Ouzel's pay scale and pay rates have evolved into an extensive system that rewards both seniority and performance. Guides receive a daily base wage that ranges from $85/day (for brand new guides that have completed a 6 trip probationary period) up to $105/day for our most experienced guides. Additional wages are earned based on supplementary work such as shopping, rigging, working in our “satellite” locations, or trip leading that a guide may do for a trip. Guides are also paid extra for obtaining certain higher certifications in First Aid and Swiftwater Rescue. And finally, starting in your second year of employment, our bonus program pays you an additional amount per day (based on your years worked) at the beginning of the season if you attend our pre-season returning guide training.
When all of this is added up, an average guide working a day-trip in their first or second year would make between $80 and $95 for the day. The average guide in their 3rd or 4th year working a multi-day trip would make about $100 to $125. The range in the pay scale is due to the fact that our pay rates are largely dependent on how many and how well you know the rivers that we run, and that mostly depends on the guide and how motivated they are to take advantage of training opportunities as they come up.
Below are some examples of actual guides who have worked or started with Ouzel over the past couple of years.
- Guide 1: Started with over 4 years of experience back east. Had a second evening job with very few availability conflicts. Started working day trips and moved to multi-days on the Salmon. 36 river days. $3,717 for the first season.
- Guide 2: Started with a little experience from a college outdoor department. Always available but only worked thru July. Worked only day trips. 25 river days. $2,339 for the first season.
- Guide 3: Experienced guide working his 4th season for Ouzel. Had moved up to trip leading large multi-day trips during his 3rd season. Always available. 86 river days. $11,650 for the season.
- Guide 4: Started with no experience but became very good fast. Qualified on all of the day stretches but had major conflicts with another job. 2 river days. $150 for the season.
A detailed Pay Scale sheet and Pay Rate sheet will be made available to you after training.