What experience and education do I need to become a tour guide?

tour guide gives information with building in background

If the idea of leading tourists through interesting places and exhibits excites you, a tour job guide may be right for you. Tour guides carry massive responsibility to make the guest experience memorable and seamless.

The job involves much more than reading stuff off sheets. You must accompany visitors on sightseeing, adventure, historical and educational tours. You need a certain personality and skill set to entertain and inform guests. Tour guides must be outgoing and confident, and you can work seasonally for tourism companies or cultural centers.

Job responsibilities

Tour guide jobs are sometimes lucrative. But do you understand the roles and responsibilities of the job? Here is a brief rundown of what will be expected of you:

  • Welcoming guests on the tour
  • Planning and informing guests about the itinerary
  • Scheduling and coordinating prearranged activities
  • Planning alternative activities in case something doesn’t work out
  • Gathering requisite equipment and essentials for every tour
  • Familiarizing yourself with the layout and history of the region
  • Providing commentary about the places of interest
  • Ensuring member safety and comfort

Create a professional tour guide resume

To apply for a suitable tour guide job, you must also have a professional job resume. If you haven’t created one and are looking for a job, it is best to work out the resume first to have a presentable account of your experience. Structure the resume well and be a top choice for employers:

  • Use a cover letter
  • Add an objective statement
  • Add your contact details
  • Mention your education qualifications
  • Showcase relevant experience
  • Previous (quantifiable) achievements
  • Highlight your certifications
  • Enlist appropriate (hard and soft) skills


Here are the requirements to qualify for a tour guide summer job:

  • High school diploma
  • Passion for traveling
  • Ability to guide diverse groups
  • Capacity for shift work, late nights and overtime
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Outstanding organizational and time management skills
  • Prior experience is advantageous
  • Certificate in guiding, first aid and specialized fields may be helpful


Although there are no formal educational requirements, the following can get you the best paying your guide job that not only earns you good money but also the right experience:

  • High school degree (minimum qualification)
  • Bachelor’s degree (in most cases)
  • Master’s degree (advanced level)
  • Major in Business, Communication, Psychology or History
  • First Aid, CPR and AED Instructor certifications
  • A relevant training program


As tempting as it may seem, a tour guide job is challenging. It rewards the hustler, so you must possess the right skills and mindset to excel at the position. Some of the major skills employers look for include:

  • Tech savviness
  • Local and historical know-how
  • Guiding tours
  • Customer service
  • Front office management
  • Social media knowledge
  • First aid
  • Public speaking
  • Presence of mind
  • Ready for uncertainties
  • Sharp memory
  • Flexibility
  • Energetic
  • Go-getter attitude
  • Leadership qualities

Ready to Get Started?

Are you looking to offer travelers a truly local experience but don’t know how to start? Apply for a tour guide job at Cool Jobs. You can listings on our Travel and Transportation page.