Education Portal is now! We still offer the same great content and features, with more added every day, just under a new name. Learn more x

Tour Guide Training and Education Program Options

Read about bachelor's degree programs related to tour guide training. Check out prerequisites and common course topics. Review the employment outlook projections and salary statistics for industry professionals.

View 18 Popular Schools »

Essential Information

Already among the largest in the world, the tourism industry is expected to benefit from the retirement of the baby boom generation. For aspiring tour guides, competition within the industry favors those who have formal training. A number of schools offer tour guide certificate programs.

Tour guide certificate programs mix elements of business management with preparation for direct engagement with the public. Course content related to business management includes procedures for marketing a tour, planning routes and making reservations. Skills related to leading an actual tour include local area research, writing a prepared script and public speaking. A certificate program may be completed in a year or less.

Education Prerequisites

Enrollment in a tour guide program requires a high school diploma or GED. While admissions guidelines may not specify any particular course, composition and speech are helpful.

Program Coursework

Travel guide programs may be structured as a group of core and electives courses or as a fixed set of courses. The following are possible course topics:

  • Tourism introduction
  • Computer reservations
  • North American geography
  • Travel Research
  • Public speaking
  • Itinerary planning
  • Travel sales and marketing

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

People who complete a tour guide training certificate program are qualified to work as a tour guide or travel guide. However, some travel industry veterans caution that the field is very competitive and recommend accumulating experience working for local tour operators, museums and historical sites. Opportunities to promote cruise lines and countries or lead travel seminars and workshops may open up later for those who establish themselves. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that from 2010-2020, employment of tour guides and escorts will increase 18% ( The BLS also reported the average annual salary of tour guides and escorts at $26,280 in May 2012.

Continuing Education Information

An associate's degree can improve the employment prospects of tour guides whose only postsecondary education came from earning a certificate. Some schools that offer tour guide certificate programs may also offer associate's degree programs in travel and tourism management, and accept transfer credits from the certificate program into the associate's degree program.

Show me popular schools

Related to Tour Guide Training and Education Program Options

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Travel the World in the Blogosphere: 10 Top Geography Blogs

In the geographic blogosphere you can virtually visit beautiful locations around the globe, discover strange and beautiful...

List of Free Tourism Courses and Classes

See our list of the top free online tourism courses. Learn what courses are available and what topics they cover to find the...

Tour Guide: Job Description & Career Info

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a tour guide. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as...

Spring Break Redefined: Rice University Students Alex Gregor and Peter Stone Discuss Academic Travel

Spring break in Mexico is a bit of a salacious stereotype for college students, but a group of students at Rice University...

Salary and Career Info for a Travel Writer

Popular Schools

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics