How to be a travel agent

The job of travel agent sounds like something of a relic. In the age of the internet, where travel destinations are a click away, do travel agents even exist?

As it turns out, they do. The job outlook for a travel agent is, admittedly, kind of bleak. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 2016-26 the number of travel agent jobs in America is expected to decrease by 12%, or 9,500 jobs.

Still, this isn’t set in stone. There’s still a contingent of people who prefer the personal element of a travel agent, not to mention having someone to do the work for them instead of doing everything themselves. It’s also a potential career path for those looking for something that doesn’t require too expensive an education.

So, how does one get started on becoming a travel agent?

How to Become a Travel Agent

Generally, a high school diploma is the base requirement prior to travel agent education for becoming one, though a relevant bachelor’s degree can certainly provide an advantage against other competitors. A background in sales or customer service could be helpful as well.

Before you become a travel agent, though, you have to know what you’ll even mean when you refer to yourself as such.

1. Decide on What Type of Travel Agent to Be

There’s more than one type of travel agent, and knowing which route you want to take with your career can help you better understand what you’ll have to do. This can mean deciding if you want to specialize in a specific area of the world, which would mean better familiarizing yourself with the culture and destinations. Are you interested in being a travel agent for those trying to be more thrifty with their vacation? You’ll need a firm understanding of budgeting and where to find savvy deals.

There is also the matter of whether you’re looking to be a leisure travel agent or a corporate travel agent. Leisure travel agents are perhaps more of what is commonly associated with a travel agent, selling vacation packages to individuals, families and groups. Corporate travel agents, on the other hand, focus on making travel arrangements for businesses and the employees attending work conferences.

2. Education: Certificate and/or College Degree

These education choices, while optional, are beneficial both to having an advantage in obtaining job interviews and in gaining important experience prior to actually entering the field.

Regarding a college degree, there isn’t necessarily a “travel agent” bachelor’s program for one to take, but a program that shows that you have an understanding of one of the more crucial elements of the job. Some college degrees are more directly related, but others can be highly relevant. These majors and programs can include:

  • Travel
  • Tourism
  • Business
  • Business Administration
  • Economics
  • Hospitality

Admittedly, some of these programs at four-year universities can cost quite a lot. Many community colleges, technical schools and vocational schools also offer travel planning education.

In addition, there are some certificate programs for those with limited experience to gain more. The Travel Institute, which offers education and testing on travel agency, offers the Travel Agent Proficiency test, or the TAP test, to test your basic knowledge. The test costs $95 to register for but is also given at the end of many entry-level programs from The Travel Institute.

3. Determine Your Preferred Work Environment and Gain Experience

One other thing to consider when figuring out your game plan is whether you want to work within a travel agency or take on the risk of starting your own travel agency. Someone with a business degree interested in travel may feel inclined to start their own business, but beginners may also be more inclined to find somewhere with a support system to develop their skills first.

Travel Tips

How to be a travel agent

A travel agent will help you customize your dream vacation. (Photo: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images )

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With the dozens of online travel sites and the ability to book directly with almost any airline, hotel or other travel service, it would seem that travel agents might go the way of the dinosaurs. The American Society of Travel Agents, though, reports travel agents sell 85 percent of all cruises and 70 percent of all packages and tours, as of 2008. Agents are still in demand, and offer plenty of benefits when you are booking your vacation.

Time and Money Savings

Sometimes, spending hours on the computer searching for the best travel deals gets you results — and other times, it just leads to frustration. When you work with a travel agent, she does that legwork, searching out the travel options that best meet your needs and budget. In most cases, travel agents have access to information about rates and routes that average consumer might not have, saving you time and money, even when you consider the agent’s fee. Using a travel agent can also help you score a great deal on a package or promotion. Agents generally receive information and access to promotions from resorts, cruise lines and other travel providers that aren’t available to the general public.

Travel Assistance

You’re en route to a Caribbean cruise a when a snowstorm in Detroit delays your flight in Philadelphia. If you booked your travel through an agent, you can call him to get assistance with rebooking your travel arrangements. When you book through an online travel site, you might not be able to get that level of personalized attention, or you could have trouble finding someone who can help you get where you need to be. If something goes wrong when you arrive at your destination, such as your room is unacceptable or the transportation to the resort never shows up, your travel agent can usually resolve those problems.

