How to be a Rafting in the Smokies Guide

Rafting in the Smokies is a great place to work. We will get you outdoors, play to your sense of adventure, and grow your skills.  We offer a guide certification program for those interested in learning what it takes to ride the Pigeon River or be one of our awesome guides!

To be a RITS Guide, you will need to have CPR and first aid training and certification before applying. Safety is our number one priority at Rafting in the Smokies. Here is what you’ll learn as part of the CPR and first aid certification required before you start training with us:

  • CPR—CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is a technique used to keep oxygenated blood flowing to the brain and other organs. It is used both for those who are not breathing as well as those whose heart has stopped beating. Being certified in CPR means you know how to do chest compressions, airway checks, and rescue breathing.
  • First Aid—You’ll need to know skills like how to treat bleeding, broken bones, shock, and other first aid emergencies. When we are rafting, we have two guides equipped with first aid kits in their rafts. One is at the head of the trip, and one is in the back.

While we hope you don’t ever have to use these skills, they are worth having, even outside Rafting in the Smokies.

If you are accepted into our rafting guide certification program, we train seasonally in the late spring (April/May). Space is limited so register early if you are interested in the program.

We cover the following over the course of five days:

  • Understanding the raft
  • Learning raft control
  • Customer relations

As a certified raft guide with Rafting in the Smokies, we know you will be one of the family. While on the Pigeon River, you’ll notice the bond goes beyond RITS, where we are also friendly and respectful to other rafting company guides. We have a unique community here with people who love to experience the outdoors daily and have fun doing it!


Are you interested in being a raft guide? Check out our employment page to see if we’re hiring.