Tour Guides

Tour guides plan and oversee travel arrangements and accommodations for groups of tourists. They assist travelers with questions or problems, and they may provide travelers with itineraries of their proposed travel route and plans. Tour guides research their destinations thoroughly so that they can handle any unforeseen situation that may occur. There are approximately 34,530 tour guides and escorts, and about 4,250 travel guides employed in the United States. 

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Inbound Tour Guides, Travel Guides
Duties Plan and oversee travel arrangements and accommodations for groups of tourists; lead tours
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $75,000
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available throughout the world
Minimum Education Level
  • High School Diploma
  • Some Postsecondary Training
School Subjects
  • Foreign Language
  • Geography
  • History
  • Speech
Experience Customer service or leadership experience
Personality Traits
  • Helpful
  • Organized
  • Outgoing
  • Talkative
  • Interpersonal
  • Leadership
  • Public Speaking
  • Teaching
Certification or Licensing Recommended
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook About as Fast as the Average
Career Ladder
  • Tour Agency Owner or Travel Writer
  • Experienced Tour Guide
  • Entry-Level Tour Guide

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