Travel Recommendations

Perhaps you’ve always wanted to take a cruise, but you’re not sure which cruise line is best for you or where you want to go. Maybe you want to take the kids to Disney World, but you’re having trouble navigating the endless array of ticket and package options. A travel agent can help. Many travel agents specialize in a particular type of travel, such as cruises, Disney or Europe, and are able to make recommendations and help you plan a trip that meets your needs and budget. Their inside knowledge helps you avoid wasting time and money on the things you’re not interested in, and lets you focus instead on taking the trip.

Perks

Travel agents who book a high volume of trips often have access to perks that you might not be able to get on your own. Whether it’s a room upgrade, a fee waiver or even reservations at a hot resort or on a popular tour, travel agents often add perks into your vacation plan. If you are planning a trip for a special occasion, such as a marriage proposal, a travel agent has access to the resources and people who can help you plan the perfect event.

Despite the emergence of automated booking systems that help people plan vacations, travel agents are still useful when it comes to trip preparation. Travel plans, down to the activities and budget, still require a personal touch to ensure clients are getting the best value for their money.

A travel agent can provide advice about vacation spots and make travel arrangements for their clients. In this article, we discuss what a travel agent does and how to become one, with answers to frequently asked questions about this career.

What does a travel agent do?

A travel agent helps clients make travel arrangements or explore different travel package options. They may suggest different resorts or destinations, or they can help their clients arrange a travel itinerary. A travel agent can also book flights, hotels or reservations for their clients.

Before travel agents can make travel arrangements, they must learn important information about their clients, such as their budget, schedule, ideal vacation and preferred method of travel. For example, a travel agent who learns that a client is afraid of flying may suggest a cruise instead. Common daily responsibilities a travel agent can expect include:

  • Negotiating hotel rates for clients
  • Helping clients create trip plans
  • Determining travel costs and helping the client look for ways to save money
  • Advising clients on activities in the area they’re visiting

Essentially, a travel agent ensures that clients receive a personalized trip plan that focuses on their needs and preferences. This type of personalization and expertise is why many people still prefer travel agents over automated booking systems.

Average salary for a travel agent

Travel agents earn an average of $43,220 per year, but this figure can vary depending on education, location and experience level. Additional certifications may also make it easier to negotiate for a higher salary.

Ways to become a travel agent

Becoming a travel agent requires a certain level of education and training, and some may need to obtain certifications before they can begin their career. Follow these steps if you’re considering a career as a travel agent:

  1. Pursue education.
  2. Develop your communication skills.
  3. Research trip-planning and money-saving techniques.
  4. Grow your knowledge of the travel industry.

1. Pursue education

Most travel agents are required to obtain at least a high school diploma before starting their careers. A college degree isn’t necessary for a career in this field, but taking some classes or obtaining at least an associate’s degree can help you gain essential knowledge in areas such as tourism, best business practices, international affairs and marketing. You will need comprehensive knowledge in all of these areas to provide your clients with the best travel plans for their needs.

A certification proving your expertise may also be sought after by both clients and potential employers. The Travel Institute offers the Travel Agent Proficiency test, which you can take to demonstrate that you have the needed skills and qualifications to be an accomplished travel agent. After gaining a few years of experience, you can take additional exams with The Travel Institute or similar organizations to gain more advanced certifications.

2. Develop your communication skills

Part of a travel agent’s success depends on the ability to interact with others, whether it’s done by phone calls, emails or in-person meetings. Communication skills using these tools will help you gain and retain loyal clients, which will be your main source of revenue. Keeping your clients happy is especially important if you plan to work independently and not for an agency.

Communication skills like following-up on questions or communicating changes will also help you more easily negotiate with hotels and similar businesses to get the best deals for your clients. The more you work with certain businesses, the more likely you’ll be to develop relationships with them. This, in turn, may make it easier to get better travel deals in the future.

3. Research trip-planning and money-saving techniques

As a travel agent, your clients depend on you to help them save the most money possible while they travel. This is why it’s useful to research deals on local hotels, cruises, flights or events that may be offering special prices.

If you work for an agency, you’ll likely receive on-the-job training that shows how to quickly find the best deals for clients and make the best reservations for the value. It may be useful to gain this experience before starting your own business.

4. Grow your knowledge of the travel industry

Vacation spots and your clients’ itinerary priorities will change over time, so it’s useful to keep a current and growing knowledge of new developments in the field. It can also help to continue taking courses specifically designed to help you gain a deeper understanding of the tourism industry.

In addition to the TAP test, The Travel Institute offers courses in subjects like geography and itinerary planning that equip you with the knowledge to plan memorable trips for your clients. These courses can be especially useful if you plan to specialize in one area of travel.

