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10 Amazing Train Tours in the U.S.

becoming a tour guide

Looking to see some incredible sights from the comfort of a train? These tours include both short and long journeys that you can work into vacations to incredible destinations in the USA. Some of these routes may even be available as a part of railroad vacation packages that include excursions and more.

Durango and Silverton Narrow-Gauge Railway

The name of this railroad indicates a special feature that sets it apart from most other train rides: The tracks are placed closer together in a narrow gauge. That means this silver-train-turned-tourist-attraction hugs closer to the rock face of the mountains it winds through, taking riders around sharp turns through the Colorado Rockies.

becoming a tour guide

Amtrak Cascades

Connecting major Northwestern cities like Eugene and Portland, Oregon, and Seattle and Bellingham, Washington, this Amtrak ride allows you to combine scenic beauty with big-city tourism. Whether it’s Oregon forests or the spectacular of Washington’s Puget Sound, you’ll get to see a lot of natural exquisiteness on this ride.

becoming a tour guide

White Pass and Yukon Route

This historic Alaskan railway offers a few different excursion options, all of which take you from the town of Skagway into the heart of wild northern beauty. No matter which route you choose, you’ll see unspoiled Alaskan beauty at its warm-weather peak.

becoming a tour guide

Amtrak Sunset Limited

If you want to be able to enjoy the great beauty of the American Southwest without having to do the driving yourself, Amtrak’s Sunset Limited route may be the perfect choice. It runs from New Orleans to Los Angeles, giving riders the opportunity to glimpse some incredible sunsets over rugged terrain as the train wends its way west.

becoming a tour guide

Grand Canyon Railway

Riding the Grand Canyon Railway will allow you to follow in the footsteps of travelers from more than 100 years ago, for whom this train line was one of the only ways to access the scenic beauty of the canyon. The train includes sleeper cars and other amenities that can help make your adventure more of an experience.

becoming a tour guide

Cass Scenic Railway

Departing from Cass, West Virginia, in the months of May through October, this passenger rail train takes riders through an old coal country route. If you want to experience the unspoiled beauty of Appalachian forests, especially in autumn when the colors are at their peak, this is a must-do train tour.

becoming a tour guide

Amtrak Adirondack

Anyone looking to escape the urban rush of New York City and enjoy the beauty of upstate mountains should consider taking the Adirondack route, which stops in Saratoga Springs and Montreal, Canada. You don’t have to go all the way to Montreal to enjoy the beauty of the Hudson River Valley, which offers beautiful natural scenery that changes with the seasons.

becoming a tour guide

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

This Bryson City, NC, railway offers passengers several ways to explore the Smokies. In addition to two separate routes, the railway includes features like narration cars and different train ride themes that can help you get the right kind of experience based on your interests and travel style.

becoming a tour guide

Strasburg Rail Road

Though this railway’s route through Amish country is short, it’s a charming throwback to the Gilded Age. If you want to ride in plush comfort while enjoying the Pennsylvania countryside on a nine-mile steam train ride, the Strasburg Rail Road has everything you need.

becoming a tour guide

Cape Cod Central Railroad

Cape Cod offers natural beauty aplenty, and you’ll get to enjoy both the coast and the wonders of rural Massachusetts, including cranberry bogs, when you take this short journey. This route offers a laid-back way to see different sights across Cape Cod, even in peak tourist season.

becoming a tour guide


becoming a tour guide

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  • Home: Explore careers

Tourist guide

Alternative titles for this job include tour guide, blue badge guide.

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

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter

£30,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

28 to 30 seasonal

You could work

freelance / self-employed flexibly

How to become

How to become a tourist guide.

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • a college course
  • volunteering
  • applying directly
  • specialist courses run by private training organisations

You could do a travel and tourism qualification like:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Travel and Tourism
  • Level 3 Diploma in Travel and Tourism

This will give you an insight into the tourist industry and help you develop some of the skills to work as a tourist guide.

Having a language like French, German, Italian or Spanish, or a history qualification can also be useful for this type of role.

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

More Information

  • search for courses
  • funding advice
  • equivalent entry requirements


You may be able to gain some of the skills needed in this role through apprenticeships like:

  • Level 2 Customer service practitioner
  • Level 3 Event assistant
  • Level 3 Cultural learning and participation officer

To get onto an apprenticeship, you'll find it useful to have:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • guide to apprenticeships


Organisations like the National Trust and English Heritage offer opportunities to gain experience as a tour guide through volunteering.

