How To Become A Travel Agent
Career Video: Travel Agent
Many people love to travel, but have you ever considered a career in the travel field? Becoming a travel agent allows you to share your passion for travel with others by setting them up with transportation, accommodations, tours and activities for their own vacations. As a travel agent, you can put together itineraries and call in advance to make reservations and arrangements for your clients.
Why Become A Travel Agent
Travel agents make a salary which is pretty close to the average for all occupations, so high pay isn’t necessarily a major draw to this occupation. There also are not going to be that many openings in the coming years. So the number-one reason to consider a career as a travel agent is because you love travel and want to help others to enjoy their vacations by saving them money and reducing the amount of planning and work they have to put in to enjoy their vacations.
Travel Agent Work Environment
Most travel agents work in offices and spend a lot of time communicating long distance to place reservations for their clients. You may work for a travel agency, or you may work for yourself, operating your own travel agency.
Travel Agent Salary
The median annual salary for travel agents listed by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for the year 2010 was $31,870. The bottom 10% earned less than $19,610 per year, and the top 10% earned more than $50,620. The median salary is higher than that for most other retail positions, but slightly lower than that for all occupations overall.
Travel Agent Career Outlook
If you want to become a travel agent, you will probably be facing some stiff competition. While the field is growing at a rate of 10%, which is about as fast as average, this only represents an employment change of about 8,300 jobs between 2010 and 2020, which is a pretty constrained number. By specializing in a particular destination or type of travel, you increase your odds of getting a job in travel which pays well. If you are already an expert in a travel-related area, you may want to consider looking for a job as a travel agent that focuses on that area of expertise.
Travel Agent Degree
You technically do not need a higher degree to get a job as a travel agent; you may be able to get into this field with nothing more than a high school diploma or GED. An associate’s or bachelor’s degree is a plus, though, and formal on-the-job training can also help you to land better opportunities. You need to be excellent at communication, the use of computers, and multi-tasking. It also helps to be an expert in a particular destination or type of tourism. This may help you to perform well in a niche role, which may allow you to earn a higher salary and find more opportunity.