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Driver Guide

Note: Completion of a TAFE SA course does not guarantee an employment outcome. Formal requirements other than educational qualifications (eg licensing, professional registration), may apply to some occupations.

Job Prospects Openings 5 years to November 2018: 10,001 to 25,000
Salary Range Median weekly earnings: $1001 to $1200 to Source: Australian Government Department of Employment 2014
Brief Do you like variety in your work? Then a job in the travel and tourism industry is for you. You would perform a broad range of tasks using discretion and judgement. The industry is very flexible and is designed to meet a broad range of employment outcomes. The types of organisation you would be employed in include tourism business, requiring multi-skilled employees; specialist attractions e.g. Wineries or museums, our operators and travel agents.

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Individuals with a Certificate III should expect to be able to work across multiple tourisms sectors and enterprise types. They may work for local tour operators, at cultural and heritage sites, in marine and national parks or attractions. Guiding is an occupation that relies on knowledge base and guides at this level may have a defined scope of knowledge base and guides at this level may have a defined scope of knowledge of a particular destination or site could, however, be substantial.
Possible Job titles include:
Tour Guides
Site Guide
Winery Guide
Nature Based Site Guide

Individuals with a Certificate IV, should expect to be able to work across multiple tourism industry sectors and enterprise types. They may work for inbound tour operators, outbound tour wholesales, local tour operators, at cultural and heritage sites, in marine and national parks, attractions, or may be owner/operators of small tourism business. Because guiding is an occupation that relies on a knowledge base, guides at this level may have specialist knowledge of particular destinations, local areas or regions, sites, tourist precincts or any subject matter. Local guides have a broad knowledge base and deliver tours in a particular city, local area or region. Specialist guides at this level, operate tourist to remote destinations, and others manage extending touring programs within and outside of Australia.
Possible Job titles include:
Local Guide, Tour Guide, or Senior Tour Guide
Tour Manager or Tour Director
Interpretive Guide or Senior Interpretive Guide
Remote Area Guide
Outdoor Recreation Guide or Tour Leader: Outdoor Recreation
Museum guide and Heritage Guide
Cultural Guide and Senior Cultural Guide

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Education Requirements

There are currently no educational requirements needed to become a Driver Guide, however, it's becoming increasingly desirable among employers that guides have some formal training. An appropriate vehicle license is necessary, dependent on the type of vehicle you need to drive; e.g. 4WD, Mini Bus, or large Bus.

TAFE SA offers these courses that may assist in gaining entry to this occupation: Certificate III & IV in Guiding, Certificate III in Travel and Certificate III in Tourism.

Career Path

Job prospects are highly dependent on the activity of the tourism industry. There are many various tour operators across the State and Country, many of them are small business operators. As a driver guide, you will often be required to act as the tour guide and operator, with knowledge of the region you are exploring. This is very much a seasonal occupation, and would require you to work outside of a 9-5 working hours, weekends, holidays; 365, or 366 (leap year) of the year.


Fleur Davies:
Fleur completed her Certificate III in July, 2007. Now employed by ‘Groovy Grapes Getaway'; mainly a backpackers market of tourists, Fleur takes groups along the Great Ocean Road to Melbourne in a 20 seater bus.

Nature of the Job

You need to be willing to work across all hours and days and months, as the need for a Driver Guide never stops. Your role is not just as a driver, but you will also be acting as a tour guide:
Drive a medium to large size bus
Give commentary along the way
Can sometimes be responsible for erecting tents and cooking meals
Deal with any medical issues en route
Must adhere to advertised itinerary
Offer specialised knowledge on topic specially related to the are being visited (e.g. Northern Territory – Flora and Fauna)

Typical Physical Working Environment

Driver guides need great communication skills because they often guide for a range of nationalities. As tourists tend to stand back, you have to be very approachable. It's also useful to be able to demonstrate tasks, such as boomerang and spear throwing. Driver guides will often undertake activities that are quite physical, such as putting up tents or taking tourists on walks, so an active personality would be useful in this occupation.

Typical Occupational Example

A Driver guide may take a group of tourists on a mini-bus for a day long tour drive of the Great Ocean Road. They would demonstrate a range on knowledge of the history, environment, flora and fauna of the area to share with the tourists along the way and be willing to answer questions and queries they are asked. This trip may include a few stop at outlooks or walking trails to take the tourists further into the experience of the landscape. The Driver would need to have good time management and keep the group together and safe, and need to perform basic first aid if required. Enjoying the company of strangers, and a friendly nature will help to enhance both the tourists' experience and to enjoy the job itself.

Earning Potential

Salaries vary according to the sector and region in which you work. Bonus incentives exist among some employers. Salaries may also vary with age and experience. Commencement salary would be approximately $40,000 dependent on where you enter the industry.

Further Information

For further information about all TAFE SA Courses, phone 1800 882 661 or enquire online