FAQs on becoming a travel agent

Here are answers to commonly asked questions on becoming a travel agent:

Do travel agents work for themselves?

Some work for a company, but many others become highly specialized in their area of expertise and start their own businesses. If you decide to work for yourself, consider choosing a unique specialty to stand out among competitors in the field.

What skills do I need as a travel agent?

Soft skills, such as written and verbal communication, can help you find good deals while planning trips and booking flights and hotels. Time management skills are also essential in this career since you’ll likely be working with multiple clients or itineraries at once.

Do I need to specialize in any area of travel?

While it’s not necessarily required, it can give you a competitive advantage if you choose a particular specialty as a travel agent. For example, you could focus on planning trips for one geographic area, or you could specialize in a certain type of vacation. Gaining expertise in a specific area can also help you build a loyal client base.

Jobs similar to a travel agent

If you’re interested in becoming a travel agent, there are many similar job options. Here are 10 jobs for travel agents to explore:

How to Become a Travel Agent from Home

What You Need to Get Started

How to be a travel agent

Become an independent travel agent with KHM Travel Group you’ll have everything you need to run a successful home-based travel agency at your fingertips. Our education programs are designed to teach you everything you need to know in order to book travel and build your business, so no certificate or prior travel agent education is required.

You must be a U.S.citizen living in the U.S. with a current and valid driver’s license or state ID in order to become an agent. You will also need a valid credit card in order to enroll and reliable access to the internet in order to access our Agent Portal and CRM systems, along with other supplier booking engines.

A passion for travel isn’t a requirement, but it is usually beneficial in helping agents succeed!

How You’ll Learn to Be a Travel Agent

In our Travel Agent Tip video below, our Director of Education and Programs, Bill, provides an overview of what it’s like to run your own travel business.

The bottom line: Education comes first! Our Learning Management System (LMS) lets you control your travel agent education. Accessible 24/7 from any device, the LMS is an online classroom accessible to all KHM Travel Agents through MyTravelAgentPortal. Everything in the LMS is broken down into courses, and each course is divided into chapters, so the learning process is very structured. When you first get started, you’ll go through our series of Agent Basics courses, which act as a roadmap to guide you through the process of learning the travel industry and how to run your business.

The New Agent courses cover the basics of how to become a travel agent, like getting your business set up, working with clients, compliance, and simple marketing techniques. You’ll also gain a better understanding of all the tools and resources you have available to you as a KHM Travel Agent.

The LMS and our New Agent courses give you the ability to learn how to become a travel agent, when and where its convenient for you. To continue expanding your professional development and travel knowledge, you can take advantage of our weekly webinars, live educational events, and one-on-one coaching program. You can always rely on our team to answer your questions or offer encouragement if you are feeling stuck.

How You’ll Find Prices and Book Trips

How to be a travel agent

KHM Travel Group Agents are all independent contractors, running their own businesses under the umbrella of our booking credentials. Once you are on board with us, our team will help you get registered with our Preferred Suppliers so that you can access their travel agent-only websites. There is no additional cost to register with suppliers, but each supplier does have a set of procedures to follow in order for agents to research trips and book travel. Many of these suppliers allow you to book your clients’ travel directly through their websites. You will have access to many third-party booking engines like VAX VacationAccess.

KHM Travel Group already has established relationships with the most popular travel suppliers, giving you access to exclusive promotions, incentives, and marketing assets. Whether you want to specialize in selling cruises, romance travel, family vacations, or anything in between, we’ll provide you with the knowledge and connections you need to develop your sales.

How You’ll Earn Commission

When you make travel bookings for yourself or your clients, our travel suppliers will pay a commission on the travel sale amount. The exact commission percentage can vary between 3% and 20% of the travel sale amount, with the average being around 14%. Whatever commission we receive, we pay you 80% of that amount to start. After agents have reached $5,000 in gross commissions in a calendar year, they are bumped up to 90% commission. Learn more about commissions and see an example on our commission page here.

KHM Travel Group’s long-standing relationships with our Preferred Travel Suppliers enable us to receive the industry’s top commission payouts, which we pass on to you!

What You Can Earn as a Travel Agent

One of the first questions people ask when researching how to become a travel agent is usually, “can I actually make money doing this?” The answer is yes, and the amount of money you can make is really up to you. Some of our travel agents work this business part-time to plan travel for friends and family and earn a few hundred dollars on those trips. Our top-producing agents turn their travel business into their full-time career and earn thousands in commission each month.

