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Tourist guide jobs & career guide

Escorting groups, tourist guides travel around a wide range of locations throughout the UK, providing information about sites and attractions such as cathedrals, castles, stately homes, museums and archaeological sites.

Training is essential, and most tourist guides have a background in history, art, or some other relevant field. The Institute of Tourist Guiding regulates the industry, with their prestigious Blue Badge qualification considered the ultimate award.

Tourist guides are usually self-employed, working either part-time or during the summer. Employment opportunities vary, but include:

  • Tour operators
  • Coach firms
  • Regional tourist board
  • Guide companies
  • The National Trust
  • English Heritage
  • Visitor attractions
  • Historic properties
  • Churches and cathedrals (usually voluntary)

Rates of pay will depend upon the employer and the location - fees are typically paid based either upon a half day (up to four hours) or full day. Fees start at ?106 for a half day, ?159 for a full day, with additional fees for language skills, specialty skills and unsociable hours.

For more details refer to the websites of The Association of Professional Tourist Guides and the Scottish Tourist Guides Association which list recommended fees for qualified guides.

For more information on training and employment opportunities contact the following:
  • Guild of Registered Tour Guiding
  • Institute of Tour Guiding
  • People 1st
  • Association of Professional Tour Guiding
  • Scottish Tour Guiding Association
  • Institute of Tour Guiding
  • The National Trust

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