Direct Application

Many people become tourist guides as a second career, for example teachers who want to work during school holidays or actors who need work between acting roles.

If you have customer service, teaching or language skills or you have experience of working with people, you may be able to apply directly.

Other Routes

You can do 3 levels of training to get a tour guide badge:

  • level 2 - white badge
  • level 3 - green badge
  • level 4 - blue badge

You can apply to local tourist guide associations for training, or major tourist attractions that run their own schemes.

Guide London offers blue badge training, which usually takes around 18 months, and some heritage organisations, like York Minster , have their own training courses.

Career tips

An outgoing and friendly personality, plus being able to speak a second or third language, will give you an advantage when applying for jobs. Experience of dealing with the public and giving presentations will also help.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a guide from the Institute of Tourist Guiding .

What it takes

Skills and knowledge.

You'll need:

  • customer service skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • an interest and knowledge of history
  • a good memory
  • knowledge of English language
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you’ll do

What you'll do, day-to-day tasks.

In this role you could:

  • guide people around a castle, gallery, historic house or garden
  • escort groups of tourists around a site
  • give information about the history, purpose and architecture of a site
  • accompany groups on day tours to a number of places of interest
  • answer questions and suggest other places to visit
  • organise or arrange for additional trips and visits

Working environment

You could work at monuments and castles, in a museum, at an art gallery or in parks and gardens.

Your working environment may be physically active, outdoors some of the time and you'll travel often.

Career path and progression

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

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships in england, apprentice customer service advisor.

  • Wage: £10,296.00 Annually
  • Location: Sittingbourne

Help Desk Operative Apprentice

  • Wage: £25,380.00 Annually
  • Location: London, Greater London

Courses In England

  • Start date: 01 September 2024
  • Location: Crawley

Applied Certificate in Tourism

  • Location: Ferndown

Jobs In the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

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How to Become a Tour Guide

Last Updated: August 6, 2023 Approved

This article was co-authored by Angela Rice . Angela Rice is a Luxury Travel Specialist and Co-Founder of Boutique Travel Advisors, a luxury travel advising business in Phoenix, Arizona. Angela specializes in consulting and curating highly customized and unique travel itineraries for clients seeking luxury, group, and multi-generational family travel. Angela studied at Arizona State University and The University of Iowa Tippie College of Business. She has prior consulting experience in accounting and business, which helps her run her business behind the scenes. Angela has been featured in The Washington Post, Reader's Digest, Travel Weekly, USA Today, Travel Market Report, Phoenix Magazine, and MSN. She is also a frequent guest on WBBM News Radio 105.9 FM's Travel Tuesday show. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 533,790 times.

Being a tour guide can be a great career option for people who love to travel, enjoy being in front of a crowd, and are masters of multitasking. If that’s you, then start looking for job opportunities online and in your area. You can improve your chances of getting hired by becoming professionally certified or getting a degree. Once you’ve found a job, be ready to meet the challenges of this fun and unique but sometimes hectic position.

Looking for Opportunities

Step 1 Look online for a variety of job postings.

  • To get started, enter something like “Be a tour guide on a cruise ship to the Caribbean” into your favorite search engine. You can then browse through tour guiding jobs with different companies, job requirements, and salaries.

Step 2 Take tours to see which ones you like.

  • You may need to space these tours out, as some could get expensive. Budget in one tour every two weeks or so. While you’re looking for jobs, go on tours instead of going out to eat or doing other fun activities.
  • Invite friends and family to take tours with you. They’ll be able to share their likes and dislikes with you, which will help you be a better guide once you find a job.

Step 3 Take notes to record your thoughts about different tours.

  • For more information and to find a list of associations located around the world, visit: .

Step 5 Visit your local travel agency to pick up brochures.

  • Be aware that travel agents may tell you they love a certain company if the two are in a partnership together, even if they know the company has some issues. Be sure to do your own research by going online or visiting the company’s offices.

Step 6 Contact major sightseeing companies in your area.

  • You can also look online to see if the companies have open jobs, as many will list these positions on their websites.
  • If you’re hoping to become a tour guide to travel, this might not be your favorite option. Remember that doing work locally can help you build your resume and gain experience while staying in your comfort zone. You can always keep looking for travel-oriented jobs while you’re working!

