Interested in learning how to become a tour guide? It’s not as unusual as you might think. More people are hiring tour guides to go on their vacations. You can work as a tour guide while you’re still living in the town you grew up in. If that sounds appealing, keep reading. Let’s look at some of the requirements to become a tour guide.
Most required educational backgrounds vary by industry, but in most cases a bachelor’s degree within a particular field relating to the area of the vacation you will be guiding is required. Museums, for example, often require a degree in conservation or educational history and eco tours, for instance, may require a degree in wildlife biology. Most tour guides have bachelor’s degrees, although some tour guide associations do hire individuals with an associate’s degree. Still others may have no educational background at all.
The most common type of job for people wanting to learn how to become a tour guide is driving a bus for a tour company. Other popular destinations for these types of jobs include theme parks and cruise ships. Some bus companies offer intensive driver training to those who already have driving experience. Others will train someone completely if that person’s driving experience is lacking.
As mentioned earlier, educational requirements to become a tour guide vary from one company to the next. One thing that does remain consistent, however, is the general education requirement. Many tour guides must learn how to speak English, Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, and a few other languages. Some colleges and universities even offer programs in world languages so that foreign tourists who want to travel and study in other parts of the world can do so.
There are also some other key pieces of information that will be required of those wanting to know how to become a tour guide. Some states require potential tour guides to pass a background check, have a license, and take a test regarding their knowledge of driving and the road. Some of these tests can be taken online or on the job. Some of them may be written or oral, depending upon the state. In order to get licensed in some states, tour guides must attend a training program and complete it.
The actual salary of how to become a tour guide varies greatly depending upon where you live and what your experience level is. Those who are just out of high school, on the other hand, typically make about $15 per hour. College students typically make a little more than that, often depending upon their ability to learn and their workload. Those who have years of experience generally earn more. However, as with any profession, the highest paying jobs are not always at the top of the list.
If you want to know how to become a tour guide, you have to consider what you are being hired for. This is usually tied to what part of the country you are traveling to. For example, if you are traveling to the west coast, which is much more temperate and desert-like than the east, you will likely be hired to travel to tourist hot spots such as Death Valley and the Grand Tetons. These types of destinations tend to be visited by families, especially if you are part of a tour guide company. However, you might also find employment in larger cities or outdoors areas, like those in Colorado and Wyoming. You can also work in national parks and monuments, if you want to explore more of the country.
While you may think that you would not have much luck working in tourist areas because most people do not enjoy traveling to them, you would be wrong. Many Americans and Europeans love to visit the country’s most popular tourist locations, especially those that are situated within a few hours of an ocean. As a matter of fact, many cruise lines hire out tour guides to travel around Europe and other parts of the world. You can find employment in cruise ship tours, wilderness tours, and so much more.