Raft Guide School

Become a professional raft guide at the largest man-made whitewater facility in the world. From the classroom to the river, our top-notch instructors teach all of the necessary skills expected of a professional raft guide – no prior experience is necessary.

The U.S. National Whitewater Center (USNWC) is seeking full and part-time, seasonal Raft Guides. Top graduates of Guide School will be given the opportunity to advance into the USNWC’s qualifying check-out process. Upon qualification, a fun, physical, and customer-interactive job awaits.

Attending guide school does not guarantee a job at the USNWC. For more information, please see the Raft Guide School FAQ.

Course Information:

  • Duration:  5 days
  • Hours:  9:00am-6:00pm (Orientation hours are listed in conjunction with course dates)
  • Price:  $175

Tuition reimbursement is available for Guide School graduates who are hired by the USNWC and complete the season in good standing with the USNWC Management.


  • You must be at least 18 years of age or 17 and a graduating senior in high school
  • Adequate level of physical fitness, swimming capability, and comfort in and around moving water

Please note, a current First Aid, CPR & AED Certification is not a prerequisite for Guide School, but is required for active employment – courses are offered by the USNWC.


Guide School has a 1 to 6 instructor to student ratio, ensuring the quality of instruction needed to succeed as a professional raft guide. There are limited spaces available, so be sure to sign up early to secure a spot.

Please use the links below to register online or call Guest Services at 704.391.3900.

2018 Guide School:


Orientations are scheduled on Friday evenings prior to the beginning of each course from 6:00pm-8:00pm. The course will take place on Saturdays and Sundays over a period of three weeks.

Guide School F –

Orientation Friday 4/27; Course Saturday 4/28 & Sunday 4/29, Saturday 5/5 & Sunday 5/6, Sat 5/12

Guide School G –

Orientation Friday 5/11; Course Saturday 5/12 & Sunday 5/13, Saturday 5/19 & Sunday 5/20, Sat 5/26


Orientations are scheduled on Sunday evenings prior to the beginning of each course from 6:00pm-8:00pm. The course will last one full week – Monday through Friday.

Guide School E –

Orientation Sunday 4/1; Course Monday 4/2 – Friday 4/6

Guide School H –

Orientation Sunday 5/13; Course Monday 5/14 – Friday 5/18

Guide School I –

Orientation Sunday 5/20; Course Monday 5/21 – Friday 5/25

Guide School J –

Orientation Sunday 6/3; Course Monday 6/4 – Friday 6/8

Guide School K –

Orientation Sunday 6/10; Course Monday 6/11 – Friday 6/15

Guide School L –

Orientation Sunday 6/17; Course Monday 6/18 – Friday 6/22

Guide School M –

Orientation Sunday 7/8; Course Monday 7/9 – Friday 7/13

Guide School N –

Orientation Sunday 7/15; Course Monday 7/16 – Friday 7/20

Guide School O –

Orientation Sunday 7/22; Course Monday 7/23 – Friday 7/27