Getting Hired

Step 1 Pass any necessary exams for your area.

  • You can also look online to find details about the test, study guides, and registration information. Enter something like “Professional licensing examination for sightseeing guides in New York City” to find everything you need to prepare for and take the test.
  • Take the exam seriously. If you fail, you’ll need to pay the fee again!

Step 2 Get training to gain experience and contacts.

  • Be sure to register for courses meant for tour guides rather than tour directors. Tour directors are responsible for logistics and management, while guides lead groups and provide narration about places the group visits.
  • These programs are great for meeting people in the field. Your teachers, in particular, could connect you with people they know are looking for guides.

Step 3 Take classes in relevant fields to expand your knowledge.

  • Be sure you have the time and money to dedicate to the classes. If you’re currently working a full-time job, look into taking night classes.

Step 4 Get a hospitality or tourism degree if you can afford it.

  • Most reputable companies will run a background check before hiring you.
  • If they like your application, most companies will contact you for one to two follow-up interviews before hiring you.

Step 6 Be prepared to answer tailored application questions.

  • These questions could be things like, “What would you do if the bus broke down?” or “What makes you excited to be a tour guide with us?”

Step 7 Accept the best offer you receive.

Meeting the Challenges

Step 1 Embrace being around people when you’re working.

  • You may want to schedule alone time during your days off to balance out your work schedule.

Step 2 Absorb and memorize lots of information to be a good guide.

  • Attendees will ask you questions that may be slightly off-topic. Knowing these answers will impress your audience and make you a better guide.
  • If you don’t know the answer to a question, say so. Tell your audience you’re not sure, but that you’d love to know the answer and will be looking for it as soon as you can.

Step 3 Act fast when something goes wrong.

  • You can always contact your company for assistance in these situations, but you’ll need to keep a cool head. You’re the leader of the group when you’re out on a tour, and they’ll look to you for guidance.

Step 4 Be prepared to be a freelance worker.

  • This might be hard if you’re leading groups in beautiful and relaxing locations, but stay strong! You’re getting paid for this work.

Step 6 Understand the physical requirements.

  • You also need to make sure that you and your group respects the environment you’re visiting. You’ll be responsible for enforcing the rules.
  • Always face your audience when giving tours. [14] X Research source

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • If you are looking for a job in a country that has an official language you do not speak, you should learn the language by signing up for a course or using language learning software. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Take a training course on first aid and CPR. Depending on the job you land, this may not be necessary, but as a tour guide, you will need to know what to do in emergency situations. It’ll also look good on your resume. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

becoming a tour guide

  • Be aware that while you may be working in a vacation spot, you are not on vacation yourself. The majority of your time will be spent working. Thanks Helpful 40 Not Helpful 9
  • As a tour guide, you may be working long hours. Your job may be in an exciting location, but you must make sure you are capable of working a difficult schedule. Thanks Helpful 5 Not Helpful 0
  • Be aware that many tour guide jobs are seasonal. This may mean you will not have consistent work in one location. However, if you don't mind traveling, you can always travel back and forth between hemispheres. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

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About This Article

Angela Rice

If you want to become a tour guide, you should research opportunities in your area by searching online and visiting attractions where you might want to work. Depending on your city, you may need to pass an exam, so check out tour guide associations’ websites and search online to see if there are licensure requirements. If you can, take classes relevant to your field or class, or even pursue a degree in hospitality and tourism. If you can't go to school, apply to tour guide jobs that provide training. For more information about the application process and what you can expect as a tour guide, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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  • Intelligent Travel

So You Want to Be a Tour Guide

Here's how to travel for a living.

When people say “I wish I could travel for a living!” I start talking about the sheer number of opportunities out there.

Before settling into travel blogging and journalism (I’m actually using my college major!), I spent some time as an international tour director and guide, learning firsthand what goes into leading groups of people through some of the world’s most famous sights. It can be a dream job if you know what you’re getting into. I felt like I earned my master’s degree in European history from everything I learned, and often served as a makeshift therapist for travelers. We’d even come up with nicknames, like “QNE” for Questions Never End.

The truth is there’s no one way to go about landing your dream job. But it does help to pick as many brains as possible.

