount at select outdoor outlets
  • Additional benefits subject to length of service e.g uniform subsidy etc


Minimum qualification – Qualified Summer Mountain Leader (minimum) – more information on how to gain this qualification can be found at Mountain Training.

Equivalent military and overseas qualifications will also be considered.

Youth work experience – It is essential that leaders have proven experience working with young people, ideally aged between 13-18, and have a working knowledge of youth development in an outdoor setting. We ask for a minimum of 8-10 weeks of active youth work experience to include some form of residential responsibility.

Travel experience – A minimum of one month’s personal travel experience in Central/South America, Africa or South East/Central Asia. Many applicants will have travelled extensively in these regions, which allows them a greater choice of expedition at placement.

Character Traits

  • Love of mountaineering
  • Love of travelling
  • Ability to motivate and encourage young people to get out there and explore the world


If you meet the minimum prerequisites (see Qualifications, above) you can apply for invitation to attend a 4-day Potential Leader Course. Following relevant feedback after the course you may be offered a placement on Expedition.

Top Tips for Interview

If you meet the prerequisites and enjoy working and motivating young people then just be yourself on the Leader Course.

Top Tip for Doing the Job

Allow Challengers the freedom to explore and learn but always ensure that their safety and security is your priority.


  • You get to see the World
  • Working with highly motivated young people
  • Working for a very professional and highly respected organisation.



Working Hours

You can apply to lead short or long haul expeditions usually ranging from 10-30 days in duration.


You can choose to lead expeditions to over 40 worldwide destinations in Europe, Africa, Continental Asia, Latin America and South-East Asia.

Anything Else to Consider?

World Challenge is a highly reputable company renowned for its huge emphasis on employee happiness and job satisfaction including a wide support network for staff and students alike. Safety and logistics are of vital importance and staff are able to attend conferences, induction expeditions, socials, discovery days and receive many perks of the job. You are also encouraged to get to know all aspects of the organisation in order to gain the most from the experience.

Why I Love the Job

Karen loves leading World Challenge expeditions as she has travelled with some incredible young people and made lifelong friends.
“It gave me the opportunity to travel to places I would normally never have had the chance to experience.”hillside-campsite-with-donkeys-and-tents-in-front-of-snow-capped-mountain-backdrop-full-size

Useful Links

World Challenge company

World Challenge Expedition Leader pay scale PDF

World Challenge jobs

To browse ALL our outdoor jobs in one place click on Jobs of the Wild
If you know anyone who’d like to know about working with World Challenge please share this post with them via Facebook, email or Twitter.
Huge thanks to my brother-in-law Jon Whatley for the use of his stunning photo of the Indian Himalayas, taken on a World Challenge expedition he led. Surely a prize winner?