Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. (RMI) is one of the oldest and most active guide services in the United States, operating within Mount Rainier National Park, North Cascades National Park, Denali National Park and Preserve, and on all seven continents.
RMI is extremely proud of the accomplishments of both our present and our past guides. Our guides have made significant impacts toward advancing the sport of mountaineering.
Professional mountain guiding is an exciting and rewarding job. The people we meet, the guests we work with, the mountains we work in, and the challenges of the environment all contribute in making guiding an exceptional profession.
Guiding requires a passion for our clients, for the mountains, and for sharing our mountaineering knowledge and skills in a safe and professional manner. As a guide for RMI, you must be exceptionally patient, possess solid mountaineering skills, and be in top physical condition. We have been an Equal Opportunity Employer since 1969. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment.
Guiding For RMI: Notes From Some Of Our Top Guides
Melissa: "I started guiding after climbing and teaching wilderness medicine for a few years. Some of my friends and climbing partners worked as guides and they encouraged me to approach RMI about their mentoring program, as I was relatively inexperienced on glaciers. I started with RMI in 2004 and quickly went through training and worked as an apprentice guide before taking my in-house exams to advance. RMI constantly fosters my ongoing education. I have been able to access avalanche education, read more...
Casey: "After a long awaited dream come true, I started my guiding career in the spring of 2000. I only knew then a fraction of the benefits that I would eventually gain. The last decade has been incredible, from working under the leadership of some of the best guides in the country, to getting to travel the world as a professional mountain guide for the most famous guide service in America. I started with guiding different routes on Mt. Rainier, and after a short period of hard work, read more...
Lindsay: "I started guiding for RMI in 2009. I’ve now spent four full seasons guiding for RMI and working hard to learn from the other guides. Through this mentorship I have had the opportunity explore mountains around in the world, including in Alaska guiding on Mt. McKinley and in South America on Aconcagua. Through the mentoring and commitment to professional development and advancement opportunities, RMI has helped me achieve my goal of becoming a year round mountaineering and ski guide. Read more...
Seth: "Working at RMI for the last eight years has given me opportunities that at one time I didn't think possible. After starting on Rainier, RMI has given me the opportunity to guide in Alaska, Mexico and Africa. In spring 2009 I headed to the Himalaya, which had been a goal of mine for a long time. I managed to stand on the summit of Mt. Everest! If you're willing to work hard and give it your all, RMI can help you achieve your personal and professional goals."
Solveig: "I came to RMI with 6 years of previous experience guiding throughout the Cascades, Alaska, and the Central and South Americas. After working for a number of other organizations, I am consistently impressed with RMI’s organization, commitment to, and support of their guiding staff. We have a number of strong female guides on our roster, and being a part of a company and community that respects and promotes the growth of women in this industry has been instrumental to my success. Read more...
We are no longer accepting applications for the 2014 summer guiding season. We will begin accepting applications for the 2015 summer season in October 2014.
RMI does not offer college internships or unpaid apprenticeships.
Guide hiring application process is as follows:
All applicants are required to submit the following information electronically at the time of application. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.
- Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.
- Demonstrate employment eligibility documentation (i.e., submit any of the following 3 options: (1) Social Security card and Driver's License, or (2) Passport, or (3) current work visas).
- Complete the Employment Application.
- Complete the Outdoor/Climbing Resume.
- Submit an Availability Calendar (Excel, pdf) indicating your approximate availability for the summer guiding season.
- Submit current Wilderness First Responder (WFR), Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), and Leave No Trace (LNT)* certificates or documentation of your intent to complete (e.g., receipts, course syllabus, advertised dates, etc). Certificates above and beyond these minimums will carry additional weight in the hiring process. Examples of additional certifications include: Avalanche Levels I, II or III, and various American Mountain Guide Association certificates.
- Submit application to Human Resources Manager, Alex Van Steen, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once we receive these items, we will review your qualifications and certifications, and notify you if we would like you to attend a one-day group interview (2014 dates filled on first-come, first-served basis: March 7, 8, 13, or 14).
Experienced guide applicants:
- Experienced guide applicants are IFMGA and AMGA Certified Alpine Guides or guides who have more than 5 years of alpine / mountaineering guiding experience. In addition to the requirements mentioned for entry level applicants, experienced guide applicants must present a strong climbing or guiding resume, and must have a U.S. Level II (or equivalent) Avalanche certificate.
- Are required to participate in a personal interview (dates determined on an individual basis).
- We ask that you work a minimum of two weeks on Mt. Rainier.
New hire expectations:
- All newly hired guides, whether entry-level or experienced, are required to participate in a week of training which will include a thorough orientation to our company and to our teaching techniques. Applicants will be asked to participate in a training session (dates to be determined).
- Once this training session is completed, the applicant is in position to begin employment. The exact starting dates will depend on our staffing needs.
- Starting pay ranges from $125 (entry level) / $175 (experienced guide) / $200 (AMGA Alpine certified) to $250 (IFMGA certified) per day, depending on experience and certifications. In addition to wages, there is an employee housing option available. Most meals while working overnight programs on the mountain are also provided. Advancement opportunities, with subsequent pay raises, are available as responsibilities and performance increase.
- It is expected that entry level guides commit to a full season (May/June through September) of employment for their first year.
- *RMI will offer an LNT Trainer certification course free of charge at the start of our season (dates to be determined).
- The following information represents part of our expectation for entry level guide applicants. We are looking for confidence and competence on the following mountaineering topics:
Snow and Ice Anchors
Cold Weather Injuries
Fixed Line Use
Leave No Trace Ethics
High Altitude Illness
Ice Axe Arrest
Setting a Pace
Getting safely up and down mountains is just the beginning of the story at Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. (RMI). Founded by legendary Northwest mountaineers and staffed by the most experienced and talented guides in America, RMI has built a four-decade long legacy of safe, successful, and enjoyable mountaineering adventures.
Experience matters in the mountains, and that is exactly what we have gained over the last 40+ years. There is no substitute for the years of expedition guiding around the world, 300 Mt. McKinley Expeditions, over 80,000 climbers on Mount Rainier and some of America's first ventures into the far reaches of the Himalaya.
Thank you. We very much look forward to hearing from you.