How to be a travel agent

Typically, agents get out of their business what they put into it. This is not an opportunity for someone who wants to make money quickly or by sending their clients to book themselves online. It does take time and dedication, but if you love travel, a travel agent career can bring you long-term rewards.

Check out all the benefits of partnering with KHM Travel Group and learn about our pricing options here. If you are ready to become a travel agent with us, you can get started here or give our team a call 1-888-611-1220.

FREE Travel Agent School and Travel Agent Career Training – 100% Online Study Program.

IMAGINE yourself becoming a travel agent and owning your own online Travel Agency Business.

By studying just a couple of hours a day, you can become a Travel Agent in just a few short weeks! No experience is needed.

Our online travel agent course is fun and easy. There are NO test or Exams.

Becoming a Travel Agent is a wonderful and rewarding career choice. You can learn the skills you need to become an Travel Agent – at home, at your own pace.

AARC is now ATHome, a training school & host agency division of Atlas Travel & Technology Group. Watch for a new, informative website and exciting changes – coming soon!

Almost 100 million Americans – that’s 4 in 10 adults – took a vacation in 2019!

Taking the steps to a new and exciting career as a Travel Advisor is easy and affordable with AARC Training School & Host Agency. Plus, we provide you with the support and marketing tools you need to make your own business successful!

Our Travel Advisor course is all online, so you don’t have to juggle your schedule or leave your current job!

How to be a travel agent

The AARC Training School & Host Agency courses provide everything you need to learn how to become a Travel Advisor and operate your own online travel agency business, including:

  • your own website
  • the marketing secret to finding hundreds of online clients for your new travel agency business
  • mentoring to help answer any questions you may have
  • all the insider secrets that Travel Advisors use to obtain reduced rates for their clients when booking cruises and vacation packages

After you learn how to become a Travel Advisor and open your own online agency, AARC will provide you with ongoing support including mentors, webinars, closed online groups, industry magazines, newsletters and emails. This keeps your travel business updated with everything you need to stay successful and earn extra cash from home.

LOVE YOUR CAREER!

  • Be your own boss
  • Set your own work hours
  • Enjoy work/life balance
  • Earn great commissions

…from the comfort of your own home!

As a Travel Advisor, you also have the ability to go on cruises, stay at all-inclusive resorts and travel to exotic destinations all over the world – for FREE or at discounted rates!

Once you sign up with AARC as a home-based Travel Advisor, we will take care of your training. We will ensure that you have the skills needed to operate your own online travel agency. This includes learning how to find clients that want to book:

· Car Rentals
· Cruise Ships
· All-Inclusive Resorts
· Hotels
· Spring Breaks
· Honeymoons
· Destination Weddings
· School Trips
· Groups
· Reunions
· Tours
· Limousines
· Vacation Packages
· Private Jets
· Sporting Events

By becoming a home-based Travel Advisor with AARC, you will have access to special discount prices that are NOT available to the general public.

This allows AARC Travel Advisors to sell at prices below the market price, yet still make sizeable commissions.

Average Niche Commission Examples:

  1. Caribbean Vacation Specialist, commissions from $200-$500 per booking.
  2. Caribbean Honeymoon Specialist, commissions from $500-$1,000 per booking.
  3. Destination Wedding and Honeymoon Specialist, commissions from $1,000-$10,000 per booking.
  4. Europe Group River Cruises Specialist, commissions from $10,000-$50,000 per group.
  5. Group Cruises Specialist, commissions from $5,000-$50,000 per group.
  6. Faith-Based Specialist, commissions from $1,000-$25,000 per group.

AARC has over 100 different niches for our home-based Travel Advisors to choose from.

When you become a Travel Advisor with AARC, you will have access to great specials and deals for your clients from the top suppliers and cruise lines in the industry.

How to be a travel agent

Agent Access Resource Center (AARC) is now Atlas Travel Home (ATHome), a training school and host agency division of Atlas Travel & Technology Group, headquartered in Marlborough MA. In addition to ATHome, Atlas Travel & Technology Group is comprised of the following companies:

Atlas Travel is an award-winning travel company, founded in 1986, that provides industry-renowned vacation and cruise services, corporate travel management and meeting and event planning.

