White Water Rafting Guide

Paddle through rapids with clients.
picture of White Water Rafting Guide

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$17,000 – $56,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do White Water Rafting Guides do?

If you can blast down a river, paddle through rapids, and right a flipped boat, all while keeping a smile on your face, the job of a White Water Rafting Guide might be perfect for you. White Water Rafting Guides lead groups of people on day or overnight trips from one end of a river to the other. Your goal as a White Water Rafting Guide is to keep people safe and entertained as they make their way down the river.

One of the biggest perks of this job is that it’s a lot of fun. The groups you lead can be anything from a bachelorette party to a family having a reunion to couples on vacation. The point: people go white water rafting for fun, so you might tell jokes, do tricks with the boat, or tell stories—anything to make sure everyone enjoys their day.

Even though it’s fun, you should know that your biggest responsibility is to keep everyone safe. You give directions on which way to paddle, instruct on what to do if the boat flips, and teach how to correctly wear the safety gear.

This job is seasonal. You might work nonstop during the summer, but as soon as the weather gets cold and the water dries up, you’ll need a secondary job to turn to. Also, though you can make fairly good money guiding, a big part of your salary comes from tips. This means you shouldn’t expect to make tons during your first few seasons since new guides tend to get smaller trips than more senior ones.

Should I be a White Water Rafting Guide?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.

  • Also known as: Guide, Hunting and Fishing, Raft Guide, Whitewater River Guide

    How to Become a
    White Water Rafting Guide

    Most White Water Rafting Guides 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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