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

Day-to-Day Activities

  • 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.
  • Conduct educational activities for school children.
  • Monitor visitors' activities to ensure compliance with establishment or tour regulations and safety practices.
  • Provide directions and other pertinent information to visitors.
  • Greet and register visitors, and issue any required identification badges or safety devices.

Technology Skills

  • Customer relationship management CRM software: e.g. Centaur Systems Centaur Travel Business Management System TBMS, IBS Software Services Tour Partner, Softrip Travel Software System, TourTech Systems TourTools
  • Mobile location based services software: e.g. Global Positioning System GPS software
  • Data base user interface and query software: e.g. Database software, Microsoft Access
  • Electronic mail software: e.g. Google Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, Yahoo! Email
  • Office suite software: e.g. Corel Office Suite, LibreOffice, Microsoft Office,

Employment Prospects

  • 30,013 tour guides are employed in the UK.
  • New job opportunities are very likely in the future.

Working Environment

  • Evenings
  • People
  • Weekends & Public Holidays
  • Hands-On

Time - Average of 29 hours per week.

Compare with the paid time worked by full-time employees in the UK.

Pay - Average of £490 per week.

Compare with the pay, excluding overtime, for full-time employees across the UK.


Route to Employment

Other Information

There are no set requirements, but it may help if you have some GCSEs or equivalent including English and maths. You could do an intermediate or an advanced apprenticeship in cultural heritage operations before applying to become a tour guide. Experience of dealing with the public and giving presentations could be useful, and additional languages may also help. You may need a Blue Badge in Tourist Guiding to work in places like Westminster Abbey and York Minster.

Popular Degree Subjects

The most common degree subjects to be a Tour Guide

Employability Skills Needed

Employability Skills Key:

  • Oral Communication
  • Critical Thinking
  • Customer Service
  • Teamwork
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Organisation & Time Management
  • Written Communication
  • Analytical Skills

Interests Needed

Interests Key:

  • Social
  • Enterprising
  • Artistic

Knowledge Needed

Knowledge Key:

  • Customer and Personal Service
  • English Language
  • History and Archaeology
  • Administration and Management
  • Education and Training
  • Psychology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Sociology and Anthropology

Abilities Needed

Abilities Key:

  • Oral Expression
  • Oral Comprehension
  • Speech Clarity
  • Speech Recognition
  • Problem Sensitivity
  • Written Comprehension
  • Inductive Reasoning
  • Deductive Reasoning

Work Styles Needed

Work Styles Key:

  • Dependability
  • Self Control
  • Cooperation
  • Integrity
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Concern for Others
  • Adaptability & Flexibility
  • Independence

Technology Experience Needed

Technology Key:

  • Customer relationship management CRM software
  • Mobile location based services software
  • Data base user interface and query software
  • Electronic mail software
  • Office suite software

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