What Does a Travel Guide Do?
Travel guides are individuals who organize, plan and perform long distance tours, travel and excursions for groups as well as individuals. In addition to being a good fit for individuals who like to travel, being a travel guide is also a good occupation for people who like to help others, especially because guides sometimes have to administer first aid and help travelers who have special needs. There is a job growth rate of four percent for travel guides for the next several years, which is about 300 jobs a year. That being said, there are some states that will see more growth than other, so be sure to do your research while looking for jobs in other locations.
Travel Guide Skills and Abilities
Examples of some of the skills you’ll need to hone before becoming a travel agent include actively listening to others, adequately conveying information, having a service oriented mindset, mental coordination and persuasion. Travel guides should be able to listen to and comprehend oral information, speak in a way that’s easily understood, comprehend written information and recognize the speech patterns of others, which comes in handy when interacting with people with dialects or accents.
Travel Guide Duties
Some of the most common everyday duties for travel guides include planning tour itineraries and resolving any problems that develop therein, gauging services on received tours, setting up camps and preparing meals for travelers. If you enjoy flying, know that it’s not unusual for travel guides to fly planes or even drive land and water vehicles for travelers. Individuals with a sense of adventure are sure to love the wilderness survival and climbing aspects of being a travel guide.
Travel Guide Tools and Technology
Specific tools often used by travel guides consist of:Radio frequency receivers and transmittersAnimal calls and luresBussesOutdoor stovesTypes of technology you’re likely to use include:Web browsersAccounting softwareMicrosoft Outlook and other types of email softwareCustomer information databasesDatabase user interfaces and query software, such as Travel Agent CMS
Education and Training for Travel Guides
To qualify for positions as a travel guide, you’ll first need to have a high school diploma or its equivalent, such as a GED. There are some guides who have attained a bachelor’s degree, and some who have taken college courses without having earned a degree. There is even a small percentage of guides who have master’s or associate’s degrees. The occupation usually doesn’t require prior work experience, and your employer is likely to offer you a moderate degree of on-the-job training after you’ve been hired.
Travel Guide Salary
If you’re among the top earners for travel guides, you can expect to make as much as $60,700 a year. Average earnings are about $35,100, and those in the lowest percentage often take home $20,500 annually. As with most jobs, the state in which you work has a large part to play in how much you earn. For example, average earnings for California’s travel guides are $33,400 while those in the lowest 10 percent often take home approximately $23,200 a year.
Travel Guide Jobs by Geography
States that are expected to see the most employment opportunities for travel guides are Arizona, Oregon and Idaho and those with the smallest percentage of projected job growth are Iowa, Nebraska and North Carolina. As far as overall average wages are concerned for guides, states with the highest include Washington, Massachusetts and North Carolina. You may want to think twice about taking a job in Mississippi, New York or Idaho, as those are locations in which travel guides earn the lowest median earnings.