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Career and Education Opportunities for Tour Guides in Tampa, Florida

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for tour guides in the Tampa, Florida area. About 1,910 people are currently employed as tour guides in Florida. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 5% to about 2,010 people employed. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for tour guides are expected to grow by about 11.7%. In general, tour guides escort individuals or groups on sightseeing tours or through places of interest, such as industrial establishments, public buildings, and art galleries.

Tour guides earn about $12 hourly or $25,290 annually on average in Florida and about $11 hourly or $23,270 per year on average nationally. Incomes for tour guides are better than in the overall category of Travel in Florida, and not quite as good as the overall Travel category nationally.

The Tampa area is home to fifty-four schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Tampa where you can get a degree as a tour guide. Given that the most common education level for tour guides is some college courses, you can expect to spend a short time studying to be a tour guide if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Tour Guide

Tour Guide video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, tour guides escort individuals or groups on sightseeing tours or through places of interest, such as industrial establishments, public buildings, and art galleries.

Tour guides describe tour points of interest to group members, and respond to questions. Finally, tour guides furnish directions and other pertinent data to visitors.

Every day, tour guides are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for tour guides to conduct educational activities for school children. They are often called upon to monitor visitors' efforts to insure adherence to establishment or tour regulations and safety practices. They also distribute brochures, show audiovisual presentations, and explain establishment processes and operations at tour sites. They are sometimes expected to escort individuals or groups on cruises or through places of interest such as industrial establishments and art galleries. Somewhat less frequently, tour guides are also expected to drive motor vehicles to transport visitors to establishments and tour site locations.

Tour guides sometimes are asked to decide on travel routes and sites to be visited on the basis of knowledge of specific areas. They also have to be able to furnish for physical safety of groups, performing such activities as providing first aid and directing emergency evacuations and research environmental conditions and patrons' skill and ability levels so as to plan expeditions and commentary that are appropriate. And finally, they sometimes have to furnish for physical safety of groups, performing such activities as providing first aid and directing emergency evacuations.

Like many other jobs, tour guides must believe in cooperation and coordination and be reliable.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Tour Guide Training

Schiller International University - Largo, FL

Schiller International University, 300 East Bay Dr, Largo, FL 33770. Schiller International University is a small university located in Largo, Florida. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 549 students and an admission rate of 91%. Schiller International University has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Tourism and Travel Services Management which graduated zero and two students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Tampa, Florida

Tampa, Florida
Tampa, Florida photo by Caltrop

Tampa is located in Hillsborough County, Florida. It has a population of over 340,882, which has grown by 12.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Tampa, 95, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Tampa are valued at $188,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, six hundred thirty-five new homes were constructed in Tampa, down from 1,008 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Tampa are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 25.4% of Tampa residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.2%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Tampa is 11.8%, which is greater than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Tampa residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.8%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abundant Life Assembly of God Church, Florida Tampa Mission and Most Holy Redeemer Church are among the churches located in Tampa. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Tampa is home to the Parkers Railroad Station and the Drew Station Railroad Station as well as Ybor City Museum State Park and American Legion Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Northgate Shopping Center, Old Hyde Park Village Shopping Center and Benttree Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Tampa can choose from Backstage Restaurant & Lounge, Baymont Tampa Busch Gardens and Budget Inn for temporary stays in the area.