Tour guides and escorts conduct educational activities for school children, escort individuals or groups on cruises, sightseeing tours or through interesting places such as industrial establishments, public buildings and art galleries. They describe tour points of interest to group members, and answer questions. They also monitor visitors’ activities to ensure compliance with establishment or tour regulations and safety practices, greet and register visitors and issue any required identification badges or safety devices.
Tour guides and Escorts sometimes distribute brochures, show audiovisual presentations and explain establishment processes and operations at tour sites. They may also provide directions and other pertinent information to visitors.
- Tour guides and escorts research environmental conditions and clients’ skill and ability levels in order to plan expeditions, instruction, and commentary that are appropriate.
- They provide information about wildlife varieties and habitats, as well as any relevant regulations, such as those pertaining to hunting and fishing.
- Tour guides and escorts may have to perform first aid and direct emergency evacuations.
Work Environment for Tour Guides and Escorts
Tour guides and escorts work in public places, such as industrial establishments, buildings, companies, art galleries and museums. They need to be trained in safety rules ad first aid. They also need to have knowledge of the area that is being toured, so they can answer questions asked by tourists.
Tour guides and escorts must be willing to work on tour buses, boats and bicycles. They should be proficient in electronic charts, maps or atlases, including ActiveMap Tour Guide software ad Intelligent Spatial Technologies iPointer Tour Guide software.
Education, Training and Licensing
Tour guides and escorts typically need training on-the-job experience, an associate’s degree or training in vocational schools. They will need to possess work-related knowledge, skill, or experience.
guides and escorts must have knowledge of principles and
processes for providing customer service. This includes meeting quality
standards for services; customer needs assessment and evaluation of customer
satisfaction. They should possess knowledge of historical events and their
causes, indicators and effects on civilizations and cultures.
Employment Figures, Projections, Outlook and Earnings
Tour guides and escorts held 31,630 jobs in May 2009, according to research published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Other positions in this category include docent, science interpreter, museum docent, museum educator, tour guide, museum guide, discovery guide and historical interpreter.
The Occupational Information Network (ONET) expects employment in this field to increase up to 13% from 2008 to 2018, which is on par with the average growth for occupations.
BLS reports indicate that the median annual wage for salaried tour guide and escorts was $23,750 in May 2009. The middle 50% earned between $18,490 and $30,920. While the lowest 10% had an annual income at or below $16,060 the top 10% earned upwards of $39,240 per year.