I sat down and chatted with Carrie Fitchett , a sought-after tour director working with Educational Travel Adventures , about what to know if you’re thinking about pursuing her line of work. “When I researched jobs that said ‘TRAVEL FOR A LIVING!,’ they were all things where people go, stay in the hotel, drink bad coffee all day, and wear heels,” she said. “I didn’t want to do that or sit in an office with a headset and sell places I’ve never been to. That’s why this job made sense,” she said.

Know the Lingo: Tour Director vs. Tour Guide A tour director is the one responsible for logistics, confirmations, planning, damage control, and group dynamics. They also give commentary on history and culture. A tour guide gives specific narration in a place, often joining the tour group for just a couple of hours. If  you want to dip into this world, local guiding is great, and perfect if you want to go home each night. There is also long-term contract work available on cruises, from big ships to smaller river cruises.

Know the Pros If you’re in a rut at your current job, here’s a chance to do something different each and every day. This is a job that can take you all over the world to events like the Olympics and the World Cup . “It’s the ridiculous things I get to do every single day — whether it’s museums, shows, or eating dinner in the Eiffel Tower — but it’s also the dynamic of people,” Fitchett said. “When someone waits their whole life to go to Paris, I get to take them. It’s the look on their face as they experience it for the first time, and I’m a part of that memory.”

Know the Cons Most tour directors are freelance, which brings its own set of challenges, like needing independent health insurance and struggling to cobble together enough work — especially at the beginning. You’ll also be getting very little sleep when you’re confirming the next day’s activities and studying commentary. “True colors come out on tour,” Fitchett said. “Sometimes people are ungrateful or bossy or think they know more about a place than you…But even if I think it’s the silliest question I’ve ever heard in my life, I have to answer it so they feel good about it.” Scheduling may keep you away from home for weeks or month at a time, so you might have to skip important events, like weddings or funerals.

Consider Training The International Tour Management Institute (ITMI) is a well-known guide program, offering two-week trainings in San Francisco and an annual symposium to connect tour companies with guides. The high price tag (around $3,500 for tuition) doesn’t include housing or meals, but the pay off can be well worth it. “The money will come back to you in your first couple of tours,” Fitchett said. “Plus, I made amazing friends and priceless contacts.” There is also the International Guide Academy in Colorado, as well as many online options.

Adults vs. Students Most tour directors choose to work a mix of adult and student tours. Student tours provide a way to make money in the spring in places like Boston, New York, and D.C., when adult tours run less frequently. Adult tours, usually clustered in summer and fall, can take you all over the world. But there’s a difference: “With kids, you affect and change lives. Maybe they’ve never traveled and you show them what’s out there,” Fitchett said. On the other hand,with adults, “the whole trip is more chill, but in the downtime you might be freaking out over what question they’ll ask next.”

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Going Off Road You may burn out or get tired of always being on the road. That doesn’t mean your career in the tour business is over. There are behind-the-scenes roles to be played at tour companies — like developing product, which involves choosing the right hotel, transportation, and activity partners, as well as sales, event planning, and social media.

Bottom Line: Is It Right for You? “For this job, you have to love every part of travel, and know you will be living out of a suitcase and never sleeping,” Fitchett said. “But I absolutely love what I do, and I don’t need the stability right now.” But, like anything, timing is everything. “In the meantime, love the job you have!” she said. “Try a class, start locally, and talk to as many people as possible who have done it or are doing it.”

Annie Fitzsimmons is Intelligent Travel’s  Urban Insider , giving you the dish on the best things to see and do in cities all over the world. Follow her travels on Twitter  @anniefitz .

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What's it like to be a Tour Guide?

Tasks and duties.

  • Leading tourists (either individually or in groups) and coordinating pre-arranged activities, such as entry to attractions, participating in adventure activities, guided walks or transport.
  • Providing commentary and sharing relevant information about history, the environment, culture, attractions or places of interest.
  • Ensuring tour members are safe, comfortable and content with the tour, including accommodation, transport and itinerary.

How to become a Tour Guide

  • 1 . Undertake a tour guiding course through a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). This may be a Certificate III in Guiding (SIT30316) .
  • 2 . Tour Guides will generally need to obtain a National Police Check, a Working with Children Check and undertake First Aid training.
  • 3 . Tour Guides wishing to specialise may further their career by focusing on particular types of tourism, such as nature-based tourism or learning another language in order to communicate fluently with visitors from other countries.

