Skip to the main content
This website uses cookies to give you a better online experience. By using this website or closing this message, you are agreeing to our cookie policy. More information
Alberta Supports Contact Centre

Toll Free 1-877-644-9992

Tour Director

Tour directors manage logistical details and lead, accompany and assist passengers on multi-day tours.

Also Known As

Guide, Travel Guide

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used.

Here is how this occupation has been classified over time.

2006 NOC

  • 6441.2: Travel Guides

2006 NOC-S

  • G721: Tour and Travel Guides

2011 NOC

  • 6531: Tour and travel guides

2016 NOC

  • 6531: Tour and travel guides

2021 NOC

  • 64320: Tour and travel guides
Updated May 25, 2021

Duties and responsibilities vary but, in general, tour directors:

  • Use the itinerary provided by the tour company to conduct research about the area and attractions along the route
  • Develop commentary about points of interest and insights for the trip
  • Confirm all pre-trip arrangements, including the itinerary, bookings for excursions, transportation, meal and accommodation arrangements
  • Coordinate activities with bus drivers, tour guides, hotel staff and other service personnel
  • Resolve any problems that may arise
  • Answer guests’ questions and provide relevant information
  • Look after guests’ special needs
  • Complete and submit tour reports and other paperwork

Tour directors who work on a freelance basis also may:

  • Organize and promote optional excursions or tours
  • Pay bills for tour components as required and keep accounting records
  • Promote other tour products, attractions and travel packages

For information about other related guides, see the Related Occupational Profiles section.

Working Conditions
Updated May 25, 2021
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg

Tour directors often are on their feet for most of the day, pointing out spots of interest and answering questions. While on tour, they work long hours that include evenings and weekends. They are on call 24 hours a day during a tour. The work often is seasonal.

Tour directors may lift suitcases weighing up to 20 kilograms.

Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Travel Guides

2006 NOC: 6441.2

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

Interest in speaking to sightseers when visiting and describing points of interest


Interest in copying information to confirm reservations for transportation and accommodations, and to meet prepared itineraries


Interest in planning and carrying out recreational activities; and in resolving problems with itineraries, service and accommodations

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests


Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Traits & Skills
Updated May 25, 2021

Tour directors need:

  • Maturity
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Knowledge of the facilities and services at major stops on the tour as well as geography and history relevant to the tour
  • A good memory for details
  • Patience and a genuine interest in all kinds of people
  • Computer skills (for example, to access details on internet and file reports electronically)
  • The ability to respond to unexpected situations calmly, quickly and effectively
  • The ability to create a friendly, enthusiastic atmosphere
  • The ability to communicate effectively with large groups and respond to individual needs

They should enjoy meeting and talking to people, travelling and taking care of travel arrangements, and resolving problems.

Tour directors should have no personal commitments that interfere with frequent travel.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Tour and travel guides

2016 NOC: 6531

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 40 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Mar 02, 2022 and May 20, 2024.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Tours Focus: Sightseeing
Tasks: Describe points of interest
Tours Focus: Walking tours
Type of Guide: Driver-guide, local
Experience: Will train
Work Site Environment: Outdoors
Geographical Areas of Specialization: Canada
Tasks: Co-ordinate recreation activities
Work Setting: Various locations
Educational Requirements
Updated May 25, 2021
  • Minimum Education Varies

There are no standard minimum educational requirements for tour directors. They may be trained on the job or have related post-secondary education. However, most employers prefer to hire applicants who have post-secondary education or years of related experience. First aid and CPR training is recommended.

Tour directors need some knowledge of the travel industry (such as air travel routines and customs regulations) and the cultures of the regions they visit. They should also be at least 21 years of age so they can accompany groups on night club tours. Experience working with the public and an ability to speak a second language are definite assets.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Calgary City Centre
CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton City Centre
Grant MacEwan University
Thompson Rivers University

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated May 25, 2021
  • Certification Not Regulated

Tourism HR Canada offers voluntary emerit Tour Guide certification. Recognized across Canada, it leads to the Tourism Certified Professional (TCP) designation. Certification training is accessible from the emerit website.

Employment & Advancement
Updated May 25, 2021

Some tour directors are employed by tour or travel companies on a temporary basis, usually from March to October and December to March. Those employed full time may assist in a travel office when not on tour. Some tour directors are self-employed and some volunteer their services in return for free trips.

Tour directors may advance to supervisory positions after several years of experience. However, advancement opportunities generally are limited. Experienced tour directors may transition to positions within reservations, operations or sales departments of tour operator organizations.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 6531: Tour and travel guides occupational group, 83.3% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 6531: Tour and travel guides occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 3% from 2021 to 2025. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 4 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2021-2025 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Sep 29, 2022

Self-employed tour directors are paid a daily rate by the tour company. Tips from satisfied tour members may add considerably to tour directors’ incomes.

Tour directors are part of the larger 2016 National Occupational Classification 6531: Tour and travel guides.

According to the 2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Tour and travel guides occupational group earned on average from $16.58 to $21.40 an hour. The overall average was $18.52 an hour. For more information, see the Tour and travel guides wage profile.

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
  • Communications
  • Driver Training
  • Education and Library Studies
  • Environment, Forestry and Related Studies
  • Humanities and Languages
  • Physical Education and Recreation
  • Social Sciences, Law and Religious Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated May 25, 2021

Cultural Human Resources Council (CHRC) website:

emerit website:

Tourism HR Canada website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2021. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

Was this page useful?