How to Become a Charleston Tour Guide

Charleston is the oldest and second largest harbour city in South Carolina, United States. Because of its beautiful places, rich culture and welcoming people, it has become one of the top tourist destinations of the country. People, who are associated with businesses like hotels, restaurants, travelling and tour management, fill their pockets with handsome amount of money every year.

If you are one those who want to make money while travelling, exploring new places and meeting new people then becoming a tour guide is your best bet. Do not worry as a couple of simple tips will help you.


  • 1

    Be in right frame of mind:

    First of all, you should ask yourself why you want to become a tour guide. If the answer is satisfactory only then you should go ahead. Remember, you will have to stay motivated and fresh despite of all the fatigue. If you are serious to pursue this as a career then you can survive and excel in this field.

  • 2

    Find a suitable employer:

    Though, you need to pass a couple of tests before starting it as a career but a sponsor is needed to take that temporary test. Initially, you will be hired as a freelancer so do not expect much income but the experience will really help you in clearing the tour guide test.

  • 3

    Start preparing for test:

    Your next step will be to purchase a guide about Charleston. This book will have all the information including history of places and architecture of the buildings. You will have to learn all the details by heart. You can get this book or CD from the nearest office of the Tourism Department. Get your copy and start preparing for the initial test.

  • 4

    Get a temporary license:

    You can get a temporary license by clearing the initial test. The Tourism Department conducts a tour guide test four times a year. By clearing this temporary test, you can qualify for a temporary license which will stay valid until the official test.

  • 5

    Take the official test:

    Getting a temporary license does not mean that you will stop studying. You should keep preparing for the official written test. You will have to answer 200 questions in two hours and you will be declared successful if your score is above 80 percent. Get registered and keep checking the official website of the Tourism Department for the dates of the test.

  • 6


    Last but not the least, you will have to act as a guide in front of a team and if you manage to stand confidently in these couple of minutes then you are a certified Charleston tour guide.

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