Careers – REI Co-op Adventure Centers

Our team is comprised of office-based staff working at the field operations headquarters for REI Co-op Experiences, located in Scottsdale, Arizona, the expert facilitators and single-day tour guides that coordinate all the activities offered at REI’s Adventure Centers, plus the multi-day tour guides who operate REI adventure travel trips across North America.

Learn more below.

We pride ourselves in having the best guide staff in the world of outdoor recreation. We welcome both the seasoned working tour leader and the dedicated but inexperienced aspiring guide.

Multi-Day Guides

Currently accepting applications for the 2020 season.

How To Apply: Please email a cover letter and resume to hr@aoa-adventures.com. In your cover letter, provide a few reasons why you are interested and why you think you are a good fit for this position.

Why Be a Guide?

Working as an outdoor adventure guide means long days, hard work, big income swings from month to month, 50-200 days a year away from home, and constantly putting your customer service skills to the test. Adventure guiding also means having some of the most beautiful, iconic destinations as your “office,” and getting the opportunity to take our guests on a once-in-a-lifetime experience, every week. To be successful as a multi-day tour guide at REI you need to be well rounded, never satisfied with good enough, passionate about people, passionate about the outdoors, and ready for every day to offer a new and exciting challenge.

The best guide candidates possess the following qualities.

  • Positive attitude
  • Strong team player
  • Drive to continually improve and not settle for good enough
  • Ability to seek out learning opportunities
  • Ability to work with constructive criticism
  • Thorough, accurate, and timely with all projects and paperwork

Job Requirements

  • Professionalism and dedication to guest satisfaction
  • Drive a 15 passenger van and trailer with guests
  • Excellent outdoor cooking skills; providing 3 meals a day for groups of 4-20 people
  • Lead activities such as hiking or biking daily during a trip
  • Provide for the safety and health of a group of people in the backcountry
  • Work well with an entire team of guides
  • Strong knowledge of the natural and cultural history of the areas we operate
  • Be on call 24/7 for our clients while on a trip
  • Complete tour related paperwork accurately and on time

Employment Requirements:

  • Strong leadership and communication skills with guests of different ages and backgrounds
  • Wilderness First Responder (WFR) and Adult CPR certification (necessary by start date)
  • Food Handlers certification (necessary by start date)
  • Competency in at least two of the following:
    • Hiking
    • Camping
    • Backpacking
    • Road Cycling
    • Mountain Biking
  • Clean driving record
  • Clean background check
  • Willingness to relocate to operational area

Ideal Candidate:

  • Meet all employment requirements
  • Be over 25 (required by our insurance if driving guests)
  • Have 2+ years professional experience in guided adventure travel and/or outdoor education
  • Provide a completed Leave No Trace certification
  • Have expertise in at least one of the locations we operate in
  • Have a College Degree

Job FAQ

Q: What is the pay and benefits like?

A: We pride ourselves on offering one of the best guiding positions around with not only competitive compensation but some great benefits as well.

  • Insurance plans for any guide working above 135 days in field
  • 401(k) contribution
  • WFR recertification after your first year
  • Continuing Education contribution
  • Pro deals
  • The best office views ever!

Q: Can I work seasonally?

A: Absolutely. We hire guides to work in locations across the United States including Yellowstone, Yosemite, Rocky Mountains, Utah and more. Each of these regions has a unique seasonality that allows many of our employees to find the right balance for them. If you’re looking for year-round work, we have that opportunity as well. We offer a wide array of trip itineraries in the American Southwest which are typically busiest from spring through fall, during the winter months.

Q: How many days in the field will I work?

Guides typically work anywhere from 50 to 150 days in the field depending on the location you are working and whether you are seasonal or more of a year round guide. Senior guides can work up to 200 days in the field with year round positions.

Q: Are there any age expectations/requirements?

A: We prefer our guides to be over 25 years of age, since there are driving restrictions when operating a commercial vehicle if you are under the age of 25. There is no maximum age limit to becoming a guide. This is a question we get all of the time. We encourage and love having experienced, passionate guides, regardless of age.

Q: Are there any physical requirements?

A: While there is no required test of physical fitness, it is important that you are physically capable of doing the job. Our guides frequently need to be able to hike at a pace of 3-4 mph and carry heavy backpacks over long distances with lots of elevation change. They endure long days of work with extended periods of time away from home.

You will be required to pass a Department of Transportation physical that tests your reflexes, balance, vision, hearing, endocrine system and overall health relating to the safe operation of commercial vehicles. (NOTE: A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is not required).

Q: Am I required to have guiding experience to apply?

A: Industry specific experience is preferred and a huge plus, but we primarily hire guides based on their ability to provide exceptional customer service and we believe that this quality can be gained from a variety of work experiences. We have developed an extensive training program to help build and hone your guiding skills to meet our standard requirements.

 

 

Single-Day Tour Guides – Arizona

We are looking for mountain biking, road cycling, rafting, and kayak guides who do not have restricted availability. Our single-day tours guide team requires a high level of commitment and an open schedule.

What is the job like?

