Wildwater River Operations and Raft Guide Jobs

Wildwater Employment Information

Wildwater, the oldest outfitter on the Chattooga River and first commercial rafting company in the Southeast, came into existence in June of 1971.  Jim and Jeanette Greiner pioneered the company, along with the help of their four children.  Today, the company has grown beyond the boundaries of the Chattooga River area to include the Ocoee, Nantahala, Pigeon and Asheville Adventure Center.

In addition to whitewater rafting, Wildwater offers zipline canopy tours, kayak clinics, lake kayak touring, Raft & Rail© excursion, high ropes course, climbing walls, team-building and a variety of lodging facilities- Falling Waters at the Nantahala and multiple options at our Chattooga location. Wildwater hires for all river operations jobs, including raft guides, as well as all central administration positions. If you are interested in a job on any of our Zipline Canopy Tours, please visit Zipline Canopy Tour Employment Information.

Employment Agreement

Wildwater’s season, depending on location, traditionally begins March and operates until November.

Wildwater offers competitive wages and benefits.  Most positions available are entry-level; however, from time to time management positions come available.

Because of the nature of seasonal employment, it is difficult to guarantee full-time work to anyone, particularly in the Spring and Fall.  We do, however make commitments for employment periods.  These agreements outline a period of full-time work we will offer and a commitment from the employee on their dates of availability.  July and August are our peak season.  You may be asked to work six days a week and extra days off are not possible during these busy times.  We work so that our Guests can play!


Wildwater invites you to consider the challenge of working in an outdoor environment as part of a team.  We offer many opportunities to learn new skills and work in a variety of settings.  Our positions require professionalism and commitment, but offer fun and recreation, working with people with similar interests, lifetime friendships, personal achievements and a valuable work experience.

Some of our benefits include:

  • Unlimited trips and tours for Team members based on availability.
  • Two complimentary trips annually for family or friends.
  • 40% discount on Wildwater lodging for employees and family.
  • Free training (Guide school does have related costs).
  • Free or reduced cost Team Clothing.
  • Free Team Housing based on availability.
  • Summer Meal plan at the Chattooga.
  • Discounts in each Wildwater location’s retail store.
  • Opportunities for pro-purchases on outdoor equipment/clothing.
  • Steady work in season.
  • Flexibility in scheduling, except during busiest times.
  • Continued training and skill development in the recreation industry.
  • Leadership opportunities.

Drug/Alcohol Free Workplace

Wildwater is committed to a safe environment for its Team Members and Guests.  Pre-employment and random drug/alcohol testing is required for CDL drivers.  Post-accident drug/alcohol testing is required of all employees filing a workman’s compensation claim.  Ocoee river guides may be subject to post-accident drug/alcohol testing for a Guest injury on the river.  Any employee allowing drugs or alcohol to effect their work will be terminated.

Personal Appearance

A professional and well-groomed appearance is an essential ingredient in Wildwater’s success.  On the river, Wildwater requires green PFD’s and black shorts.  We rely on your good judgement and commitment to Wildwater to accept as a basic condition of employment that you will keep your appearance in line with company standards.  Your conduct on the job, after hours, and in the community is a reflection of you and of Wildwater.  Please plan to respect yourself, your peers and Wildwater.

Pet Policy

In consideration of and safety for our Guests, employees and your pets, pets are NOT allowed on Wildwater property unattended or in Wildwater housing.  If you must bring your pet with you, please make other housing arrangements.  Wildwater’s property has no housing facilities for your pets.


Varying types of housing, including bunkhouses and dorm style rooms, are available at each of Wildwater’s River Locations.  All employees using Wildwater housing are required to participate in a maintenance and cleaning program for living areas.  For a fee, meal plan is available at the Chattooga, while kitchen facilities are provided for your convenience at the Nantahala, Ocoee and Pigeon.  If you live on campus at our Chattooga location you are required to be on the meal plan.

Documents Needed

Upon arrival for employment at Wildwater be prepared to produce a valid DRIVER’S LICENSE and one of the following documents to complete the employment process.  Passport, U.S. Social Security Card, Birth Certificate.

Non U.S. citizens must have a valid U.S. work permit.

Wildwater Job Descriptions and Qualifications

Team Members are expected to be knowledgeable on all aspects of Wildwater including information on all of our facilities and services.  Wildwater prides itself on having employees with outgoing and friendly personalities.  Our mission is to provide high quality experiences to our Guests, if you are more focused on yourself than working with a team to provide great experiences seek employment elsewhere.  Team members are expected to be reliable and on time; hours are often not 9-5, and we operate 7 days per week.

