What Do Tour Guides and Escorts Do?
Tour Guides and Escorts lead individuals or groups on sightseeing tours or through places of interest, such as industrial establishments, public buildings, and art galleries. Nearly 30% of these jobs are with museums or similar institutions, but you can also find employment with government agencies. It is anticipated that there will be an 8% increase in positions for this occupation in the next few years, which will be approximately 2,340 jobs.
Tour Guides and Escorts Skills and Abilities
Tour Guides have strong customer service skills since the job requires frequent public contact for long periods. These skills include assessing a customer’s needs, meeting quality standards, and evaluating the level of customer satisfaction. It is also important for Tour Guides to have knowledge of business and management principles used in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources, leadership technique and the coordination of people and resources. Tour Guides should understand the principles and methods of individual and group instruction, as these methods correlate with the delivery of tours. It is necessary to have knowledge of history and archeology including historical events and their causes and effects on civilizations and cultures. Other general skills that Tour Guides have are:
- Speaking – Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Active Listening – Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made.
- Social Perceptiveness – Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Service Orientation – Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Coordination – Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
Tour Guides and Escorts Duties
Tour Guides work directly with the public by arranging, scheduling and conducting tours. General tasks that Tour Guides regularly perform require establishing interpersonal relationships with customers and other persons. Information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail. Some specific duties Tour Guides have are:
- Describe tour points of interest to group members, and respond to questions.
- Escort individuals or groups on cruises, sightseeing tours, or through places of interest such as industrial establishments, public buildings, and art galleries.
- Conduct educational activities for school children.
- Research various topics, including site history, environmental conditions, and clients’ skills and abilities to plan appropriate expeditions, instruction, and commentary.
- Select travel routes and sites to be visited based on knowledge of specific areas.
Tour Guides and Escorts Tools and Technology
Tour guides make use of busses to transport clients, and electronic maps or atlases to locate areas of interest. They may need to use an emergency medical first aid kit if a member of the tour group has an accident or illness during an excursion. Tour guides use customer relationship management software, GPS, and database software.
Education and Training for Tour Guides and Escorts
You can find employment as a Tour Guide with just a high school diploma or equivalent and no experience. Over one-third of Tour Guides have a Bachelor’s Degree, so you may want to consider additional education to be considered for the best jobs. You will receive a moderate term of on the job training once you are hired.
Tour Guides and Escorts Salary
The median salary for Tour Guides is just under $24,000, and the top 10% earn just under $38,000. Wyoming, New York and Alaska pay the highest salaries, and the Western states in general offer higher pay than the rest of the country.
Tour Guides and Escorts Jobs by Geography
Job growth for Tour Guides will be strongest in Idaho, Arizona and Kansas, and weakest in the South and Midwest.