Employment Opportunities / Wine Country Guides FAQ

Wine Country Guides FAQ

1. What is the hiring process like for Santa Barbara Wine Country Tours?

Interested individuals should fill out an online job application on our website and send a resume and cover letter to info@winetours-santabarbara.com

We reach out to applicants and hire on a rolling basis. Interviews happen in person at our office in Santa Barbara. Exceptions can be made on an as-needed basis.

2. How do I become a Lead Guide?

For wine tours, once you have your California Class B driver’s license, you are eligible to become a lead guide after assisting on at least 2 trips and then successfully leading a trip on your own under the supervision of another lead guide.

3. How much do you pay? What should I anticipate tips to be?

We pay hourly. Pay ranges from $14-$19 based on prior experience and certifications. 

Guests are encouraged to give 10-15% gratuity, and often tip with cash, Venmo, or credit card. Clients also have the option to pre-tip the guide when booking the tour.  For larger group sales/corporate trips, gratuity is often included and split amongst the guides. Group sales trips can also include an $8/client service fee for corporate groups.

4. How does scheduling work?

Schedules are set as bookings come in, we try to schedule as far in advance as possible, but sometimes it can be short notice. Guides are expected to keep their availability up-to-date. We use the Paycor app in which you can log in to view your schedule. We recommend checking your schedule often to make sure you know what your week looks like – things will change. Guides can be scheduled for a standby shift up to 24 hours before a trip date. We will never schedule you for a tour within 24 hours without contacting you & getting confirmation of your availability.

5. How does time-off during the summer work?

Very little time-off is given in the summer months, but we do try to accommodate when possible. When hired you should be prepared to give any time-off you’d need from March-October as requests are typically honored on a first-come, first-serve basis.

6. What happens during the “off-season” from November-March?

As a new hire, you can anticipate consistent work from February through mid-October. We operate year-round, but things do slow down in the off-season. We start inquiring in August as to everyone’s plans and work to provide hours for those interested.

7. Does Santa Barbara Wine Country Tours offer health insurance?

Health insurance is not currently offered for our guides.

8. Is there room for upward mobility within the company?

Definitely! We love to promote guides within our own staff to management-level positions before hiring from outside. For example, our General Manager, Group Sales Manager, Island Manager, Assistant Island Managers, and our Environmental Coordinator were all guides prior to becoming managers within our company.

9. What certifications are required? What certifications can be helpful to have?

All guides must have basic CPR & First Aid certifications. You’ll receive a pay increase for having a commercial Class B driver’s license.

10. What perks does this job offer?

We try to keep our staff happy and do as much as we can to keep them around so we’ve added some incentives over the years. We offer competitive pay, generous tour discounts for yourself, family and friends, bonuses, additional training to support career growth, seasonal company-wide celebrations, end-of-season staff gifts, and a fun work environment. Paid time off, 401k, and paid holidays are available for full-time employees.

11. Am I able to work as a guide in other roles beyond wine?

Absolutely! The majority of our guides work in many different roles, and if you are interested in working in a broader role, check out our Adventure Guide position.