BECOME A NIAGARA FALLS TOUR GUIDE
Being a good Niagara Falls tour guide takes a special combination of skills and personality traits.
Becoming a GREAT Niagara Falls tour guide requires a high level of commitment to continuous learning and refining your craft.
Like all careers it has its challenges but we must say that for us, being a tour guide in Niagara Falls is a genuine pleasure and passion that we look forward to every day.
If you’re thinking about becoming a Niagara Falls tour guide here are some things you must have:
1\ NIAGARA FALLS TOUR GUIDE LICENSE
First and foremost, this is a legal requirement in order to lead a tour on Niagara Parks grounds.
Each guide must pass a written test with an 80% or higher grade and pay an annual licensing fee in order for the Niagara Parks Commission to ensure a standard level of quality on their property.
2\ VAST KNOWLEDGE OF NIAGARA FALLS’ PAST AND PRESENT
The easy part is remembering the most popular facts about Niagara Falls like:
- The falls are between 167 and 188 feet high (source: History.com)
- “Niagara” comes from the Native word “Onguiaahra” which means “thundering waters” (source: Brocku.ca)
- 3,160 tons of water flow over Niagara Falls every second (source: Niagara Falls State Park)
However since you’ll be leading all different types of groups from all over the world you’ll need to be ready with practically any question they may have for you.
Take our word for it, we’re decades in and still get the odd surprise here and there with a new question.
To be an effective tour guide, you must be willing to keep learning during your down time to keep up.
3\ AN ENGAGING PERSONALITY
You can pass the tour guide license test with 100% and know every fact about Niagara Falls but if most people don’t enjoy your presence you won’t make it far as a tour guide.
Tours of Niagara Falls can last anywhere between 1 and 5 hours (depending on which tour package), which is an awfully long time to spend with someone who isn’t:
Now, you don’t need to be A+ with every trait listed here, but it’s crucial to be some kind of combination of these traits in order to have a long and healthy career as a tour guide.
Just like increasing your knowledge of Niagara Falls, this too is an area that can be (and should be) worked on continuously. Not a naturally confident person? Learn to fake it until you make it. Not very funny? Memorize a couple corny jokes to share during the tour.
An engaging personality as a tour guide pays off!
“Dan was the real thing! Kind, considerate, funny, charming and so efficient.” – Jeanne B.
“We had such a fantastic time with our guide Dave! He was so knowledgeable and kind.” – Meg (United States)
“Dan and Dave were both kind, funny, knowledgeable and truly concerned that everyone had a good time.” – Emily P.
4\ RELIABILITY & PUNCTUALITY
Your employer and customers alike will very much agree about this one.
Being organized and on time every day is a MUST HAVE element to being a successful Niagara Falls tour guide.
You should be ready and waiting for your group with a smile on before the scheduled start time so everyone feels well taken care of from the moment they arrive.
5\ A HIGH LEVEL OF PHYSICAL FITNESS
While this is especially important in terms of being a walking tour guide, it applies regardless of the type of tour you provide.
It may not seem like it but leading tour groups every day can be physically taxing so having a certain level of physical fitness is paramount to holding up over the course of a long season.
We’re not saying you need to be Mr. Olympia or Ms. Triathlete, but maintaining habits of exercise and balanced diet will help fuel goals of becoming the best Niagara Falls tour guide you can be!
If you have any questions about becoming a tour guide or would like to apply to be a guide with Walk Niagara Tours, please don’t hesitate to reach out!Walk Niagara Tours offers all-inclusive walking tours of Niagara Falls. Our tour guides lead groups 7 days a week between April and November.