Tour Guide

Job Description:

Travel guides plan, organise, and conduct long distance travel, tours, and expeditions for individuals and groups.

Job Category:
Tourism, Hospitality & Entertainment

What you will do:

Your day-to-day will include tasks such as:

  • Provide tourists with assistance in obtaining permits and documents such as visas, passports, and health certificates, and in converting currency.
  • Pilot airplanes or drive land and water vehicles to transport tourists to activity or tour sites.
  • Lead individuals or groups to tour site locations and describe points of interest.
  • Pay bills and record checks issued.
  • Set up camps, and prepare meals for tour group members.
  • Arrange for tour or expedition details such as accommodations, transportation, equipment, and the availability of medical personnel.
  • Resolve any problems with itineraries, service, or accommodations.
  • Instruct novices in climbing techniques, mountaineering, and wilderness survival, and demonstrate use of hunting, fishing, and climbing equipment.


You’ll need:

  • an interest and knowledge of history
  • knowledge of English language
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As well as:

  • customer service skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be flexible and open to change (adaptability skills)
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • a good memory
  • organisational skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

Becoming a Tour Guide doesn’t typically require specific subjects, but there are certain skills, subjects, and qualifications that can be beneficial for this profession. Tour Guides often need good communication skills, knowledge of the areas they are guiding in, and the ability to provide an informative and engaging experience to tourists. Here’s a list of subjects and skills that can be helpful for pursuing a career as a Tour Guide:

  1. English: Strong written and verbal communication skills are essential for a Tour Guide. You’ll be speaking to groups of tourists, providing information, answering questions, and telling stories.
  2. Geography: Geography can be valuable, especially if you plan to offer tours in geographical or historical locations. It provides a foundation for understanding the physical and cultural aspects of a place.
  3. History: For guides in historically significant areas, a background in History can be helpful, as it allows you to provide historical context and stories related to the location.
  4. Foreign Languages: If you plan to guide tourists in locations where multiple languages are spoken, proficiency in one or more foreign languages can be an advantage.

Post School

There are no set requirements, but it might benefit you to do a Diploma in Travel and Tourism (Level 3 in the UK).

Alternatively, you could do a travel consultant advanced apprenticeship. You could also start as a trainee travel guide and receive on-the-job training from your employer. A good general standard of education will be expected and employers may ask for school qualifications in English and Maths or equivalent. Good geographical knowledge and a second language will also be helpful.

Working Hours and Environment:

Your typical woking hours could be variable.

You could work at monuments and castles, in a museum, at an art gallery or in parks and gardens.

Your working environment may be physically active, outdoors some of the time and you’ll travel often.

Career Path & Progression:

With training and experience, there may be opportunities to progress into senior roles such as:

  • branch or call centre manager
  • operations director
  • regional director
  • managing director

You could also move into other roles in the travel sector, like tour operating.