Becoming a River Guide: How to Find your Dream Job
Who wouldn’t want to become a river rafting guide? After all, there are no cubicles, no ringing phones and no demanding emails. Instead, days are spent outside in the sunshine, meandering down scenic rivers and keeping calm during absolute chaos. Here’s how you, too, can become a river guide.
Complete a certified training course, such as Wilderness First Responder, CPR or Swift Water Rescue. These certifications will set you apart from the crowd. In addition, get some experience with leading groups.
Strengthen your body, energy and stamina
If you don’t have a boat, try a rowing machine. Concentrate on beefing up your arms, shoulders, core and cardio. Take up running.
Become immersed in a river near you
Find a river and learn about it inside and out. This means floating it, swimming it, fishing it and reading all about it. Talk to lots of residents and experience the river firsthand.
Experience the river with local guides
Book a rafting trip with experienced guides. Your knowledge will come from them. Inquire about the lifestyle, rapids and guests. Ask about working there and get an application.
Learn to have a positive attitude—always
Some days are long and demanding. Other days will be easy and relaxing. No matter what is happening, always wear a smile and pack a good attitude. Successful guides are easy-going, friendly individuals with a focus on helping their guests have a great experience.
Follow this advice if you think being a river guide is for you. Remember to be flexible and to make yourself available. Do not expect to be leading large expeditions week one, two or even three. But over time, your energy and positive attitude will shine through. And you will be working the rivers, while also earning a paycheck.