As a single-day tours guide you will take guests out on mountain bike, hiking and river tours in and around Scottsdale, Arizona. All single-day tours take place within an hour of the Phoenix metro area.

The position requires strong customer services skills and the ability to communicate effectively with other guides and guests alike. A guide must be knowledgeable about the desert. This means you will need to answer questions on topics such as climate, geology, animal life, and outdoor etiquette and safety. The job itself is exciting and rewarding. It is hard work, but you get to work with a skilled team of behind the scenes staff members as well guides who love and enjoy the outdoors.

Why do this job?

Working as an outdoor guide gives you the opportunity to be outdoors, to work with people, and to surround yourself with fellow adventurers. As a member of the single-day tours guide team, you have all the advantages of working outside and the stability that comes with returning home each night rather than working days at a time in the field.

This job is perfect for people who are considering a career in the outdoor industry, looking for a way to move into guiding full-time, or perhaps have reached a point in life where they have more time on their hands and would like to start a second career focusing on their outdoor passions. It can also be a great job for career outdoor persons who wish to continue doing what they love while gaining the added comfort and stability that working one day tours can offer.

To be a successful tour guide in REI’s field programs you need to be well rounded, never satisfied with good enough, passionate about people, passionate about the outdoors, and ready for every day to offer a new and exciting challenge. The learning opportunities as an outdoor guide are never ending. You have the chance to learn from other, more experienced guides who have wisdom and tips to offer and you get to do what you love.

What is required of the employee?

An REI guide must be professional and dedicated to the job. Dedication means making sure you are on time to work and able to perform the tasks for the tour. All of our guides have to be able and willing to drive a large van or truck and have a clean driving record.

In order to guide you have to have a minimum of a current cpr & first aid certification and a first aid kit on your first day. You must have a clean background check and good references. This job includes on the job training, however, the more experience you have starting out as a guide the better the opportunity for higher compensation.

Work schedule flexibility and good communication are key to being a guide. If you are able to communicate quickly and effectively and have a flexible work schedule, you will be invaluable as a guide.

Job FAQ

What do I need to become a guide?

We require that all of our guides have a CPR + First Aid Certification, First Aid Kit, and if they are looking to guide cycling tours they should have the appropriate bike.

What type of schedules are available?

Part-time and full-time work is available.

Do I have to guide all activities?

No, you can be a guide in whatever areas you prefer! Some activities can be taught if interested and willing to learn.

What is the guide schedule like?

Day Tour guides may work 4-12 hours depending on the day.

How much notice do I get when being scheduled on a tour?

We work hard to schedule guides with enough notice, typically about 2 weeks prior to the tour. Sometimes there is need for last minute work. It is not a requirement to accept last minute tour bookings, but greater flexibility will result in more hours.

When is “the season?”

Our “season” in the desert is from October to the end of May. This is the time of year when we are busiest.

How often do you hire?

We have two hiring events per year, September and January, but we are always open to talking to talented people!

Will I have the opportunity to guide in places like Havasupai, Grand Canyon, or Yosemite?

No, single-day tour guides offer tours based out of the REI Co-op Adventure Center, these are very different than the multi-day tour programs offered by REI Adventures.. If you are interested in guiding in those places, you should apply to be a multi-day tours guide.

All single-day tours in Arizona take place within one hour’s drive of the Phoenix metro area.

Administrative Staff – Adventure Centers

We are looking for a Customer Service & Operations Coordinator .

How To Apply: Please email a cover letter and resume to hr@aoa-adventures.com. In your cover letter, provide a few reasons why you are interested and why you think you are a good fit for this position.

What is it like to work in an Adventure Center?

Jobs at the REI Co-op Adventure Centers are mostly full time positions. There are some exceptions. Our work environment is dynamic and relatively informal, but like many jobs you can expect to be working at a computer and could be spending a good deal of time on the phone, depending on your role. If you enjoy working independently but also appreciate being a part of an energetic and diverse team, you might enjoy working for us.

What is expected of the employee?

All employees are expected to have some flexibility, particularly during seasonally busy times. Some employees may be asked to work on weekends depending on the nature of the position.

We expect that all employees be able to effectively communicate with their coworkers, managers, and customers. They should be adept in basic computer procedures, using programs like Microsoft word and gmail, and execute their job responsibilities with a high level of professionalism and attention to detail. A general understanding of the outdoors including cycling, camping and backpacking is expected but not necessary. We expect that all employees put in the effort to learn about all of the REI Co-op’s Experience offerings, particularly Adventure Center tours and bike rentals, continually growing and developing their knowledge of outdoor activities.

FAQ

Q: What are the regular work hours?

A: Regular working hours range from the usual 8-5 Monday through Friday to having to work some Saturdays and Sundays based upon the seasonal nature of the position. Your weeks will stay right around 40 hours and sometimes, depending on the season, more or less.

Q: What is the compensation and benefits package like?

A: Compensation is based upon experience and upon performance reviews. Benefits are included for full time staff members after 60 days of full time employment. These include health insurance, vision and dental, short term disability and simple IRA.

