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Career Profile: Tour Guides and Escorts

Escort individuals or groups on sightseeing tours or through places of interest, such as industrial establishments, public buildings, and art galleries.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 44,000 people employed as tour guides and escorts in the United States. The median annual salary is $29,500. Entry level employees earn approximately $20,430 per year and senior employees earn approximately $47,660 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Perform clerical duties, such as filing, typing, operating switchboards, or routing mail and messages.
  • Solicit tour patronage and sell souvenirs.
  • Speak foreign languages to communicate with foreign visitors.
  • Research various topics, including site history, environmental conditions, and clients' skills and abilities to plan appropriate expeditions, instruction, and commentary.
  • Provide directions and other pertinent information to visitors.
  • Select travel routes and sites to be visited based on knowledge of specific areas.
  • Provide for physical safety of groups, performing such activities as providing first aid or directing emergency evacuations.
  • Assemble and check the required supplies and equipment prior to departure.
  • Greet and register visitors, and issue any required identification badges or safety devices.
  • Distribute brochures, show audiovisual presentations, and explain establishment processes and operations at tour sites.
  • Drive motor vehicles to transport visitors to establishments and tour site locations.
  • Train other guides and volunteers.
  • Provide information about wildlife varieties and habitats, as well as any relevant regulations, such as those pertaining to hunting and fishing.
  • Teach skills, such as proper climbing methods, and demonstrate and advise on the use of equipment.
  • Collect fees and tickets from group members.
  • Monitor visitors' activities to ensure compliance with establishment or tour regulations and safety practices.
  • Conduct educational activities for school children.
  • 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, or art galleries.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
44,000
Annual Openings:
9,200
Increase in Openings by 2030:
29%
Annual Salary Range:
$20,430 - $47,660
Education Requirements:
High school diploma