How Much Do Tour Guides Make? Read This To Find Out!

By Alice Ross | GENERAL TIPS

Jun 25
how much do tour guides make

Summer is just around the corner, and we’re approaching the peak holiday season in Americas, Europe, as well as Asia. This means that there are huge demands of professional tour guides. But the real question is, how much do tour guides make?


If you’re interested in getting involved in the tourism industry, becoming a tour guide would be a good stepping stone. Do you have the desire to show your town and like entertaining people? Even though tour guide job needs different skills, this job requires face-to-face communication with different people. If you don’t know your town well, not like talking to people, and no interest in customs then this job is not for you. 

But how can you be a tour guide? The requirements of becoming a licensed tour guide vary from city to city or country to country. Don’t forget to check with your local tourism department to make sure. It normally requires passing specific exams or training. 


In a lot of countries, eligible guides have to get a certificate or license to go on every day guiding jobs. It is important to have a practical experience to develop this career. You learn how to handle the different needs of your clients, can address any questions, and know how to deal with possible issues that may arise. Everyday guiding work will differentiate outstanding guides from poor-performing ones. Tour guide career requires as well as constant learning. The information changes all the time, and the city keeps growing. A tour guide has to be fortified with the cutting-edge information so that you can guide your clients properly.

There is a lot of tour guiding jobs when it comes to travel and tourism. The truth is, anyone can be a tour guide, the skills anyone can develop a good tourist guide. 

But how much do tour guides make?

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The amount a person makes normally depends on where and what type of tour he or she offers. 

In general, however, tour guides make from $50 to $150 on a daily basis. Furthermore, most guides get tips, which can upturn earnings considerably. 

Local tour guides normally earn $5 to $20 on an hourly basis, possibly more if it is in popular locations and experience. If you are multilingual, then expect to be paid more. The licensed tour guide at big, popular cities like New York or Paris, normally earns $50 or more on an hourly basis. So, that’s how much do tour guides make, and I’m not going to be surprised if this convinced you to push through being a tour guide. But do you have what it takes? Below are important things you have to know before becoming a good tour guide.

right way

The Pros

If you are sick of your current job, a career of becoming a tour guide will turn the table around. This job takes you the many parts of the world, but not only that, some of the best parts of the world. You will be able to see many people’s dream travel destinations while getting paid at the same time. For many, being a tour guide doesn’t feel working, but instead, living the good life!

The Cons

Most tour guides choose to be a freelance, but this brings its own set of tasks and challenges, such as getting independent health insurance and struggling to organize itinerary — particularly at the start. You will also be getting a small amount of sleep when you are confirming the activities for the next day. This will surely challenge you physically and mentally. It is also important for you to learn how to answer the silliest questions a client throws at you. Sometimes, they can test your patience, but you have to know that it is an important part of becoming a good tour guide. Furthermore, this is part of the amount of how much do tour guides make. 

Educational Requirements

tour guide girl

Depending on your employer, you likely would not need post-secondary education to be an official tour guide. Of course, getting a post-secondary education would be beneficial; it will take you ahead of the game, and in offering you with skills, abilities, and knowledge that could be applied to a job as a tour guide.

Training in leadership, linguistics, team building, hospitality, public speaking, and tourism will help you in improving this career.

Being a tour guide also needs some knowledge that is not necessarily taught in universities or colleges. This knowledge normally includes CPR training and basic first aid, particular knowledge of the area or formation being toured, or topics related to the tour like local cultural info.

Work Environment for Tour Guides

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Working Conditions - A tour guide might spend a lot of time on their feet all over the day, as they lead tourists to and all over the location of interest. This normally involves a great amount of walking and might involve travel by other means, like car, airplane, bus, bicycle, boat, or different others.

Working Hours - Working hours always vary depending on the tour. You may find yourself working on regular weekday working hours or weekends. Usually, there is no definite time on when you are going to work.

Being a tour guide can be a really tiring job, but for many who are have been in the business for a while, this is nothing. Being on the road is tiring enough, but you might also have to deal with after work responsibilities such as developing a product that involves selecting the right hotel, the best transportation, and activity partners, on top of event planning, boat, and marketing.

Becoming a tour guide is not easy at it looks, but it offers its fair share of fun and excitement brought by new places, people, knowledge, and experiences you got to deal with every time you tour people on their place of interest.

So now that you know how much do tour guides make and their responsibilities, would you still want to be one? Tell us what you think in the comment below!

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Alice Ross, a long-term traveler who left the corporate world to travel the world. I chose to live life on my own phase and live day by day while immersing myself in new experiences, new knowledge, and new people in a different walk of life I met along the way.

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