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Tourist guide Tour guide, Blue Badge guide

Tourist guides show visitors around places of interest like cities, historic buildings and art galleries.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £18,000 to £30,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set requirements, but it may help if you have some GCSEs or equivalent including English and maths.

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.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • excellent communication skills
  • the ability to present information in an interesting way
  • a good memory for facts, figures and events
  • organisational skills for planning tours

3. What you'll do

You'll work in one place or accompany groups on driving or walking tours.

You'll escort groups around sites, giving information about history, purpose, architecture or other points of interest.

4. Salary

Starter: £18,000

Experienced: £20,000

Highly Experienced: £30,000

If you're self-employed, your rate of pay will depend on your location and the type of guiding you're doing.

Freelance Blue Badge tourist guides, driver guides and those with additional languages may earn more.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

Your working hours will vary through the year. You could work up to 40 hours a week during the peak season and are likely to work at weekends and some evenings.

You'd usually spend most of your working time on the move, and may work indoors or outdoors.

6. Career path and progression

With experience you could work for a tour operator as a regional tour supervisor or manager.

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Last updated: 18 August 2017