Winter Skills Training 2022

Working With Cottonwood Institute

At Cottonwood Institute, we strive to provide a supportive environment where all our staff and instructors can learn, grow, and thrive so our students can do the same.

We aim to have an organizational staff that reflects the communities we work in, and we know that qualified people who bring different insights and influences to our team increase our value as an organization. We highly encourage you to apply to our open positions, even if you don’t meet all of the qualifications. You can also learn more about our commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) here. If you need support navigating certifications or have questions about whether your work experience matches a particular requirement, please reach out to Chelsea at

Core Values

  • Passion: We share enthusiasm and joy for our mission and our programs.
  • Equity & Inclusion: Our commitment to a more just world is woven into everything we do.
  • Collaboration: We build authentic partnerships with the communities we serve.
  • Connection: We value relationships with each other, our community, and the natural world.
  • Compassion: We care deeply about and invest in the growth and wellbeing of our students, families, and staff.

Compensation & Benefits

We are committed to providing a thrive-able wage for our staff, and we reevaluate our compensation structure regularly. Starting in October 2022, we rolled out a new pay structure for our CAP and Field Instructors, which we hope other nonprofits in our industry will adopt as well. Read more about our compensation here. Instructor hourly pay now ranges from $20-$27 per hour depending on experience and certifications.

Important! CI pays for all time directly working with students during field programs, and employees are eligible for overtime at time and a half for more than 12 consecutive hours and for more than 40 hours in a work week.

Cottonwood admin staff and outdoor education instructors. Other perks:

  • Access to industry pro deals
  • Free access to CI gear during non-program hours
  • Paid professional development opportunities and ongoing trainings
  • Mileage reimbursement for personal vehicle trips over 50 miles per day
  • Reimbursement for the cost of Wilderness First Aid after 6 field days worked per year for 2 years
  • Eligibility for Sick Leave benefits in accordance with the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act of Colorado
  • Eligibility for Worker’s Compensation if an instructor is injured while leading a program

Imposter syndrome is real! You do not need to hit all of the qualifications to apply for jobs with us. 

Did you think about applying but ultimately decide against it? Tell us why here so we can create better jobs and job descriptions.

Full-time Staff Openings: No full-time openings at this time.

Outdoor/Environmental Education Instructor Job Openings:

Part-Time Community Adventure Program Instructor: We are hiring an instructor to teach our Community Adventure Program (CAP) at Angevine Middle School in Lafayette. See our job description and apply here.

Part-Time Field Instructors: We are not currently hiring field instructors. See a typical job description and check back later!