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Career and Education Opportunities for Tour Guides in Des Moines, Iowa

For those living in the Des Moines, Iowa area, there are many career and education opportunities for tour guides. Currently, 520 people work as tour guides in Iowa. This is expected to grow by 16% to about 610 people by 2016. This is better than 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 $10 per hour or $22,010 yearly on average in Iowa and about $11 hourly or $23,270 annually on average nationally. Tour guides earn more than people working in the category of Travel generally in Iowa and less than people in the Travel category nationally.

There are fifteen schools of higher education in the Des Moines area, including one within twenty-five miles of Des Moines where you can get a degree to start your career as a tour guide. Tour guides usually hold some college courses, so you can expect to spend a short time training to become 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

AIB College of Business - Des Moines, IA

AIB College of Business, 2500 Fleur Drive, Des Moines, IA 50321-1799. AIB College of Business is a small college located in Des Moines, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 985 students and an admission rate of 55%. AIB College of Business has an associate's degree program in Tourism and Travel Services Management which graduated fourteen students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa
Des Moines, Iowa photo by BinaryBoyXP

Des Moines is located in Polk County, Iowa. It has a population of over 197,052, which has shrunk by 0.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Des Moines, 79, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Des Moines cost $175,000 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, one hundred sixty-five new homes were built in Des Moines, down from three hundred nine the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Des Moines are finance and insurance, health care, and educational services. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 21.8% of Des Moines residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Des Moines is 7.1%, which is greater than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Des Moines residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 48.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Epworth United Methodist Church, Union Park Baptist Church and Seventh Day Adventist Church are all churches located in Des Moines. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Des Moines is home to the Activities Center and the Blank Park Zoo as well as M L King Park and Des Moines Botanical Garden. Shopping centers in the area include Merle Hay Mall, Des Moines Park Fair Mall and Southridge Mall. Visitors to Des Moines can choose from Palace Inn, Holiday Inn Express Des Moines and Casa Bella Motel for temporary stays in the area.