The Bicycle Industry Jobs Marketplace

Sea Kayaking Guides and Instructors


Posted by Portland Paddle on 01/08/2024

Job Basics

Industry Sector: Outdoor, WaterSports

Job Categories: Guide (raft,fish,bike hunt,horse etc.), Instructor Including Ski & Patrol, Operations, Outdoor Education, Outfitter- Adventure Travel Staff

Company Type: Recreation, Service

State: ME

City: Portland

Country: United States

Required Experience: 1 - 3 years

Business Phone: 207-370-9730

Job Type: Seasonal Full Time

Salary: Starting at $18/hour plus gratuities

Required to Relocate:

Required to Travel:

Employee May Telecommute: No

Job Seeker Must Live Within:

Job Description & Requirements

There’s a lot to love about this job: Being part of a fun and friendly team of skilled outdoors people; working outdoors and on the water on the Maine coast; developing outdoor leadership and paddling skills; and giving people of all backgrounds ocean adventures that they’ll love and remember forever.

As a sea kayak guide, your job involves a mix of outdoor leadership, teaching, risk management, technical sea kayaking skills, customer service, teamwork and manual labor. It’s very rewarding work that allows you to develop a deep knowledge of the marine environment and interact with people of diverse backgrounds from all over the world. 

Portland Paddle is always seeking sea kayaking guides and instructors to lead kayak tours and teach lessons. Most of our trips are based out of our main site on Casco Bay in Portland, Maine. Our trips range from 2-hour Sunset Tours to multi-day expeditions on the Maine Island Trail. We also offer lessons for all skill levels and stand-up paddling tours. This is a seasonal position that runs from June through August, with optional part-time work possible in May and September. Candidates able to work 30+ hours a week will be prioritized, but we encourage experienced candidates with more limited availability to apply. 


*Maine state law requires you to have a sea kayak guiding license for this position. Licenses are issued by the state of Maine and require completing a testing procces. If you do not currently hold this license please visit our Employment Page to find out more information about how you can obtain one. There you can also find non-guiding job opportunities available with Portland Paddle, which do not require this licence. 


  • Sea kayaking experience, and competency with basic paddling skills
  • Outdoor leadership experience
  • Friendly and enthusiastic about giving people of all backgrounds kayaking experiences
  • Safety-conscious and proficient at assessing risks
  • First Aid and CPR certification (can complete after hiring)
  • Maine Sea Kayak Guide license (can get licensed after hiring)
  • American Canoe Association instructor certification not required for core guide position, but is a major plus. (All guides who teach our lessons are ACA-certified)


  • Starting at $18/hour for licensed guides after completing a process of “shadowing” more experienced guides ($15/hour while shadowing)
  • Higher starting rates possible for guides with substantial prior experience
  • Gratuities (often substantial)
  • Guides also benefit from prodeals on outdoor gear, free use of sea kayaks and stand-up paddleboards and opportunities for free or discounted training

Click here to apply now and check out our other job opportunities!


About Portland Paddle

Portland Paddle offers sea kayaking expeditions, day trips instruction and rentals on the Maine coast, as well as stand-up paddling tours and rentals. We are a seasonal business with our main site beside the shoreline of Casco Bay in Portland, Maine. 

Our staff includes more than a dozen licensed sea kayak guides and ACA-certified instructors, as well as many "shore staff" who support our operations working on land.