Nantahala Outdoor Center

  • Kayak/Canoe Instructor

    Job Locations US-NC-Bryson City
    Job ID
    Job Classification
  • Overview






    **Due to the seasonality of this position, please note, that we will not be reviewing applications for this position until late February/March 2018.**


    For 40+ years NOC has led the outdoor industry, taking more guests whitewater rafting and teaching more paddlers than any other outdoor recreation company. NOC also provides top-quality aerial and trail-based adventures, wilderness medicine as well as providing unmatched retail service, food service, lodging and trip planning services. Behind NOC's rapid growth is our staff’s commitment to our five core values: lead by example, service before self, do the right thing, work hard/play hard and make it happen. These core values unite a community of leaders and pioneers in an exciting, fun and always changing work environment.


    NOC career opportunities offer prospects rare opportunities to work in beautiful locations, to grow their skills and to share a passion for active outdoor recreation. Ideal candidates are leaders in the work place that wish to join a unique, values-driven organization. They aspire to excellence in their fields and disciplines and they demonstrate a commitment to the service of others. Above all, they want to provide visitors with unforgettable experiences in the great outdoors. If this sounds like you, we hope you'll apply to join the NOC team.


    Job Summary: 


    Canoe and Kayak Instructors are based at the main campus of the Nantahala Outdoor Center outside of Bryson City, NC. They primarily instruct on nearby rivers and on Lake Fontana; however, they also instruct on various rivers all over the Southeast. Depending on their skill-set and training, instructors can teach novice level up to advanced level paddlers. Additionally, they may specialize in more advanced playboating or creekboating instruction. Many instructors also cross-train as a stand-up paddle (SUP) instructors, Rescue 3 instructors, raft guides and/or lake tour guides.


    Instructors must be certified for whitewater instruction through the American Canoe Association (ACA) or equivalent certifying association. Instructors must also possess current CPR and Wilderness First Aid (WFA) certifications. For applicants without these prerequisite certifications, the Nantahala Outdoor Center offers ACA Instructor courses, as well as wilderness medicine courses through SOLO Southeast. Call our reservations office at 800-232-7238 to sign up or learn more.


    • Teach whitewater kayaking and canoeing skills to groups of varying experience, age and number; create and modify lesson plans and logistics to accommodate the needs and abilities of students.
    • Transport guests to and from lakes and rivers in NOC vehicles (including 15-passenger vans and towing trailers) while adhering to all NOC and state laws, regulations, and policies
    • Communicate with guests about local area information, other NOC activities and offerings, river and trip information, and provide general entertainment.
    • Provide top-notch guest service to all guests, before, after, and during their instruction.
    • Clean and organize all gear used during the day, including: loading and unloading boats, washing all gear, and inspecting, fueling and cleaning vehicles.
    • Other tasks, such as: driving shuttle, repair and maintenance of gear or facilities, greeting guests at check-in, and assisting other NOC departments, as qualified and as assigned.


    Applicants for an instructor position at NOC should have:

    • Great communication, teaching, and leadership skills
    • Strong sense of guest service and risk reduction
    • Extensive whitewater experience
    • Enthusiasm for sharing outdoor adventures with others


    Applicants should be comfortable paddling and performing swimmer and gear rescues in whitewater. They must have a valid driver's license and pass a DOT Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) physical. Applicants should also be comfortable working and driving in varying weather conditions and on curvy, mountainous roads in remote locations.




    The above noted job description is not intended to describe, in detail, the multitude of tasks that may be assigned but rather to provide a general sense of the responsibilities and expectations of this position. As the nature of business demands change, so too may the essential functions of this position.

    The Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) is dedicated to the principles of equal employment opportunity in any and all terms, conditions or privileges of employment including hiring, promotions, termination, training and compensation. The NOC does not discriminate against applicants or employees on the basis of age, race, sex, color, religion, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic condition or any other status protected by federal, state or local law, where applicable. Furthermore, the NOC is committed to a work environment free of discrimination and harassment through respecting and valuing the diversity among employees and all those with whom the NOC does business.


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