As a managed company of Atlas Travel & Technology Group, ATHome independent contractors will gain access to Atlas Travel’s vast network of prestigious suppliers, exclusive travel deals and special values, including amenities such as ship credits, room upgrades, spa services and more for hundreds of cruise sailings, as well as land vacations through Atlas Travel’s Hotel and Resort Collection of more than 600 members, designed to provide entry to luxury hotels in the world’s most popular cities. Those independent contractors servicing corporate customers will also have access to a host of Atlas Travel’s corporate travel tools, such as the Sabre GDS, client-specific reporting tools and industry leading technology, offering access to the following: online booking, automated office quality control, auto ticketing and AMIGo, Atlas Travel’s fully customizable traveler app.

Prime NumbersTechnology (PNT) helps companies drive significant savings by most effectively managing their travel program and spend through industry-leading data analysis, contract and spend optimization and benchmarking solutions. PNT offers a comprehensive suite of solutions, including data analytics and benchmarking, policy management, spend optimization, contract and vendor sourcing analysis and ROI maximization. PNT is licensed by many Fortune 250 and top 10 travel management companies.

ATHome independent contractors will receive exceptional service from the staff who have worked with AARC for years and look forward to building relationships in the days ahead, along with forum participation as a way to exchange ideas on training, customers, suppliers, systems and processes. Down the road, there will also be marketing materials created to use with clients!

Welcome to the Atlas Travel & Technology Group family!

When you become a Travel Advisor with AARC, you will have access to great specials and deals for your clients from the top suppliers and cruise lines in the industry.

How to be a travel agent

Bruce Bennett / Getty Images News / Getty Images

Becoming an independent travel agent can be a profitable undertaking if you do your homework. Unlike many careers in the 21st century, you won’t need to commit four years to getting a degree, either, because the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) and the National Association of Career Travel Agents (NACTA) provide training resources online.

Benefits of Becoming an Independent Travel Agent

Perhaps the top benefit of being a travel agent is that you’ll earn discounts for your own hotel stays, car rentals, cruises, and tours, allowing you to explore new places and experience new cultures as part of your job.

You’ll be able to be your own boss and set your own hours, which will probably turn out to revolve around your clients’ hours, but, in any case, it provides more freedom than the average office job. Home-based agents (who typically have at least a decade of experience) are often eligible for some travel expense and home tax deductions, too.

What the Job Entails

Successful independent travel agents don’t necessarily need specific experience. However, the more experience an agent has, the more confident consumers are in relying on the agent for travel advice.

Developing a niche specialty of travel, such as cruise sales, can be one of the most important factors in developing a travel business, according to the ASTA and NACTA. In fact, 75 percent of independent travel agents specialize in cruises and earn an average of 14 percent commission from their sales.

A successful agent needs to develop knowledge and experience about some aspect of travel. If you’re thinking of becoming an independent agent yourself, then consider which niche appeals to you.

Choosing a Host Agency

Because individuals do not require travel agency experience to be an independent travel agent, there are hundreds of companies that offer to be host agencies for beginners. Ninety-one percent of independent travel agents say they split commissions with a host agency, according to the ASTA and NACTA.

Before signing on with a company that presents an enticing website or tries to sell a package to become a travel agent, ask questions and request a written statement of benefits and expenses.

Becoming a travel agent may be a natural fit for you because you love travel and want to create immersive experiences for your clients.

But if you’ve been working in the industry for one year or more, you may not have experienced the success you thought you would.

You may not have realized that owning a travel agency or being a home-based agent requires you to think like an entrepreneur, not someone who wants a hobby.

If you’re ready to become a successful travel agent, keep reading to learn the top six tips that will help you get one step closer to realizing your dream and earning a great living from it.

These 6 Tips Can Help You to Become a Successful Travel Agent

Create a One Page Business Plan

Develop a one page business plan and include the following:

• Company/executive summary – Explain your travel business, includes your objectives, mission and vision, ownership, and start-up summary (funding).

• Niche/services – The more specialized or clear on whom you serve or your travel specialty the easier it’s for you to market yourself.

• Financial plan – You’ll want to create a projected cash flow, profit and loss, assumptions, balance sheet, and more. Don’t panic if you’re not an accounting whiz! Do the best you can. Although, you may want to consult with a CPA or business coach.
• Sales and marketing strategy – List your sales and marketing techniques. You may use direct mail, social media, paid advertising, email marketing, etc. Of course, you’ll want to create website.

Get the Proper Training

Keep in mind that consumers want to work with experts; therefore, you’ll want to get the proper training. Organizations such as Travel Agent Campus, The Travel Institute, the Travel Academy, American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and others offer courses that can help you learn about the travel industry, includes niche markets.

