a dark blue TraitLab logo
Pricing Sign up

Have an account? Sign in

Career profile Travel Guide

Also known as Cruise Counselor, Guide, Mountain Bike Guide, River Guide, Tour Coordinator, Tour Director, Tour Escort, Tour Manager, Tour Operator, Tours Captain

Travel Guide

Also known as Cruise Counselor, Guide, Mountain Bike Guide

Interests Profile
  • Enterprising
  • Conventional
  • Social
Pay Range
$20,430 - $47,660 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Speaking
  • Service Orientation
Knowledge Areas
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Geography
Core tasks
  • Plan tour itineraries, applying knowledge of travel routes and destination sites.
  • Resolve any problems with itineraries, service, or accommodations.
  • Sell travel packages.
Is Travel Guide the right career path for you?

Would Travel Guide be a good fit for you?

Explore how your personality fits with Travel Guide and hundreds of other career paths.

Create your free account

What does a Travel Guide do?

Travel Guides plan, organize, and conduct long-distance travel, tours, and expeditions for individuals and groups.

What kind of tasks does a Travel Guide perform regularly?

Travel Guides are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Plan tour itineraries, applying knowledge of travel routes and destination sites.
  • Resolve any problems with itineraries, service, or accommodations.
  • Sell travel packages.
  • Arrange for tour or expedition details such as accommodations, transportation, equipment, and the availability of medical personnel.
  • Evaluate services received on the tour, and report findings to tour organizers.
  • Lead individuals or groups to tour site locations and describe points of interest.
  • Verify amounts and quality of equipment prior to expeditions or tours.
  • Pay bills and record checks issued.
  • Attend to special needs of tour participants.
  • Give advice on sightseeing and shopping.
  • Provide tourists with assistance in obtaining permits and documents such as visas, passports, and health certificates, and in converting currency.

The above responsibilities are specific to Travel Guides. More generally, Travel Guides are involved in several broader types of activities:

Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Communicating with People Outside the Organization
Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Selling or Influencing Others
Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

What is a Travel Guide salary?

The median salary for a Travel Guide is $29,460, and the average salary is $32,200. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Travel Guide salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Travel Guides earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Travel Guides earn less than $20,430 per year, 25% earn less than $24,200, 75% earn less than $37,730, and 90% earn less than $47,660.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Travel Guides is expected to change by 29.1%, and there should be roughly 9,200 open positions for Travel Guides every year.

Median annual salary
$29,460
Typical salary range
$20,430 - $47,660
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
29.1%

What personality traits are common among Travel Guides?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Travel Guide are usually higher in their Enterprising, Conventional, and Social interests.

Travel Guides typically have very strong Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Also, Travel Guides typically have strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Lastly, Travel Guides typically have moderate Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Travel Guide tend to value Relationships, Independence, and Achievement.

Most importantly, Travel Guides strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, Travel Guides strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Travel Guides moderately value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Travel Guides must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, attention to detail, and stress tolerance.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Travel Guides, ranked by importance:

Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Social Orientation
Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

What education and training do Travel Guides need?

Travel Guides often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Travel Guides usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Travel Guides

  • 2.6% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 20.7% completed high school or secondary school
  • 21.6% completed some college coursework
  • 7.3% earned a Associate's degree
  • 36.1% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 10.5% earned a Master's degree
  • 1.2% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Travel Guides

Travel Guides may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as sales and marketing, customer and personal service, or geography knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Travel Guides might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Sales and Marketing
Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Geography
Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Administrative
Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Important Abilities needed by Travel Guides

Travel Guides must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Travel Guides need abilities such as oral comprehension, speech recognition, and speech clarity in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Travel Guides, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Speech Recognition
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Speech Clarity
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Critical Skills needed by Travel Guides

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Travel Guides frequently use skills like active listening, speaking, and service orientation to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Travel Guides, ranked by their relative importance.

Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Service Orientation
Actively looking for ways to help people.
Coordination
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.