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Career and Education Opportunities for Tour Guides in Alexandria, Virginia

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for tour guides in the Alexandria, Virginia area. The national trend for tour guides sees this job pool growing by about 11.7% over the next eight years. Tour guides generally escort individuals or groups on sightseeing tours or through places of interest, such as industrial establishments, public buildings, and art galleries.

A person working as a tour guide can expect to earn about $9 hourly or $20,140 per year on average in Virginia and about $11 per hour or $23,270 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for tour guides are not quite as good as in the overall category of Travel in Virginia, and not quite as good as the overall Travel category nationally.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Alexandria where you can study to be a tour guide, among eighty-four schools of higher education total in the Alexandria area. 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

Northern Virginia Community College - Annandale, VA

Northern Virginia Community College, 4001 Wakefield Chapel Rd, Annandale, VA 22003-3796. Northern Virginia Community College is a large college located in Annandale, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 41,870 students. Northern Virginia Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Tourism and Travel Services Management which graduated two and six students respectively in 2008.

George Washington University - Washington, DC

George Washington University, 2121 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052. George Washington University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,027 students and an admission rate of 37%. George Washington University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Tourism and Travel Services Management which graduated eight and seventy-three students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Alexandria, Virginia

Alexandria, Virginia
Alexandria, Virginia photo by SchuminWeb

Alexandria is situated in Alexandria City County, Virginia. It has a population of over 143,885, which has grown by 12.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Alexandria, 124, is far greater than the national average.

The three big industries for women in Alexandria are professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and health care. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and construction. The average commute to work is about 30 minutes. More than 54.3% of Alexandria residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 24.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Alexandria is 4.6%, which is less than Virginia's average of 6.4%.

Church of Resurrection Episcopal, Agudas Achim Synagogue and Alexandria Bible Church are some of the churches located in Alexandria.

Alexandria is home to the Circle Terrace Hospital and the Kate Waller Barrett Branch as well as Marina Park and Founders Park. Shopping centers in the area include Hamlet Shopping Center, Landmark Shopping Center and Arlandria Shopping Center. Visitors to Alexandria can choose from Comfort Inn-Landmark, Best Western Old Colony Inn and Hilton Inn for temporary stays in the area.