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.

2019 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 A

Orientation Friday 3/1; Course Saturday 3/2 & Sunday 3/3, Saturday 3/9 & Sunday 3/10, and Saturday 3/16

Guide School E

Orientation Friday 3/29; Course Saturday 3/30 & Sunday 3/31, Saturday 4/6 & Sunday 4/7, and Saturday 4/13

Guide School G

Orientation Friday 5/3; Course Saturday 5/4 & Sunday 5/5, Saturday 5/11 & Sunday 5/12, and Saturday 5/18

Guide School J

Orientation Friday 5/31; Course Saturday 6/1 & Sunday 6/2, Saturday 6/8 & Sunday 6/9, and Saturday 6/15

Guide School N

Orientation Friday 7/12; Course Saturday 7/13 & Sunday 7/14, Saturday 7/20 & Sunday 7/21, and Saturday 7/27


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 B

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

Guide School C

Orientation Sunday 3/10; Course Monday 3/11 – Friday 3/15

Guide School D

Orientation Sunday 3/17; Course Monday 3/18 – Friday 3/22

Guide School F

Orientation Sunday 4/14; Course Monday 4/15 – Friday 4/19

Guide School H

Orientation Sunday 5/12; Course Monday 5/13 – Friday 5/17

Guide School I

Orientation Sunday 5/19; Course Monday 5/20 – Friday 5/24

Guide School K

Orientation Sunday 6/9; Course Monday 6/10 – Friday 6/14

Guide School L

Orientation Sunday 6/16; Course Monday 6/17 – Friday 6/21

Guide School M

Orientation Sunday 7/7; Course Monday 7/8 – Friday 7/12

Guide School O

Orientation Sunday 7/14; Course Monday 7/15 – Friday 7/19

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U.S. National Whitewater Center | 5000 Whitewater Center Parkway | Charlotte, NC 28214 | 704.391.3900 | info@usnwc.org