Becoming a tour guide is one of the most popular jobs in the United States. Tour guides are skilled individuals who are knowledgeable in a particular area and know how to interact with tourists effectively. To become a tour guide, one must possess excellent communication skills, be well organized, and be friendly and outgoing. Here are some of the things that aspiring tour guides should know in order to become successful in their chosen career.
Touring Around LA
The primary requirement for this job is the desire to assist people in finding their way around a particular place. Since this career can be very demanding physically, it requires the individual to be in excellent health and be willing to work in long hours. It is important to have a sense of adventure and be very tolerant and outgoing in every day life. A high school diploma or GED is usually required as well as some college courses that provide a background in information technology. There is no minimum age for starting a career as a tour guide, but most often the younger the student the better the chances of being hired.
Many students who wish to become tour guides start by taking classes in geography, as these classes will help them to understand the world map better and be able to use it to find directions. Some other classes that are required are related to travel, as there are specific places that require certain tactics when making trips. Other skills that are required for this profession are public speaking skills, as tour managers must be able to entertain both tourists and locals alike without becoming obnoxious. At least 1 hours of public speaking every day is required for a successful career.
Tour guide organizations may require an applicant to take an advanced driving safety class. Tours may also require that a candidate participate in a brief refresher course once every three months. Other requirements may include CPR and first aid training if applicable in the location in which the guide is assigned.
Becoming certified by one of the many professional guides’ organizations may be helpful as well. These organizations require a candidate to pass an examination covering the required knowledge. In most cases, the exam covers knowledge in driving and route planning, but may also cover knowledge in foreign languages and etiquette. Since these organizations are very selective about who they take on, it is important that the potential guide has at least six hours of solid classroom training.
Finding The Right Placement
If you are thinking of becoming a guide and you have the desire to be successful, the best way to get into the industry is to study for a GED (General Equivalent Diploma) or equivalent and take a tour director’s course. This certification will give you the ability to prove that you know how to be effective in guiding tourists in their quest for knowledge, culture, and history in general. Once you complete your education and get your certificate, you will be ready to begin applying. It is a good idea to start looking for local guides in early spring, as there are more positions available then. Being part of a tour company gives you the benefit of building relationships with local businesses, and being able to recommend top tours to interested tourists.