Q: Do I have to guide/ be in the outdoors to get the job?

A: No. While we expect our staff to share an appreciation for the outdoors, previous guiding or outdoor industry experience is not required, nor is guiding a requirement of the position. We look for individuals who desire to be a part of a team and wants to combine their personal passions for the outdoors with their job in order to create the experience of a lifetime for our guests.

Q: How do I apply for an office staff position?

A: Please email your cover letter and resume to hr@aoa-adventures.com. Please kindly state in your cover letter a few reasons why you are interested in working for us and specifically why you want this job, so we can get to know you better.

 

Multi-Day Tours Operations Team

We are looking for a Operations & Permits Coordinator .

How To Apply: Please email a cover letter and resume to hr@aoa-adventures.com. In your cover letter, provide a few reasons why you are interested and why you think you are a good fit for this position.

Members of the Operations Team have the responsibility of preparing all the physical items that are sent out on various guided trips that we operate.

What is the job like?

The job is very hands-on and detail oriented. We operate out of a warehouse, so the work environment is very interactive. Days can be physically taxing as we are on our feet all day performing various tasks to ensure that all the gear and food for the trips is well prepared and that the guides will have everything they need to provide our guests with the best possible experience. The tasks that we complete daily are focused on managing details, and often managing those details in a fast-paced environment.

These tasks include, but are not limited to packing meals, washing dishes, gathering necessary gear, and cleaning vehicles before they depart on a tour. To accomplish all the required tasks on time and to a high standard, we have put together a strong team of 12 individuals to create a fun, fast-paced, collaborative working environment.

Expectations

A key requirement for this job is flexibility. While schedules are often consistent and predictable, situations manifest that require improvisation and change. Some days the work takes longer (or shorter) than expected, so being able to work late or come in early is invaluable. The work itself often changes with some frequency which requires all members of our team to be adaptable and capable of maintaining focus through a variety of changes or setbacks. Interaction with others is essential to being able to coordinate all the necessary details, so employees need to be able to effectively communicate with other members of the team. The ideal candidate for this job is someone that can be counted on consistently. The Operations Team is responsible for a massive amount of details, large and small, so having someone that can be given a task and trusted fully to get it done and done well is paramount.

Why Work in Operations?

This job is perfect for someone who wants to work in a positive, interactive, and fun environment. Members of the team have the opportunity to interact with many amazing people who share a passion for the outdoors. Another advantage is the opportunity to be close to the outdoor industry without having to spend all your time on the road guiding trips. It provides an opportunity to work in an active environment while staying close to home. It is also a great place for those that do need a more flexible work schedule to fit into their life.

Job FAQ

Q: What are the regular work hours?

A: Within the Operations Team there are Full-Time positions and Part-Time Seasonal positions. In general, the full-time staff work five days per week on an 8am-5pm schedule, with start/end times adjusted as needed to meet the needs of the warehouse. Over the course of the year, these positions average approximately 40 hours per week, with some weeks during peak season eclipsing 50 hours; while allowing for shorter weeks during our slower months.

Schedules for the part-time positions are often more individualized. With proper communication and planning, schedules can accommodate a variety of commitments and responsibilities. Available scheduled hours during peak operational seasons of May, June, September and October can be in excess of 50 hours per week, or as little as 20 hours per week. During our slowest months of November through March hours can be very slim or non-existent for some part-time staff. Many of our part-time staff take the opportunity during these months to find additional employment to supplement their income.

Q: What is the compensation and benefits package like for an Operations position?

A: Part-time Operations positions are entry-level by nature, and are compensated as such. A benefit such as health insurance is not included, but industry benefits such as pro-purchase pricing on outdoor brands, subsidized climbing gym membership, complimentary gear rentals,* and more are perks of employment. Individuals in part-time positions who show a good attitude, ambition, and a strong skill set often find opportunities for advancement within the company.

*as our inventory allows: mountain bikes, road bikes, kayaks, paddleboards, camping equipment, etc.

Full-time positions are paid a competitive wage based on relevant experience and skill set. These positions are eligible, in addition to the perks listed above, for employee benefits package including comprehensive medical with optional dental and vision insurance, SIMPLE IRA pre-tax retirement plan with employer match, short term disability insurance.

Q: Do I have to guide/ be in the outdoors to get the job?

A: No. While we expect our staff to share an appreciation for the outdoors, previous guiding or outdoor industry experience is not required, nor is guiding a requirement of the positions within the Operations Team. We look for individuals who desire to be a part of a team and enjoy working behind the scenes, someone who wants to combine their personal passions for the outdoors with their job in order to create the experience of a lifetime for our guests.

Q: Can I guide part-time and work in Operations part-time?

A: Since the peak seasons for the Operations Team coincide with the peak seasons for guides, it is difficult for members of the Operations team to do both. When we hire for positions within the Operations Team, guiding/field time is not guaranteed.

Q: How do I apply for a job with the Operations Team?

A: Please email your cover letter and resume to hr@aoa-adventures.com. Please kindly state in your cover letter a few reasons why you are interested in working for us and specifically why you want this job, so we can get to know you better.