Prospective tour guides should possess a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent certificate. Required academic backgrounds vary by company, but often a bachelor's degree in a field related to the subject of the tour is necessary. Museum tour guides, for instance, usually have a degree in history and eco-tour guides often major in conservation or environmental education. In most cases, employers provide on-the-job education that includes safety training.
Most importantly, tour guides must be experts in their area of concentration. They must be able to answer specific questions about locations, their history, amenities, and artifacts. Effective communication skills are absolutely essential for a successful career in the industry. In addition, tour guides must be highly organized, punctual, and ethical. They have exceptional time-management skills and are able to throughly research pertinent information. The ability to speak multiple languages, while not essential, is an asset for many tour guides.