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Hi there , have any of these add your skills directly to your seek profile., skills listed in your seek profile, based on your skills, here are some roles to explore, upskill with an online short course, get instant access to online training for these in-demand tour guide skills, is tour guide the right role for me, how do tour guides rate their role, job market trends for tour guides, job opportunities, projected job growth, latest tour guide reviews, latest reviews from 16 tour guides surveyed on seek., want to share insights on your current role, leave a role review for your chance to win a $100 giftpay card – it only takes a few minutes., explore similar careers, read more from seek.

6 best steps to becoming a professional tour guide

hospitality training courses in Dubai

Posted on Jun 18, 2022 at 04:06 PM

Suppose you are looking to be a professional tour guide. In that case, you will spend most of your time interacting with different people and tourists from all over the world to learn about the best areas and attractions differently.

A tour guide career requires to be social with people, love this work and enjoy its details, and be loving to learn about the cultures and features of the country you live in, to show it to tourists wonderfully and differently, even if you have no experience, you do not need previous experience to be a professional tour guide.

When you travel and meet a professional tour guide, this guide will take you on a tour through which you are thoroughly familiar with the city's interior and landmarks and tell you about its details and cultures that you cannot know without the guide. Being a tourist in a country, you always need guidance from inner-city professionals during your tourist visit.

Suppose you want to be a professional tour guide offering many tourist services for various tours and tours. In that case, you should follow the steps to help you become a certified destination management executive in your field.

Who is A tour guide?

The tour guide is generally responsible for developing and implementing most tourism programs. His duties vary according to the mission and may include conducting walking tours, providing historical facts or cultural information, comments on the sites visited, and answering tourists' questions.

Tour guides can also be summoned by travel agencies , museums, galleries and other institutions due to their high culture, ability to attract tourists and perception of an unparalleled tourist experience.

It is worth noting that the function of a tour guide is challenging because it is expected that tour guides will have extensive knowledge of the subject they offer and the ability to communicate effectively with others so that the guide can stand out.

professional tour guide

6 best tips to become a professional tour guide:

1- Possess the necessary skills

To be a company's professional tour guide, you must work on your voice, facial expressions, gestures, body language and how to communicate effectively with strangers, interact with and tell them various stories comfortably, and master the language required to communicate with them. 

You should also have a guide or enough information to show tourists and not be reluctant to learn new information, cultures, and places constantly. It is not right to keep telling the same stories to tourists without paying attention to whether there is more fun and profound news and constantly getting to know strangers.

2- Be flexible

You should also be a person close to the heart and loved by tourists and foreigners, knowledgeable about how to deal with all different people, human varieties and nature and not mind attending some courses that deal with strangers to develop your communication skills. You will come across all kinds of characters and psychologists.

Suppose you happen to meet with a nervous person or grandfather. In that case, you must have the tools and methods to deal with this personality, interact with it positively, lovingly and generously, and offer her kindness and positive things.

But don't worry too much about these characters, because most tourists have a great mood. They're ready for fun, adventure and thrill times. This will be the most special day for them, so as a professional tour guide you have to help them and make it a historic day for all the tourists you'll meet.

3- Organise your time accurately

You cannot become a good tour guide if you are not a balanced and accurate personality on your dates and organise them properly. When you date tourists at some point, visitors need to be present at this time to do the coordinated tour.

Even if 10 minutes, your delay is a bad sign and will leave visitors with a negative impression that the times are not being correctly regulated and may spoil many of the plans they have organised in advance based on the timing. If visitors are delayed from visiting time or entering the city, you need to be patient in the meantime.

Tourists are always busy, of course, and time is not theirs because travellers often have some problems that they may have to delay for some time, and they have been mainly organised and positive during these events.

4- Be a good leader

You must have a strong personality, step up to visitors, introduce yourself to them, be a professional Dale, and get to know yourself well and kindly. It's okay with some light humour and mood-enhancing words to create some kind of positive attitude energy between you and them.

But of course, you may face some negative people on the same journey, where you will have to act positively and carefully with these people and manage the flight well, it is up to the guide whether he wants a safe and happy journey or will create problems.

Be a robust and rigorous leader, so you don't let bad people ruin the journey, control other people, or offer them any abuse or inconvenience. If that happens and you don't behave properly, that's a wrong signal for you at the professional level for guides.

Nor do you allow anyone to talk to you about your personal affairs or impose undesirable work on you or visitors. Make it a beautiful, safe and enjoyable journey within the working framework, without something else personal to spoil a tourist's journey, mood or program.