Choose a Niche or Specialization

Instead of being a generalist, choose a niche or specialization and own it. For example, you may have enjoyed planning your honeymoon and want to help other brides do the same. You can become the go-to- travel agent in your area and grow your business and income quicker than you thought possible.

“I decided a few years back that most of my business should be from the following: 1. Destination Weddings/Honeymoons 2. Group Cruises. 3. Family Reunions. Once I did it’s easier to focus on ways and means to grow those portions of my business. And my yearly sales have increased in all of those areas, leading to greater businesses growth.” –Dilworth E. Daley.

Focus on Marketing

As with any business, you must market yourself and ask for the sale. Create an optimized website and 2-3 strong social media networks where you share amazing images from your vacation and create sponsored ads. Consider using email marketing. If you don’t like marketing, you need to embrace it to become a successful travel agent.

Build and Develop Relationships

Want long-term success as a travel agent? Build and develop relationships with clients and travel suppliers. Not only will customers book with you year-after-year, but they can refer others to you, regardless of any changes happening within the industry. You’ll want to get to know your business development managers because you don’t want to be another name in the system.

Join a Travel Host Agency

Have you ever wished you could pick the brains of experienced travel agents? Join a travel host agency and you can do just that. How? By attending local team meetings, informational webinars, and conferences where you can learn from seasoned professionals “who’ve been there and done that.”

“I chose TPI for their reputation and their technology. I also chose TPI after several interviews with others because of their relationships with vendors and so much more. I look forward to many years with them. We got this!” –Kim Webster-Jahn

Are You Ready to Become a Super Travel Agent?

Becoming a successful travel agent may not happen overnight.

But you can make it by accepting that you’re starting a business, not another side interest.

Don’t let your entrepreneurial dream slip through your hands.

Create a business plan and get on with your career.

Come on. What are you waiting for?

You know what it takes to be a travel agent. Don’t waste another minute. Your success can inspire others, and you can be a role model.

Want more information about becoming a travel agent? Download this brochure now!

How to be a travel agent

Travel agents help people plan vacations and other trips around the country and abroad.

While many people are now planning their own vacations and business trips online, some still use travel agents to handle the arrangement of airline flights, hotel reservations, vehicle rentals, and activities at their destination.

Many travel agents learn on the job, but some hospitality schools, career schools, and community colleges offer degree programs and certificates in tourism. These programs often focus on business principles like sales and marketing, travel planning, airline pricing and computer systems, and itinerary planning. Students may also learn about specific travel destinations around the world.

On-the-job training mainly focuses on the computer systems travel agents use to book airline and hotel arrangements.

Are there any certification or licensure requirements?

Most states do not require travel agents to hold a license or certificate, but some require travel agents to register with the state. This process usually involves filling out a form, paying a fee, and receiving a registration number that agents must display at their place of business.

While it may not be required, many travel agents purchase “errors and omissions” insurance, a form of professional liability insurance that covers agents when clients accuse them of making mistakes with their travel arrangements.

How long does it take to become a travel agent?

There are no industry standards for education and training for travel agents, so one can begin working in this field after high school graduation. Pursuing a certificate or an associate or bachelor’s degree in tourism before seeking a job can take one to four years.

What does a travel agent earn?

The median yearly pay for travel agents in the United States was $34,600 in 2012. The top 10 percent of earners in this field made more than $57,400 and the lowest 10 percent made less than $19,930 that year.

The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) has a salary tool on its website that can give prospective travel agents a better idea of the pay they can expect to receive with different levels of experience and responsibility.

What are the job prospects?

73,300 people worked as travel agents in 2012, and The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that this number will decrease by 12 percent between 2012 and 2020. Due to the rise of services that allow people to find the lowest airline ticket and hotel reservation prices online, fewer people are expected to hire travel agents to plan their trips.

What are the long term career prospects for travel agents?

Travel agents who find success with an agency may take on management responsibilities and eventually move out of sales. Successful agents may also start their own agencies.

How can I find a job as a travel agent?

If you want to work as a travel agent, you can apply for openings at travel agencies or start your own business. Independent travel agents may work from home or from a storefront location.

You can increase your chances of being hired or finding independent success by pursuing education in tourism and marketing and by traveling and becoming familiar with travel destinations around the country and the world.

How can I learn more about becoming a travel agent?

You can learn more about becoming a travel agent through the American Society of Travel Agents. The ASTA website also features information about travel education resources.

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