Whitewater Guide Employment

Whitewater guide employment is an important consideration professionally and personally. It is an opportunity for gaining personal skills in the outdoors that is useful for the rest of your life.

Rafting Guide Job Description

Job Summary:

Serve as a whitewater rafting guide on both paddle and oar framed rafts. Guides will run full-day and half-day river trips mainly on the Alberton Gorge of the Clark Fork River (30 min outside Missoula) and Blackfoot rivers surrounding Missoula, MT. Guides’ primary responsibility is to deal directly with our guests and seek to provide the best possible guest vacation experience. Guides are part of a summer bustling company that emphasizes quality service, teamwork, and a fun outdoor working environment.

Whitewater Guide Employment Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Successful completion of Guide School with Adventure Missoula
  • Safely run full-day and half-day whitewater and scenic trips on the roaring Clark Fork River. Captain both paddle and oar frame rafts on a variety of levels of rapids
  • Maintain high performance standards with a good sense of humor and cooperative attitude when dealing with both co-workers and guests.
  • Communicate well with lead guide, owners, and co-workers.
  • Learn about the natural environment and history of the area and share the knowledge with guests.
  • Carry out pre and post trip duties, safe gear management
  • Pack coolers and food for trips, serve food to guests on full day trips

Performance Standards Evaluated Pre-Hire:

Employment is contingent on whether the owner is confident in a person’s ability to safely take customers on river trips. Guides must be able to graduate and successfully complete a Guide School class. Potential employees are evaluated during these experiences on their thoroughness in performing duties independently, retaining a pleasant attitude, ability to read water and hazards, ability to handle gear and rig boats complete and safe, demonstrating dependability, punctuality, personal initiative, flexibility, mature judgment, willingness to learn, and ability to be a team player. Guides need to be able to navigate whitewater with good communication with guests on paddle and oar frame rafts. Guide School is an available opportunity each spring for approved, interviewed, potential new guides prior to the company accepting them as paid employees. It is imperative that potential employees are able to flip a raft and pull themselves back into the boat and carry out other safety performances prior to taking paying customers. Potential employees must be able to lift 60-80lbs, walk over and on rocks, and be in optimum physical condition for safety reasons. Employees must also meet the following qualifications below.

Pre-Hire Professional Guide School:

Adventure Missoula believes that anyone with the right mindset and skills practice could become an exceptional guide. There are times when potential guides realize the responsibility level isn’t a good fit for them. This is why Guide Schools exist and are offered by our company. This pre-hire Guide School gives the company and the potential employee river experiences to make sure guiding is a good fit for them. Some potential hires are quick learners, others may take more time. Successful completion is individual. It is important to us that potential employees practice and prove they can competently bring guests down whitewater and safely stow and care for equipment and gear. Our company offers potential employees whom have been interviewed and would like to join our team, a Guide School class prior to hire. After successful completion and approval by staff, a hire is officially made when an individual has met a safety and river knowledge level appropriate to the job. At that time, paid river trips begin.

General Qualifications:

Interview with owner and accepted as potential guide for company

Must be at least 18 years old

Clean driving record and valid drivers license

Must be willing to travel and work on all of the river sections offered by Adventure Missoula for the summer and must have a way of communication when away from the office (cell phone). 

Must have a professional attitude and be willing to learn and accept new ideas. Must be able to work long hours and not be subject to burnout and moodiness. Must work well under pressure, in inclement weather, and be a team player with grit and perseverance.

Basic CPR/First Aid and/or Wilderness First Responder Certs

Swift Water Rescue Technician Certification: Local options: Swiftwater Safety Institute, High Flow Rescue, or Montana Rescue

Completion and graduation of Adventure Missoula Guide School (First year guides only: 3 weekends each May, TBD river practice, pre-employment)

Hired guides will need:

Purchase various gear: type III lifejacket, river knife, river whistle, good water shoes, cold weather gear if desired (wetsuit or equivalent); purchases may be made through our pro deals upon official hire.

Fish Game and Parks River Guide License, $100 for the season.

Benefits of working for us:

  • You will get to enjoy the outdoors EVERY DAY you work and go rafting
  • We’re located at the put-in for the Alberton Gorge with private parking
  • Pro deals, river navigation life skill, gear care and management knowledge from Guide School
  • You will have the opportunity to meet great people from faraway places.
  • The opportunity to work for a small integrated company with room to grow and develop into other roles
  • Surround yourself with active healthy wilderness-minded co-workers
  • Pay is dependent on experience plus customer tips (averages 3-6K per season)

Applicants email resume, cover letter, and 3 references to: adventuremissoula@gmail.com

View more information at: www.adventuremissoula.com