Find The Best Tour Guide Jobs For You

Where do you want to work?

0 selections

Tour 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 tour guide. For example, did you know that they make an average of $14.19 an hour? That's $29,507 a year!

What Does a Tour Guide Do

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a tour guide, we found that a lot of resumes listed 17.6% of tour guides included local history, while 14.8% of resumes included customer service, and 12.8% 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 tour guide job title. But what industry to start with? Most tour guides actually find jobs in the education and hospitality industries.

How To Become a Tour Guide

If you're interested in becoming a tour guide, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 65.7% of tour guides have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 6.7% of tour guides have master's degrees. Even though most tour 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 tour guide. When we researched the most common majors for a tour guide, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or high school diploma degrees. Other degrees that we often see on tour guide resumes include associate degree degrees or master's degree degrees.

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

What is the right job for my career path?

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

Average Salary
$29,507
Average Salary
Job Openings
754
Job Openings

Tour Guide Career Paths

Top Careers Before Tour Guide

Volunteer
10.0 %

Top Careers After Tour Guide

Cashier
9.2 %

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 Tour Guide

Tour Guides in America make an average salary of $29,507 per year or $14 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $50,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $17,000 per year.
Average Salary
$29,507

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range35k - 64k$48k$47,881
Baltimore, MD
Salary Range27k - 53k$38k$37,992
Boston, MA
Salary Range25k - 50k$36k$36,214
Austin, TX
Salary Range25k - 46k$35k$34,678
New Orleans, LA
Salary Range25k - 46k$34k$34,190
New York, NY
Salary Range23k - 47k$34k$33,869
$20k
$64k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Guide Snowcat Tours-Winter Season
Guide Snowcat Tours-Winter Season
Alterra Mountain Co
Alterra Mountain Co
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$26,08801/29/2021
$26,088
Guide Snowcat Tours-Winter Season
Guide Snowcat Tours-Winter Season
Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp.
Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp.
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$26,08801/29/2021
$26,088
Job Title: O'Laughlin Ambassador-Tour Guide
Job Title: O'Laughlin Ambassador-Tour Guide
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$26,08801/29/2021
$26,088
Walking Tour Guide-Seasonal-SAN Diego Zoo Safari Park
Walking Tour Guide-Seasonal-SAN Diego Zoo Safari Park
San Diego Zoo
San Diego Zoo
01/28/2021
01/28/2021
$39,52801/28/2021
$39,528
Visitor Services/Tour Guide Crew
Visitor Services/Tour Guide Crew
Student Conservation Association
Student Conservation Association
01/15/2021
01/15/2021
$57,39301/15/2021
$57,393
See More Recent Salaries

Calculate your salary

Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to see how your pay matches up.

Tour 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 Tour 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 Tour Guide Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Tour 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

Tour Guide Demographics

Gender

female

50.4 %

male

44.4 %

unknown

5.2 %

Ethnicity

White

71.7 %

Hispanic or Latino

11.0 %

Asian

6.9 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

41.0 %

French

14.5 %

Chinese

6.7 %
See More Demographics

Tour Guide Education

Majors

Business
13.9 %

Degrees

Bachelors

65.7 %

High School Diploma

12.1 %

Associate

8.8 %

Top Colleges for Tour 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 Tour Guide

  • Local History, 17.6%
  • Customer Service, 14.8%
  • Safety Rules, 12.8%
  • Public Speaking, 6.0%
  • Large Groups, 5.8%
  • Other Skills, 43.0%
  • See All Tour Guide Skills

Best States For a Tour Guide

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a tour guide. The best states for people in this position are Hawaii, California, Alaska, and Maryland. Tour guides make the most in Hawaii with an average salary of $47,890. Whereas in California and Alaska, they would average $43,612 and $41,189, respectively. While tour guides would only make an average of $37,592 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. California

Total Tour Guide Jobs:
65
Highest 10% Earn:
$74,000
Location Quotient:
1.75
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. Alaska

Total Tour Guide Jobs:
8
Highest 10% Earn:
$54,000
Location Quotient:
7.54
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. Ohio

Total Tour Guide Jobs:
15
Highest 10% Earn:
$64,000
Location Quotient:
1.16
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
View Full List

How Do Tour Guide Rate Their Jobs?

Working as a Tour Guide? Share your experience anonymously.
Rate
Do you work as a Tour Guide?
Rate how you like work as Tour Guide. It's anonymous and will only take a minute.
Rate

Top Tour Guide Employers

1. The Walt Disney Company
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$36,792
Tour Guides Hired: 
125+
2. Polynesian Cultural Center
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$30,471
Tour Guides Hired: 
89+
3. Anheuser-Busch
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$33,934
Tour Guides Hired: 
75+
4. Full Sail University
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$26,149
Tour Guides Hired: 
50+
5. Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Co
3.7
Avg. Salary: 
$25,145
Tour Guides Hired: 
47+
6. The Jelly Belly Candy Company
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$34,501
Tour Guides Hired: 
42+

Tour Guide Videos