Starting a Career as a Tour Guide

In a nutshell, a tour guide is a person who provides information about specific places that often have a particular historical and cultural heritage. The main skill that a tour guide needs is extensive knowledge about a place they are about to discuss with individuals.

Though the idea of becoming a tour guide is exciting and adventurous, this job is not for everyone. You really must know your facts and be able to vet questions.

If this job interests you, you can find out more about what it takes to become a tour guide in this article.

Starting a Career as a Tour Guide 1

Roles and Responsibilities of a Tour Guide

You need to find out information about the tourists you are leading and their interests and learn how to relay information accordingly. For instance, a tourist of 50 years cannot be given the same information as a 12-year-old. You will also be required to greet tourists and clearly explain the tour’s terms and conditions.

It is your duty as a tour guide to provide information and facts as you take them around for a tour. You will also have to answer questions in case there are any. Furthermore, you will have to give tourists emergency guidelines to avoid any confusion.

Types of Tour Guides

This career has a lot of responsibilities. But to divide the tasks, there are different types of tour guides according to the nature of the tourist destination. These fall under the categories of heritage, cultural, adventure, forest or wilderness, and business.

Heritage Tour Guide

He or she is someone who gives information about the past or history of the place visited by tourists. These sites may include forts, museums, and temples.

Cultural Tour Guide

This type of professional is someone who gives information on the lifestyle patterns of the locals where the tourists visit. They may provide information on cuisine, agriculture, cultivation, diet, and places with food specialties. They may also offer a spiritual guide, temple guide, or pilgrim guide.

Adventure Tour Guide

This type of guide may provide information or guide tourists in mountaineering, trekking, skiing, surfing, or scuba diving. These types of tours will also accompany an activity.

Forest or Wilderness Tour Guide

This type of guide must provide tourists with a safe hunting, hiking, camping, or safari visit. They can tell tourists about the local flora and fauna and help them stay out of harm’s way.

Business Tour Guide

This type of guide must know about how the industry works in the local area. For instance, if a tourist asks about real estate, he or she must give the required information.

Tour Guide Salary Expectations

Salary ranges depend on the nature of the job, country, and the company in which you are working. Your base pay should range between $50 to $150 per day. If you factor in tourist tips, you should be able to earn between $250 to $350 per day.

Tour Guide Job Eligibility

You need to be educated about the subject or place and understand the information you give. Most employers do not require any formal qualifications, but having them puts you at an advantage in being hired. You might also have to take prior classes to acquire a few skills like leadership, team building, communication skills, and public speaking.

You will need mental and physical abilities, such as being able to give CPR in case of an emergency, and you must know the surroundings and the subjects being taught.

Skills Needed for a Tour Guide Job

Here are several abilities you must have to make it as a tour guide.

  • You need to be friendly towards tourists and other people.
  • You need to be outgoing and adventurous.
  • You need to be able to calm people without causing conflict.
  • You need to be polite and patient and not easily get angered.
  • You should exhibit professional behavior while carrying out your duties.

How to Apply for Tour Guide Jobs

First, prepare your resume, clearly stating all the skills you possess that are in line with this job. If you have done some studies before, remember to include them in your resume.

There are some of the websites you can scroll through if you’re looking for a job opening in this field.

Where Do Tour Guides Work?

As a tourist guide, your options are unlimited. Depending on precisely what you want, you can either work in a museum, park, tourist agency, or wildlife park. Amusement parks are another option for you, or you can choose to be self-employed. The most critical step is to know what is required, how to get clients, and where to take them. If you have everything down, you’ll be good to go.


If this is a career that you would like to consider, let nothing hold you back. Do the necessary research on which companies you would like to work for and send in your resume. We wish you success in your career search!

Also read – Museum Education Officer: Get a Great Job