Job Description: Tour Guide Extraordinaire
Reports to: Operations Manager
Starting Salary: $13/hour + Tips (DOE)
About Salmon Berry Travel & Tours:
Salmon Berry Travel & Tours was founded on the idea that life in Alaska should be fun! Throughout our history, this idea has delighted countless guests of all ages from around the world and delivered appreciation and awards. In a world of big box tours and commercialized Alaska experiences, we continue to deliver genuine and authentic Alaska hospitality, day tours and tailor made multi-day travel packages. It’s a small tour philosophy and a customized experience that delivers life long memories every season of the year.
At SBT, we pride ourselves with staffing local Alaskans. Therefore all of our employees have been in Alaska for at least one full calendar year, and are permanent residents near the Anchorage area while they are employed with us. Tour guides are expected to have a good driving record, and are recommended to have customer service or tour guiding/tourism experience prior to employment. Guides are responsible for not only the safety of our guests, but also conducting themselves in a way that not only positively represents Salmon Berry, but Alaska Tourism overall.
Tour Guides at Salmon Berry Tours offer guests a fully guided experience, using Federally-regulated 16 passenger Freightliner Sprinter Vans. Our tour guides are the most knowledgeable and safe guides in Alaska, and are required to provide information by microphone during tours. Our tours consist of historical information, interesting facts, and personal stories of living life in the Last Frontier. Guides provide these three elements from their own knowledge base and research, creating dynamic tour experiences with a diverse team of guides.
Work days can be anywhere from 5 hours long, to 12 hours long. On average, days tend to be approximately 10 hours. Morning start times are generally between 7:30am and 8:30am, however there are mornings that start as early as 5:00am, and as late as 10:00am. For ending times, tours are usually done between 6:00pm and 7:00pm, however they can sometimes be done as early as 1:00pm, or as late at 8:30pm. Flexibility with your daily schedule is essential for tour guiding!
During the summer, guides generally work 4 tens, with three days off. The days are generally consecutive, but not always. We do not take holidays off in the summer. Requested days off will be considered, but are not guaranteed. Regular days off will be set by the Operations Manager. Again, requests will be considered but are not guaranteed.
To be a driver/guide, you should be at least 25 years of age. You are required to have, or be willing to obtain, a Class C Commercial Driver’s License with Passenger Endorsement. A CDL cannot be obtained under the age of 21. Applicants under the age of 25 will only be considered with an exemplary resume and absolutely clean driving record, due to insurance restrictions. Salmon Berry Tours will assist with acquiring your CDL, should you meet all of our requirements, and we decide to offer you the position. Applicants must have reliable transportation to and from work. Pre-employment and random drug testing are federally required for this job position. Background checks and referral checks are done before a job offer is finalized.
As of Spring 2017 guides are required to have a smartphone with calling, texting and data to be a tour guide/driver for SBT.
Not only is this for adequate communication and scheduling, but is required for your daily electronic logbook for DOT (Department of Transportation).
There are costs associated with obtaining a CDL if you do not already have one. Employees are responsible for the upfront cost of CDL testing. However upon completion of the entire Summer season (or agreed-upon season of hire), SBT will reimburse you for the initial expenses listed here. DOT Physicals tend to be approximately $150, the final road test is approximately $150, and the new ID card/written test from the DMV is approximately $50. Prospective employees are responsible for studying for the initial written exam. After the written exam is passed, SBT will provide as driver training as needed for the driving portion of the exam. Employees will take the driver exam using a Salmon Berry Tours sprinter.
Masks are required to be worn by all employees, at all times while on duty, for the duration of summer 2021. The company will reevaluate this policy at the close of summer season. If you need masks, please enquire with your supervisor and reusable masks will be provided for your use.
Our employees are provided with a Salmon Berry vest, which they are required to wear. Jeans or khaki pants are acceptable. Clothing should contain no rips or holes, regardless of the origin of the same. Wear your Salmon Berry Vest on the outside of the rest of your clothing whenever possible. Keep your vest clean. Keep yourself clean. Do not add scent. Be prepared with appropriate gear for all possible weather conditions and safety situations
Cleaning / Washing / Fueling
Everyone who works for Salmon Berry Tours is expected to be a team player. That means that sometimes you will be asked to do things above and beyond your daily guide duties. Upkeep and maintenance of the Salmon Berry vehicles is EVERYONE’S job. Guides prep their vehicles at the beginning and/or end of each tour, and sometimes additional vehicles. Guides fuel vehicles and sometimes take vehicles to the maintenance shop.
Gratuities and Pay
Tour guides are paid hourly. Some are on a four-day schedule of ten hours per day, and some are on a 5-day schedule of eight hours per day. Anything over the agreed base day is paid at time and a half for overtime. For example, if you are on 4 tens, overtime starts after 10 hours in the shift, and after 40 hours of straight time in a 7-day week. Tips the guides may receive are in addition to base pay. We do not pool tips (except in the case of co-guiding the same group). Gratuity is voluntary, and we never solicit guests for gratuity. However, tips are a common part of this job and are yours to keep.
Our Smoking Policy
Salmon Berry Tours does not hire smokers. Third-hand smoke is an allergen/asthma risk and may be a more serious health risk for some of our guests and employees.
Submit applications electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org