Becoming Part of the REI Co-op
Did you ever wonder if there was a community of people who work as hard as they play?
The REI Co-op began with a small community of 23 climbers in search of quality outdoor gear and committed to shaping their lives around what they most loved – life outside. Now, more than seven decades later, the community has grown to more than 16 million members united by the belief that an outdoor life is a life well lived—that it’s in the wild, untamed, and natural spaces where we can discover our best selves.
So, if you are looking for a community that inspires and enables life outside for everyone—in work and in play, consider joining the co-op!
Experiences Outside the Ordinary!
REI is a purpose-led company that puts our employees, our members, and society first. Our belief, purpose, and mission are why our members and customers have for decades cared so much for REI.
Many people know REI as an outdoor gear and apparel store, but there is an entire division within REI devoted to getting our customers outside in extraordinary ways. We are REI Experiences. And the same purpose, belief, and mission that has been REI’s compass for over 80 years also applies to our approach to REI Experiences and the extraordinary employees who create the magic.
We (REI Experiences) are the customer’s path to experiences outside the ordinary. Driven by our best-in-class guides and supported by our Co-op community, REI Experiences inspires and enables people to do things they could have only imagined. By showing them what’s possible and supporting their growth, we help them make deeper connections to a life outside and a life well-lived. Whether customers want a done-in-a-day or a once-in-a-lifetime experience, one thing is for sure: we have a lifetime of memories in store.
Providing experiences outside the ordinary.
REI Experiences staff are world-class professionals finding the best way to connect customers to the power of the outdoors. Our team turns dreams and inspiration into participation, creating memories, making new friends, and helping our customers achieve their life-long goals.
Most importantly, being part of our team means joining a caring culture & community that strives to be fully inclusive, multicultural, and anti-racist by building a sense of belonging for all.
Our employees are:
- enthusiastic, knowledgeable advocates for the outdoors with contagious passion, meeting guests where they are and giving them what they need to grow.
- professional: able to balance risk, safety and growth with fun and fulfilling experiences.
- people who can break the ice, facilitate human connection, and always take pressure off the guests.
- natural educators always sharing knowledge whether part of a class or not.
What We Offer
As the national leader in guided outdoor experiences, we help customers get outside in a meaningful and sustainable way. Our experiences are supported by a hands-on, full-service team at every step of the way, and the passion of our expert guides shines through in each interaction. We cultivate a supportive, fully inclusive Co-op community that embraces experiences as a way to understand the world with purpose.
We offer a number of trips, tours and instructional programs in multiple activity categories including camping, backpacking, hiking, cycling, climbing, paddling, snow sports and outdoor skills.
For anyone wanting to learn a new skill or activity, we offer classes providing hands-on guidance for the beginner to advanced recreationalist.
For those looking to explore, we offer a wide variety of outdoor guided day and multi-day tours making it easy for our customers to get outside.
For someone wanting to try new equipment or branch out into a new activity with minimal investment, we offer a range of rentals including paddling, cycling, camping, and snow sports equipment to help our customers enjoy their outdoor experience.
Compensation & Benefits
At REI, we put our employees first, and offer a benefits package that supports changing needs. We set the best standard in the industry by offering competitive base pay, robust benefits package, work-life balance. Check out our resources on foryourbenefit-REI.com to review plan details.
- Comprehensive medical plans (full-time and part-time employees eligible)
- Vacation, sick and holiday pay
- Retirement and Profit Sharing (employer contribution)
- Bonus eligibility based on company performance
- Leave options to support time away, including parental, family, and personal leave
- Industry-leading prodeal access
- Tuition reimbursement
- Employee Resource Groups – elevating the voices of historically underrepresented groups, helping to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace
REI Co-op Experiences Guide
What does it take?
- Building confidence in yourself and others while exploring wild spaces
- The interpersonal skill of taking the temperature of a diverse group
- The ability to laugh and chat while silently and safely orchestrating the day, knowing every next step.
- Developing the depth of knowledge that makes excursions magical
- The willingness & enthusiasm to take guests to extraordinary places.
The role of the REI guide is to facilitate inclusive outdoor experiences, through the sharing of the cultural, historical, and natural knowledge that will equip and inspire our members and customers and foster a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts and environmental stewards.
REI guides achieve these goals by demonstrating in-depth technical expertise in relevant activity areas to ensure a quality experience. As a guide, you will be responsible to prepare for programs by learning program content, prepping equipment and materials, and coordinating program logistics. You’ll collaborate with other guides and REI staff to cultivate and maintain an enjoyable, social, and engaging group dynamic using your strong personal and relational skills, ensuring that each participant truly feels they belong outside.
REI guides excel in striking the balance between creating extraordinary experiences for our guests and ensuring each program meets the highest standards of quality, safety, and sustainability. REI guides provide a consistently high level of service and hospitality by actively seeking out opportunities to improve guests’ experience. You’ll also use sound judgment and decision-making to mitigate risks, assess participant experience levels, and evaluate hazards independently or in conjunction with other guides. REI guides model stewardship for our participants by adhering to and upholding Leave No Trace principles, honoring permit requirements, and ensuring compliance with trip logistics and standards of practice in the field.
As a guide, you’ll professionally represent REI to guests, vendors, National Park Service, other land agencies, and the public, exemplifying REI’s core values and principles in action. Your professionalism and integrity inspire and activates our guests as you indirectly and directly promote REI membership and share information about the co-op’s products, services, and community programs. Each interaction with guests is an opportunity to inspire, inform, and empower. You’ll transport participants and gear to and from activity locations and facilities, provide guidance and encouragement during programs, manage communications with site managers and other patrons and visitors and provide first aid responses to participants when needed.
Behind the scenes, you’ll maintain equipment and supplies during and after programs, submit all program feedback, paperwork, and incident reports as applicable in a timely fashion in accordance with established standards and support program operations and delivery through other duties as assigned.
Other duties may include gear/vehicle preparation and maintenance, customer service, paperwork management, event support, transportation, training/mentorship for other guides, and general logistics coordination/support.
Guide Compensation & Benefits
The guiding profession is unique and atypical in comparison to standard 9 to 5 jobs in many industries. REI’s approach is one that ensures a competitive and comprehensive compensation and benefit package for our employees in this distinguished role.
Due to the nature of the job, there are multiple contributors to the total compensation package. We set the best standard in the industry by offering a competitive base hourly pay, flexible amount of work (based on availability and competencies), consistent gratuities from guests, benefits eligibility, and career opportunities within the company.
Understanding Guide Pay In Action
REI is committed to playing an essential role in promoting the guiding profession as a stable career. This commitment starts here. As a guide, your total compensation package is made up of three key components including pay (inclusive of base pay, *overtime, and gratuities), amount of work, and the co-op's comprehensive benefits.
We set the best standard in the industry by offering competitive pay. Your pay will include:
- Base Pay is your base hourly rate x your hours worked and can vary greatly based on the number of hours worked in a day.
- Overtime is not guaranteed for all guiding positions and varies greatly. With the nature of work, our multi-day guides tend to work trips that include overtime. Overtime is paid in accordance with state and local laws.
- Gratuities, alongside meaningful reviews and ratings that are consistently best in class, are how our customers recognize and show appreciation to our guides.
2. Amount of Work
We offer a range of opportunities from seasonal to year-round guiding positions, including full-time and part-time. With the range of activities and number of multi-day trips, classes, and events we offer, employees can increase the amount of work based on the activities they can guide and their availability. This way potential candidates are able to find something that meets their needs.
3. REI Benefits
With our employee first approach, we offer a benefits package that supports your changing needs. Check out our resources on foryourbenefit-REI.com to review plan details.