The Fastest Route to Becoming a Tour Guide
We recently covered and discussed a range of summer jobs you should consider if you want to become a tour guide. These positions are mostly seasonal and perfect for college students trying to bridge the gap between spring and fall semesters. However, if you’re out of college, about to graduate, or just want a full-time job to set you up for a career as a travel guide, there is one position you can take to provide the experience necessary to do the job. Travel agent.
Travel agents sell and curate transportation, lodging, and entertainment experiences for those who want to plan a trip. They offer advice on destinations, provide and plan trip itineraries, and make travel arrangements for their clients. In essence, this is a travel guide job without the excitement of the travel itself. Agents often work in offices or remotely.
Becoming a travel agent is one of the best, most direct ways to become a travel guide. In most cases, you will only need a high school diploma, but you should have excellent communications and computer skills. The median annual wage (as of May 2017 and reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics) is $36,990. In addition to being a secure job, you’ll also be able to save up some funds for when you eventually strike it out on your own.
However, aspiring travel guides and agents should know that the ability for travelers to plan their own trips is expected to suppress the demand for agents. The best way to set yourself apart is to provide specialized experience or knowledge of a particular destination or type of travel.
Travel agent positions can easily transform into travel guide jobs. Conversely, if you’ve been a travel guide for years and want to slow down or take up a permanent residence, becoming a travel agent is an excellent way for you to extend your skills to a low-stakes and relaxed job. This is the best position to bookend your experience as a travel guide; you’ll have the thrill of providing visitors with a great vacation and information while simultaneously building or applying travel guide skills.