Reservations Personnel

You will be the first person with whom our Guests speak, and often, the deciding factor as to which outfitter the Guests will choose.

  • Fielding general information calls and inquiries regarding all aspects of Wildwater’s adventures and areas in which we provide services.
  • Selling of all Wildwater activities & lodging.
  • Management of online reservations & email correspondence.
  • Must maintain a professional manner and work well under pressure, remain calm, enthusiastic and be flexible.
  • Must be organized, detail-oriented and possess good communication skills.
  • Use computers to check availability and record reservations accurately.
  • Driving as needed for post office runs, bank runs and other errands as needed.
Employment Application

Front Desk/Retail Management

You are the first smiling face with whom our guests will come in contact.  A positive attitude is a must!  This is a fun and often fast-paced job requiring someone who is detail oriented and works well under pressure.

  • A genuine smile, outgoing and friendly personality with good communications skills.
  • Honest, dependable and prompt.
  • Ability to merchandise, display stock, maintain store appearance and track inventory.
  • Ability to answer guest questions about all of Wildwater’s activities.
  • Ability to use computers to check availability and record reservations accurately.
  • Accurately complete end of day reports.
  • Driving as needed for post office runs, bank runs and other errands as needed.
Employment Application


You have the largest impact on our Guests’ experience.  While this job is both fun and rewarding, it is also physically demanding- guides must be in excellent physical condition.  Training is unpaid but provided at no cost.  Wildwater operates a Guide School program in the spring for training potential employees (fee for food, supplies, transport to the various rivers & required river gear).

  • 10 days minimum training on the river without pay
  • Safety awareness and practices are essential.
  • Capacity to work outdoors in all types of weather.
  • Outgoing personality, friendly and able to assist all types of Guests.
  • Ability to work well under pressure and think quickly in emergencies.
  • Must have basic First Aid and CPR (equivalent or better – courses often available).
  • Second year guides and Trip Leaders are required to have Advanced First Aid (equivalent or better).
  • .Ongoing training and training of others is expected.
Employment Application

Trip Leaders

These individuals are more than just guides- experience, commitment to excellence and willingness to accept responsibility is expected.  The primary responsibility of trip leading is to organize and conduct trips in a manner that adheres to the quality service and safety standards set forth by Wildwater.

  • Must maintain a professional manner and be able to make decisions under pressure.
  • Ability to speak clearly to groups and individuals.
  • Mature, trustworthy and organized.
  • Ability to delegate duties.
  • Assist in training new guides.
  • Must have Advanced First Aid and CPR (equivalent or better – classes often available).
  • Driving as needed for overnighters, shuttles and other errands as needed.
Employment Application

Transportation Drivers

 Drive shuttle vehicles to and from the river and other destinations.  Maintain vehicles in a neat and clean manner.  Must have a valid CDL with airbrake and passenger endorsements.

  • Must provide a DOT driving record annually.
  • DOT regulations require a physical exam & drug testing of all qualified applicants.
  • Outgoing personality, friendly and enjoy talking with all types of Guests.
  • Must be 25 years old to transport drive buses.
Employment Application

Food Service

You will be preparing and serving Guest and employee meals.  Responsibilities vary widely from one location to another.  Familiar with safe food handling techniques and preparations is a must.

  • Ability to budget and keep good expense records.
  • Ability to order food and supplies as needed.
  • Ability to work early/late hours.
  • Outgoing, friendly personality, with the ability to work with the Guest and Team Members under pressure and routine situations.
  • Ability to accurately operate a cash register at some locations.
  • Previous experience helpful.
  • Driving as needed for grocery store runs, bank runs, cookouts and other errands as needed.
Employment Application


You are the glue that holds Wildwater together.Supervise and lead staff in daily responsibilities.

  • Must be detail-oriented and possess good communication skills.
  • Outgoing, friendly personality, with the ability to work with the Guest and your Team Members under pressure and routine situations.
  • Must be the first to always demonstrate commitment to our Guests Experiences.
  • Capable of accurate record keeping, managing finances, effectively scheduling employees to meet a changing public demand.
  • Must maintain a professional manner and work well under pressure, remain calm and flexible.
  • Ability to work early/late hours.
  • Ability to delegate duties.
  • Previous managerial experience helpful.
  • Driving as needed for post office runs, bank runs, shuttles, store runs and other errands as needed.

Thank you for your interest in becoming part of our Team, we are looking forward to reviewing your application.

Employment Application