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Guide Careers

A tour guide takes visitors on guided tours at historical or culturally relevant sites that are unfamiliar to them. Guides share interesting information and entertaining insight into the places to provide tourists with a more in-depth experience. Following the lead of a tour guide in a foreign place usually guarantees that you will not get lost, and you will find the best spot to see and have a great meal, or a fun night out.

Guides sometimes obtain vocational training in travel or tourism, but they are not required to have a degree to hold this position. Language skills are great to have, and experience in the service industry, such as hotels or travel trades, can also be useful.

You will be walking around a lot as a guide, so make sure you are at least more fit than the average tourist if you take on this job. You should not shy away from speaking in public. Unless you advertise yourself as a Zen guide, you will be expected to keep the info and fun titbits coming all day long.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a guide. For example, did you know that they make an average of $15.13 an hour? That's $31,462 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 16% and produce 51,700 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Guide Do

There are certain skills that many guides have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed customer-service skills, detail oriented and patience.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a guide, we found that a lot of resumes listed 15.6% of guides included new members, while 12.6% of resumes included online, and 8.4% of resumes included safety rules. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the guide job title. But what industry to start with? Most guides actually find jobs in the retail and hospitality industries.

How To Become a Guide

If you're interested in becoming a guide, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 51.6% of guides have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 10.5% of guides have master's degrees. Even though most guides have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a guide. When we researched the most common majors for a guide, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or high school diploma degrees. Other degrees that we often see on guide resumes include associate degree degrees or master's degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a guide. In fact, many guide jobs require experience in a role such as internship. Meanwhile, many guides also have previous career experience in roles such as cashier or sales associate.

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Average Salary
$31,462
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
16%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
546
Job Openings

Guide Career Paths

Top Careers Before Guide

Cashier
11.5 %

Top Careers After Guide

Cashier
9.1 %

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Guide

Guides in America make an average salary of $31,462 per year or $15 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $54,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $18,000 per year.
Average Salary
$31,462

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range31k - 57k$43k$42,916
Milton, MA
Salary Range26k - 54k$38k$37,936
Scranton, PA
Salary Range25k - 53k$37k$36,994
Columbus, OH
Salary Range25k - 48k$35k$35,042
Austin, TX
Salary Range25k - 47k$35k$34,513
Overland Park, KS
Salary Range25k - 45k$34k$34,469
$19k
$57k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Program Safety Guide (PER Diem)
Program Safety Guide (PER Diem)
Spectrum Health Systems, Inc.
Spectrum Health Systems, Inc.
01/23/2021
01/23/2021
$31,30501/23/2021
$31,305
Adventure Services Guide
Adventure Services Guide
Noble House Hotels and Resorts
Noble House Hotels and Resorts
01/09/2021
01/09/2021
$27,13101/09/2021
$27,131
Grove Guide
Grove Guide
Grove Collaborative
Grove Collaborative
01/06/2021
01/06/2021
$31,30501/06/2021
$31,305
Guide-Bonobos
Guide-Bonobos
Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart
12/18/2020
12/18/2020
$22,95712/18/2020
$22,957
Tang Guide (2 Positions Available)
Tang Guide (2 Positions Available)
Skidmore College
Skidmore College
11/24/2020
11/24/2020
$29,21811/24/2020
$29,218
See More Recent Salaries

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Guide Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Guide. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Guide Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Guide resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Guide Demographics

Gender

female

48.9 %

male

46.8 %

unknown

4.3 %

Ethnicity

White

71.4 %

Hispanic or Latino

11.2 %

Asian

6.9 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.1 %

French

12.5 %

Chinese

5.4 %
See More Demographics

Guide Education

Majors

Business
16.4 %

Degrees

Bachelors

51.6 %

High School Diploma

16.7 %

Associate

11.2 %

Top Colleges for Guides

1. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

2. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

4. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

5. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

6. George Washington University, The

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,230
Enrollment
12,161

7. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Public

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

8. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

9. Yale University

New Haven, CT • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,430
Enrollment
5,963

10. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Guide

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 15.6% of guides listed new members on their resume, but soft skills such as customer-service skills and detail oriented are important as well.

  • New Members, 15.6%
  • Online, 12.6%
  • Safety Rules, 8.4%
  • Product Knowledge, 7.6%
  • Communication, 6.8%
  • Other Skills, 49.0%
  • See All Guide Skills

Best States For a Guide

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a guide. The best states for people in this position are Hawaii, California, Rhode Island, and Maryland. Guides make the most in Hawaii with an average salary of $45,374. Whereas in California and Rhode Island, they would average $39,472 and $38,329, respectively. While guides would only make an average of $38,131 in Maryland, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Hawaii

Total Guide Jobs:
3
Highest 10% Earn:
$67,000
Location Quotient:
1.87
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Ohio

Total Guide Jobs:
25
Highest 10% Earn:
$66,000
Location Quotient:
1.28
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. California

Total Guide Jobs:
94
Highest 10% Earn:
$68,000
Location Quotient:
1.68
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Guide Employers

1. Eastern Mountain Sports
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$31,435
Guides Hired: 
67+
2. Eddie Bauer
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$25,544
Guides Hired: 
29+
3. National Park Service
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$34,418
Guides Hired: 
19+
4. Sonic Automotive
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$32,160
Guides Hired: 
15+
5. Origin
3.5
Avg. Salary: 
$31,471
Guides Hired: 
10+
6. Boy Scouts of America
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$31,115
Guides Hired: 
10+

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