12 Reasons To Become a Tour Guide (Plus Jobs and Salaries)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published December 7, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Tour guides are professionals who guide a group of visitors through a new location, country or attraction. They're typically knowledgeable about the are a and can educate attendees about the location. If you're considering working as a tour guide, it can be helpful to learn about the benefits that come with the career. In this article, we discuss what a tour guide is, list 12 reasons why you might want to become one and review five jobs you can consider in this field.

What is a tour guide?

A tour guide is someone who takes tourists to attractions, destinations or points of interest. They're often experts in the destination's history, providing tourists with interesting facts and information. A tour guide is also responsible for ensuring the safety of participants, accounting for each attendee at the beginning and end of each tour. Some tour guides may work for a specific attraction or college, where they facilitate tours. They may take visitors on a tour of an art center or museum or show potential students a college campus they may be considering.

Related: Tour Guiding Skills: Definition and Examples

12 reasons to become a tour guide

Here are 12 reasons you might decide to pursue a career as a tour guide:

1. Learn valuable skills

Working as a tour guide can provide you with ample learning opportunities. These learning opportunities can help you develop in-demand skills that can transition to other industries, like planning, project management, communication and problem-solving. Tour guides develop strong public speaking and communication skills, which are often useful in a variety of industries.

Related: Acquired Skills: Definition and Examples

2. Ability to travel

Tour guides can earn compensation while also traveling to new destinations. People who are interested in traveling and experiencing new cultures may enjoy the opportunity to travel frequently. Tour guides often have control over the destinations they visit, making the career rewarding.

Related: How To Travel for a Living

3. Explore history and arts

Working as a tour guide allows you to expand your knowledge of the arts and history. This can help with developing analytical and interpretive skills that may be beneficial in other careers. The study of arts and history can help with developing self-reflective skills .

4. Networking capabilities

Tour guides meet people from all over the world, and this can help with networking. In addition to learning unique facts or information about different cultures and ways of living, tour guides can expand their professional networks. This can be beneficial in obtaining career advice and guidance while also developing new insights into other careers.

Related: The Benefits of Networking: 14 Reasons To Start Your Network

5. Save money

Tour guides can use this career to explore new destinations at a discounted rate while earning an income. Many tour guide jobs cover travel expenses, giving you the opportunity to save money. This can be a good option for recent high school graduates who want to take a year off before or after college or those who are considering a career change.

6. Cultural awareness

Cultural skills are frequently in demand. Many businesses have departments or teams that work all over the world. These cultural learning opportunities allow tour guides to gain insight into other cultures, work styles and how international business influences domestic careers. Some tour guides may have the opportunity to practice language skills in other countries, and being bilingual or multilingual can be something that sets you apart when applying for jobs.

7. Rewarding and fun career

Tour guides often have rewarding and fun careers, as they're in a position to educate and entertain the tour's participants. Whether you're leading a group to a travel destination or on a college campus, tour guides answer questions and provide guidance. They're in a unique position to help attendees make important college or travel decisions.

8. Diverse career opportunities

The experience that comes from working as a tour guide can lead to a wide range of career opportunities. Skills in leadership and organization can prepare tour guides to work in museums, art galleries or on college campuses. Many skills that tour guides gain, like communication, can transfer to other industries, such as business or sales.

9. Flexible work schedule

Tour guides often work flexible, nontraditional work schedules. They may work evenings or weekends, and some tours may require extended working hours. This may be an ideal situation for those who prefer working outside of the traditional 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule, such as students or those who want a second job to supplement income.

10. Leadership abilities

Tour guides' primary duty is to lead groups, making it a great position for developing strong leadership skills. Tour guides use leadership skills to organize, facilitate and lead groups. T his can help them become strong, effective leaders. The ability to effectively lead teams can be an in-demand that skill that provides value, regardless of the career you choose.

11. Explore a variety of careers

Working as a tour guide can help those who are undecided about the career they want to pursue. The opportunity to explore different locations and communicate with people from different cultures and countries can offer a chance for new careers to develop. Tour guides can also use the position to evaluate the aspects they enjoy and don't enjoy, helping them narrow down their career options.

12. Easy career to obtain

Working as a tour guide doesn't typically require a degree. This can make it a good career for people who prefer not to spend time or money on college. It can be a good way to supplement income for current college students or recent retirees. While training and licensure are usually a requirement, the company you work for may provide this.

5 tour guide jobs

Here's a list of tour guide jobs you may pursue. For the most up-to-date Indeed salaries, please click on the links below:

1. Tour guide

National average salary: $31,413 per year

Primary duties: A tour guide takes people on sightseeing or travel tours. They show attendees popular attractions and points of interest. They may answer questions or inform participants of unique facts about the different destinations.

2. Campus guide

National average salary: $38,721 per year

Primary duties: A campus guide, or representative, leads interested college students on a tour of the campus. This often includes showing them the different amenities, dorms and classrooms. A campus guide is typically a current student.

3. Tour manager

National average salary: $41,158 per year

Primary duties: A tour manager oversees other tour guides. They may be responsible for planning tours and creating itineraries based on the attendee's preferences. A tour manager usually begins as a tour guide, working their way up to a management position.

4. Travel adviser

National average salary: $41,893 per year

Primary duties: A travel adviser provides consultation to customers on the best tours to attend. They may work closely with customers, understanding what they want out of a tour and helping them book it. A travel adviser may or may not be the tour guide, depending on the company.

5. Tour coordinator

National average salary: $50,212 per year

Primary duties: A tour coordinator organizes tours, identifying the best attractions to visit and calculating costs. They're in charge of planning tours that people enjoy. A tour coordinator may be responsible for scheduling tours or billing attendees.

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