Canoe Instructor

Teach proper canoe safety, steering and paddling techniques for all ages.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$18,000 – $70,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Canoe Instructors do?

Native Americans used them to paddle down rivers, summer camps consider them a staple, and just recently, the Olympic committee recognized them as something a person could win a gold medal in. What is it? A canoe, of course. This human-powered, long, narrow, open boat is also what a Canoe Instructor spends his or her days in, around, and talking about.

Canoe Instructors find work at summer camps, tourist destinations, and pretty much anywhere there’s a large body of water that someone wants to paddle on. No matter where you work though, your job as a Canoe Instructor is to teach people of all ages how to safely maneuver a canoe on open water.

Most jobs for this position exist at summer camps. Here, you teach kids of all ages proper paddling and safety techniques, and how to care for the canoe. You also show them what to do if the boat flips over in the water, how to steer, and how to paddle correctly so they don’t go against the current. You give detailed instructions and serve as helper if your campers lose control of their boat and need some help.

Some tourist destinations rent out canoes to let their clients see a new city from the water. In these places, your job is to give basic instructions, and explain how to paddle safely and care for the boats.

As you can see, most jobs in this role are seasonal and usually end when winter hits. So don’t plan on doing this year round.

Should I be a Canoe Instructor?

You should have a master's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • How to become a Canoe Instructor

    We recommend at least a Master's degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's. Check out these schools offering Canoe Instructor-related education!
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