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Southeast Sea Kayaks is dedicated to providing exceptional sea kayaking tours to visitors of Ketchikan, Alaska. Our team is the most important part of creating incredible experiences for guests. Most of our employees are usually local to the Ketchikan area but we do have several openings for people interested in coming to Ketchikan for the summer.

We are committed to employing people with a passion for the outdoors and for Southeast Alaska’s beautiful natural environment. For the 2022 season, we are looking for enthusiastic, physically fit, motivated people who are committed to our goal of providing every one of our clients with an amazing experience.

Unfortunately we cannot sponsor work visas: all applicants must be US citizens or legally able to work in the USA.


  • Full & Part time Lead Sea Kayak Guide for May – September 2022. 
  • USCG 6 Pack (or higher) Licensed Captains – Full Time 4/5 days a week. Part Time 2/3 days a week. 
  • Catamaran Tour Host. Full Time 4/5 Days a week or Part Time 2/3 Days a week. 
Sea Kayak guides Orcas Cove


Please read over our website to learn about our tours and read the employment information below which should answer most questions.

If you are genuinely interested, are willing to work for the wages listed and meet the requirements, please email us at and include:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter explaining your relevant experience and why you would like to work for Southeast Sea Kayaks
  • Position for which you are applying and dates you are available to work for the season
  • Recent photo of you in one of your favorite outdoor places/adventures.
  • If you are shortlisted for a position we will ask for 3 employment references (or personal references if this is your first job)

Due to the high volume of applications that we receive for a very small number of positions, we may not respond to incomplete applications.

Southeast Sea Kayaks is an equal opportunity employer.



Sea kayak guides will lead tours at  Orcas Cove  (see our half day tour descriptions). Being a sea kayak guide is the best way to connect with guests in an intimate, wildlife setting. With a max of 6 guests and hosting visitors completely off of the road system, you’re guaranteed to love being out on the water guiding all season long. Our typical day starts with a 20 minute boat ride out to the catamaran to get gear set up for our guests. Tours often start at 8:00am and are finished by 6:00pm, but the schedule can vary due to the day and cruise ship schedules. Starting pay with us is $18.00/hour plus tips.



Requirements for Full and Part Time Kayak Guides:

  • Kayaking experience
  • At least 18 yrs old or high school graduate
  • Strong communication and leadership skills
  • Enjoy working with people
  • Physically fit.
  • Lift at least 40 lbs unassisted
  • First Aid/CPR certified
  • Applicants with valid US driver’s license are preferred.
a group of people sitting on a raft

Being a sea kayak guide can be a physically demanding job. Guides need to be able to paddle up to 7 hours per day (with breaks), most often in single sea kayaks but sometimes in double or triple kayaks with weaker paddlers; towing other kayaks or assisting in windy conditions is sometimes necessary. The position is not recommended for anyone with limited upper body strength or back problems.

Training for Full and Part Time Kayak Guides

Training consists of learning sea kayak skills, self and assisted rescues, cold water survival skills, towing, and leadership skills. We have an employee manual which each guide will need to read before guiding with us. We also spend time learning about the local area and ecology and vibrant history here in Southeast Alaska.

We’re currently looking for two full time and two part time guides. We could have a part time guide who would also like to be a part time host to fill a full time schedule. (See Host position below).




Fast Boat arriving at Orcas Cove

Our tour begins on the docks, downtown Ketchikan, where are guests are introduced to you, their fast boat captain. Captains will drive our 26′ ACB to and from the Orcas Cove sea kayaking tour. It’s a 20 to 30 minute run each way depending on weather and wildlife. In addition to driving and helping maintain the vessel, captains enjoy sharing a narrative on the boat journey to and from Orcas Cove.


USCG 6 pack license or higher. Participate in DOT drug test program. Clean driving record.

Full time applicants must be available to work May 4th through September (end of September if possible).

Part time applicants should be available to work at least 2 days per week on a regular basis May – September. Captains are paid an hourly rate (usually $26-$30) DOE plus tip percentage and $2 per hour worked end of season bonus.

Our HOSTS are responsible for the day to day running of the tours aboard our 57′ catamaran, the MV Arctic Fjord.  You’ll be greeting guests and outfitting them for sea kayaking, helping guides get them out on the water, prepping snacks and processing gear. All in all it’s usually a pretty relaxed job away from town out on the water for the day but we will also want you to participate in some kayak safety training and shadow some tours, be/get CPR certified, and train in operating our inflatable boat in case you need to assist a kayak tour for any reason.

We’re ideally looking for one full time and one part time host. We could have a part time host who would also like to be a part time Sea Kayaking guide to fill a full time schedule.


We are seeking a friendly, detail oriented person who has good time management and communication skills.

This position starts at $18.00/hour + tip share.



Our season runs May 4th – end of September each year. We have positions available for the entire season and for the busy months of June, July and August.


Working a summer in Alaska is an incredible experience and has a value far beyond the monetary compensation but it is important to budget for the summer. Before you apply with us, please consider whether you can afford transportation costs, rent, purchasing appropriate clothing and to cover your personal expenses during the season.

We do not over-hire, so if you commit to us for the season you should expect to be working full time or in your full capacity part time. The work is seasonal, however, there can be fewer hours in the beginning and end of the season and more hours in the middle.

All employees are an important, necessary part of a small team and need to work well together to enjoy working as a unit. Also understand that due to the seasonal nature of the business, we are unable to give extra time off during the short summer season. We do not sell onboard the cruise ships so we do not sit around waiting to see how many seats have been sold for tomorrow. We won’t leave you on call or expect you to show up for work only to find out “we don’t need you today.” We do our best all summer to give you a schedule and dedicated time off to have a personal life and enjoy this amazing wilderness and many other excursions offered here all season.


Ketchikan is in the heart of a rain forest and gets about 12′ of rain each year. That being said, we statistically get calmer waters and dryer weather than downtown Ketchikan. We do kayak rain or shine though, so guides should be ready to work in cold, rainy conditions..


Our kayak guides work aboard our vessels and are required by the US Coastguard to participate in a DOT drug testing program. All employees will be required to submit to a pre-employment drug test, post accident drug testing and participate in a random screening program.