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River Rafting Guide Careers

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a river rafting guide. For example, did you know that they make an average of $12.6 an hour? That's $26,204 a year!

What Does a River Rafting Guide Do

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a river rafting guide, we found that a lot of resumes listed 37.2% of river rafting guides included safety procedures, while 17.9% of resumes included first-aid, and 8.2% of resumes included safety rules. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the river rafting guide job title. But what industry to start with? Most river rafting guides actually find jobs in the hospitality and manufacturing industries.

How To Become a River Rafting Guide

If you're interested in becoming a river rafting guide, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 66.4% of river rafting guides have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 4.0% of river rafting guides have master's degrees. Even though most river rafting guides have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a river rafting guide. When we researched the most common majors for a river rafting guide, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or high school diploma degrees. Other degrees that we often see on river rafting guide resumes include associate degree degrees or master's degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a river rafting guide. In fact, many river rafting guide jobs require experience in a role such as internship. Meanwhile, many river rafting guides also have previous career experience in roles such as sales associate or server.

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Average Salary
$26,204
Average Salary
Job Openings
373
Job Openings

Average Salary for a River Rafting Guide

River Rafting Guides in America make an average salary of $26,204 per year or $13 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $40,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $16,000 per year.
Average Salary
$26,204

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Coloma, CA
Salary Range30k - 53k$40k$40,011
Caon City, CO
Salary Range23k - 38k$30k$30,180
Salida, CO
Salary Range23k - 38k$30k$30,135
Idaho Springs, CO
Salary Range23k - 37k$30k$29,735
Eagle, CO
Salary Range23k - 37k$30k$29,642
$23k
$53k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Rafting Guide
Rafting Guide
Independent Whitewater
Independent Whitewater
11/22/2017
11/22/2017
$52,17511/22/2017
$52,175
Rafting Guide
Rafting Guide
Independent Whitewater
Independent Whitewater
11/20/2017
11/20/2017
$26,08811/20/2017
$26,088
Rafting Guide
Rafting Guide
Independent Whitewater
Independent Whitewater
11/08/2017
11/08/2017
$26,08811/08/2017
$26,088
Whitewater Raft Guides
Whitewater Raft Guides
Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation
Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation
01/05/2017
01/05/2017
$18,92901/05/2017
$18,929
Whitewater Raft Guide
Whitewater Raft Guide
ERTT, Inc.
ERTT, Inc.
01/01/2017
01/01/2017
$34,54001/01/2017
$34,540
See More Recent Salaries

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River Rafting Guide Demographics

Gender

male

68.6 %

female

28.6 %

unknown

2.8 %

Ethnicity

White

72.0 %

Hispanic or Latino

11.0 %

Asian

6.8 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

52.3 %

French

15.9 %

German

9.1 %
See More Demographics

River Rafting Guide Education

Majors

Business
10.7 %
Biology
9.1 %

Degrees

Bachelors

62.1 %

Certificate

14.8 %

Associate

10.4 %

Top Colleges for River Rafting Guides

1. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

2. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

3. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

4. Yale University

New Haven, CT • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,430
Enrollment
5,963

5. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

6. Brown University

Providence, RI • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,466
Enrollment
6,752

7. University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA • Public

In-State Tuition
$17,653
Enrollment
16,405

8. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567

9. University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$13,226
Enrollment
31,568

10. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a River Rafting Guide

Best States For a River Rafting Guide

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a river rafting guide. The best states for people in this position are Hawaii, Alaska, California, and Ohio. River rafting guides make the most in Hawaii with an average salary of $47,908. Whereas in Alaska and California, they would average $40,545 and $39,765, respectively. While river rafting guides would only make an average of $34,471 in Ohio, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Alaska

Total River Rafting Guide Jobs:
7
Highest 10% Earn:
$59,000
Location Quotient:
6.45
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. California

Total River Rafting Guide Jobs:
59
Highest 10% Earn:
$67,000
Location Quotient:
1.55
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Ohio

Total River Rafting Guide Jobs:
15
Highest 10% Earn:
$58,000
Location Quotient:
1.13
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top River Rafting Guide Employers

1. Nantahala Outdoor Center
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$28,324
River Rafting Guides Hired: 
28+
2. USA Raft Adventure Resort
3.8
Avg. Salary: 
$28,556
River Rafting Guides Hired: 
9+
3. Whitewater
3.8
Avg. Salary: 
$29,919
River Rafting Guides Hired: 
8+
4. River & Trail Outfitters
3.3
Avg. Salary: 
$30,877
River Rafting Guides Hired: 
7+
5. River Riders
3.7
Avg. Salary: 
$32,305
River Rafting Guides Hired: 
6+
6. Whitewater Express
3.8
Avg. Salary: 
$29,249
River Rafting Guides Hired: 
5+
Updated October 2, 2020