Dude Wrangler

Guide clients on horseback-riding excursions.
picture of Dude Wrangler

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$17,000 – $56,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Dude Wranglers do?

As a Dude Wrangler, you help guests at a vacation ranch through various activities, making sure they’re having a good time. This often means helping them get set up for horseback rides.

Dude Wranglers pick a path based on the guests’ preferences and levels of experience. Next, a Dude Wrangler selects the right horse for each guest, saddles it up, and makes sure each rider feels safe and secure aboard their mount. Then you, the Dude Wrangler, sets out onto the trail.

If your group plans to go out on a longer ride, say two or three days, then you need to set up extra provisions on pack animals. You’re also in charge of driving these animals and keeping them on track. Making camp in a secure, comfortable location is also your responsibility, though the guests will necessarily help set up their own tents. Think of yourself as the experienced Cowboy or Cowgirl in all those Western movies — the one who helps the settlers or city folk make it through the wilderness.

Hours and conditions for this job are always changing. Sometimes, you spend days on the trail, sleep out there overnight, and return to camp worn out. Other days, you spend your time teaching guests basic riding skills and leading them in activities around the ranch, ending the day in your own bed. In all of these situations, you need to communicate well with your fellow Wranglers, bosses, and guests.

Providing great customer service is key to ensuring return business. Some Dude Wranglers are employed seasonally at camps during the spring/summer only. In warmer parts of the country, ranches may be open year round.

Should I be a Dude Wrangler?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • Also known as: Cowgirl

    How to become a Dude Wrangler

    Most Dude Wranglers have an Associate's degree or a Certificate. Chart?chd=s:z9rsea&chl=no+college+%2833%25%29|certificate+%2840%25%29|associate%27s+%2811%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2812%25%29|master%27s+%283%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,33,40
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