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Employment & Certification

swift water rescue students on the river

Consider making it a career!

Employment opportunities include Sea Kayak Instructors, Whitewater Kayak Instructors, SUP Instructors and Kiting Instructors.


Recreational Sports Outdoor Program is hiring 2-3 Sea Kayak Instructors for full time summer employment, May 30 - August 28. Spend your summer in and around Duluth, the beautiful Apostle Islands, and on Lake Superior, guiding groups ages 12 - adult. This year there is also the opportunity to earn an official certification as a Sea Kayak Instructor (Level 3 through the American Canoe Association)! Interviews start November 18, so apply now! You can view the full description online by typing in this job code: Job # 334187 at the UMD Jobs website:

Contacts: Randy Carlson, 218-726-6177 or and Melody David-McKnight, 218-726-8231 or

Staff training and professional development. Here is your chance to provide camp administrators, counselors, and leaders an essential training! All courses are instructed by highly experienced instructors and instructor trainers who have taught throughout the United States.


Learn how to prepare for and react to swift water rescue situations. Classroom and hands-on learning focuses on equipment, rope skills, self and assisted-rescues that are done from in or out of the boat. The final day is dedicated to handling on-river rescue scenarios in groups. Paddlers must be comfortable paddling a kayak or canoe in at least Class II whitewater.
Dates and Price TBD.

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American Canoe Association Level 3 Coastal Kayak Instructor Skills Assessment

May 30, 2020, Duluth, MN
This ACA Assessment Course is designed to evaluate a participant's ability to perform Level 3 Coastal Kayak Instructor skills in 10-15 knot winds, 1-2 foot waves or surf, within 1.5 nautical miles from shore, along with demonstrating an appropriate level of knowledge. Participants will receive documentation of having achieved a certain level of paddling ability. Pre-requisites: participants will have participated in a minimum of three, full day journeys e.g. longer than 8 nautical miles.

American Canoe Association Level 3 Coastal Kayak Instructor Certification Workshop

June 5 - 9, 2020, Duluth, Minnesota
In this supportive environment you will demonstrate and hone your skills, receive a professional evaluation of your paddling skills, technical knowledge, rescue ability, teaching ability, group management, and interpersonal skills. Participants must have successfully completed a Level 3 Coastal Kayak Skills Assessment or Level 3 Coastal Kayak Trip Leader Assessment in order to obtain L3 Instructor Certification Workshop. **Participants not seeking an instructor certification are also invited to enroll for a portion of the course as practice students for the IT candidates at a discounted rate. Please inquire about dates and pricing for practice students.
Minimum participants: 4, Maximum participation: 10


Three and a half days of SUP instructor training and assessment. You will prepare lessons, develop your teaching methods, analyze videotape, refine paddling skills, and meet with the Instructor Trainer (IT-Randy Carlson) and our guest Instructor Trainer Candidates.
Coming in 2021