5- Select the tourism area you want to operate in

There are many areas where you can work as a tour guide, from which you can choose to suit your ambitions, agenda or usual way of life.

You can be a tour guide member by accompanying guides or work on a tourist bus as a guide-driver, telling them general stories of what they see around them via a connected microphone on the bus.

You can work as a lecturer in a museum, and here you need to know the history of the museums you work with, the old stories about them, tell them to all tourists in detail, and be prepared for any question.

There are also professional tour guides in forests, deserts, large parks or paddling places; These jobs will be very convenient for adventure fans and guide tourists there.

6- Get professional tour guide training

It is preferable to have a university degree in tourism and travel. It is essential to have an excellent and reliable English course and training courses to refine general skills in this field. For example, you can attend hospitality training courses in Dubai to learn about the essential steps to becoming a professional tour guide, interacting etiquette, hospitality, and dealing with visitors.

In conclusion, 

The career of a professional tour guide is a prestigious and essential profession in all countries. It is worth noting that this profession requires you, along with your academic studies, to be a fan of this job and a lover of landmarks and history, passionate about learning more about cultures and tourist attractions .

You also need to be social and excited, not mind identifying new people, interacting with them in the right and effective ways, and giving them a full explanation of all the details. Their tour guide is a positive and welcoming card issued.

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  • About The Institute
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The Institute of Tourist Guiding is responsible for administering schemes to attain a coveted Blue, Green or White Badge. We conduct examinations based on recognised standards and award badges to successful candidates.

So where do you start?  The Institute has three levels of qualification, which we have outlined below to help you decide which of our accredited courses is relevant to your requirements.  Those interested in being qualified in one of the three levels would then need to contact their local tourist guide association to determine whether or not a relevant training course is being prepared.

White Badge

For those thinking of taking up paid or voluntary employment guiding visitors around an attraction such as a stately home, cathedral, museum or theme park, or even a business or industrial estate.

Green Badge

For those interested in working full or part-time guiding visitors at sites of interest and on walking tours in an area such as a town or city centre or specified countryside area.

For those who would like full or part-time work guiding visitors around a region or metropolitan area on walking tours, at sites of interest, and using various methods of transport. 

An increasing number of Blue Badge Guides are qualifying as licensed driver-guides offering chauffeur-driven guiding, varying from antiques tours in the Cotswolds to looking after foreign journalists and film stars.

The opportunities are extensive.  Whether you are interested in themed tours, working for tour operators, cruise ships, study tours or group tours, the Blue Badge qualification offers the ultimate in flexibility. 

Training courses are generally organised by local tourist guide associations, specific sites or other local organisations in response to demand for new guides in their specific areas. The current list of courses running can be found here . If you cannot see a course that aligns with your preferred area or region, you may want to contact the relevant organisation(s) listed with the British Guild of Tourist Guides  to register your interest in any upcoming or planned courses.

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How do i train to become a tour guide, how do i train to become a qualified and approved tourist guide.

There are a number of education establishments holding training courses for Regional and National Tour Guides. Most of these courses take place from late autumn until spring. It is very important that you check accreditation before you enrol l. You need to ensure the chosen course is awarded with a QQI level 6 Special Purpose award. 

Below is a list of institutions who run the tour guide training course, however this list may not be complete and is subject to change.

  • Dublinia National Tourist Guide Training course  
  • GRTB - Galway Roscommon Education and Training Board  Local Guiding courses in Galway City, Rossmuck and Gort, National Guiding in Galway city.
  • Kerry Educational Training Centre ETB  Natonal Guiding course in Tralee, Local Guiding in Killarney
  • Coláiste Dhúlaigh College of Further Education (CDCFE)  National Guiding Course
  • Kildare and Wicklow Educational and Training Board  National Guding in Nass., Wicklow tbc
  • Limerick Clare ETB Training Centre   Currently two courses are delivered by VTOS and LIT. 
  • ATU Donegal (Killybegs Campus)  Regional Tourist Guiding Course
  • ATU Donegal (Killybegs Campus)  National Tourist Guiding Course
  • Stillorgan College  Local Guiding course
  • Liberties College  National Guiding course
  • Cork ETB  National Guiding course
  • Thurles ETB National Tour Guiding Traineeship
  • Portobello Institute National Tour Guide Course Dublin


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