Travel agents help people to navigate their way around by helping make travel plans and travel transportation to various places around the world. It involves coordinating various transport modes such as flight, trains, public buses and taxis at the best possible cost. You will need to go through large amounts of information and do a lot of research for your clients about weather and climate, exchange rates, hotels and travel advisories to various destinations. You might also be asked to prepare itineraries for clients. Cruise lines and resorts also hire travel agents to market for them travel packages.
How to Become a Travel Agent
You will need to get a High School Education to get started on this career path. Then enroll in a travel agent college or a customer service course.
Types, Description, Information
You will need to know a lot about travel and various destinations. Such as the languages, weather conditions, culture, events and local attractions. You can get this knowledge by self teaching through travel magazines or online tour portals. You can also travel to a lot of destinations to get firsthand experience on various destinations.
Learning a foreign language will be an advantage since you will be serving a wide variety of clients from all over the world. Some states such as California, Illinois, Iowa, Florida and New York require that travel agents become certified or licensed before they can start operating. Therefore it is important to get information on your state’s policy on certification before you embark on your travel agent career.
Qualifications: Courses, Training, Programs
If you are busy and don’t have a lot of time, certification online programs provide you with an option of studying at home when it is convenient. Online programs provide good training and they are usually accredited colleges. You can also get an education in Community Colleges or pursue Bachelors and Masters Degree in University.
You have a lot of options on courses or degree programs you can undertake to become a travel agent. These include Tours and Travel, Customer Service, a Business degree, Communication Degree and Liberal Arts degree to become a travel agent.
You will need classes in computer training since you should be computer literate as most of your work will be done through computers.
Schools, Colleges, Universities
You will need SAT score of at least 3.0 to get into degree programs. Apply to any of the top colleges listed below to jumpstart your travel agency career.
- Ashworth University- Online
- Fox College in Illinois
- Empire College in California
- Penn Foster Career School-Online
- Strayer University-various locations such as New Jersey and Online
Jobs opportunities, Recruitment
You can be self-employed, work for a travel agency or tour operators. The job outlook for those in travel agent careers is stagnant. This is because most people these days make their own travel arrangements through the Internet. Most resorts, restaurants and cruise lines offer packages which include travel arrangements making it unnecessary for people to use travel agents. To get into the market, it will be advisable for you to specialize in a particular destination or on a particular group of clients. The average pay for travel agents was $56,000 as of 1st Oct. 2009.