Travel agent job description includes helping clients with travel plans, which includes assisting customers with choosing a destination as well as booking tickets and reservations. Loving travel and having experience with visiting other parts of the world is fundamental requirements for success in this field. Also, travel agents should be good salespeople, have excellent computer skills, and be a people person. With the right training, travel agents can enjoy success in a fiercely competitive field.
Most travel jobs require or strongly prefer candidates with a degree or certificate in travel, hospitality, or a related field. Check out the programs below which offer free information:
Travel Agent Job Responsibilities
Travel agents are primarily responsible for arranging travel plans for customers. The vacation may be a girl’s trip, honeymoon, family vacay, or bachelorette party. No matter the reason for the getaway, the travel agent should be able to provide information on the location and know how to make accommodation and transportation arrangements.
Additionally, agents need to be able to offer clients an abundance of insight regarding the location. Information like weather conditions, travel warnings, and documentation requirements are just a few. Travel agents must stay informed about the state of foreign countries which may impact travel plans or make a certain region unsafe for vacation.
The job of a travel agent is sometimes stressful due to sudden itinerary changes that occur while the customer is on their trip. Similarly, a travel agent can expect to be very busy during certain times of the year like summer vacation and the holiday season. People entering this profession should be able to cope with multiple deadlines and be able to remain calm in a stressful situation.
Travel agents must constantly learn in order to keep up with technological advances and the offerings of resorts, tour operators, and transportation companies around the world. Much of this information is learned via the Internet; however, many travel companies also publish material that is sent out on a regular basis.
Much of the work of travel agents is done on a computer or the telephone. Sitting at a desk for long periods of time is mandatory, and any travel agent must have a friendly, professional demeanor. Sales skills are especially important, and as travel agents become more experienced, they may decide to take on a management role or start their own agency.
Travel Agent Training and Education Requirements
The basic requirement for becoming a travel agent is usually the completion of a course at a vocational school or community college. Usually, a certificate or an associate degree is enough to obtain an entry-level position as a travel agent. Some agents begin their career as an assistant to a travel agent or as a receptionist in a travel agency.
There are a few four-year universities that offer a bachelor’s degree program in travel and hospitality. The more education a travel agent obtains, the greater their opportunities will be for advancement and a better salary. It is also useful for travel agents to receive some training in other areas like history, geography, and business. History and geography knowledge will help the agent research destinations for their clients and help them make better recommendations. Business knowledge is essential if the agent wants to take on a management role or run their own agency.
Travel Agent Salary and Wages
Several factors influence the salary a travel agent will earn. Their ability to sell effectively may be the single most important factor, but other things like their location will also influence their rate of pay. The better the reputation and experience of the travel agent, the better the salary they can demand. Likewise, a larger travel agency will likely pay more than a smaller one.
According to BLS, most travel agents will earn between $24,000 and $38,000 annually. In some markets, they may get paid as much as $48,000. However, an agent employed part-time can expect a smaller salary. Travel advisors may also get money in the form of bonuses and awards. One of the primary benefits of being a travel agent is getting the opportunity to travel at reduced rates.
Travel Agent Certifications
There is no formal certification process; however, travel agents who have a degree will have a much better chance of success. Those agents who choose to start their own agency must gain approval from agencies such as International Airlines Travel Agency Network before beginning operations. In order to win this approval, they typically have experience as an agent at an established agency.
Travel Agent Professional Associations
The American Society of Travel Agents is one of the largest organizations in the world. Their main role is to advocate for travel professionals and the travel industry. The association holds annual trade shows which travel professionals may exchange ideas and learn about technological developments. The association’s mission is to facilitate the sale of vacation travel products.
Final Thoughts On The Travel Agent Job Description
Being a travel agent is a fun and exciting job that lots of people enjoy. It’s pretty awesome to have a career that includes talking about vacations all day. Not to mention, employees of travel agencies usually get nice getaway packages themselves. Plus, it doesn’t take a lot of schooling to land a job as an agent—which is great for those with minimal post-secondary education.
If the idea of working in enjoyable environment interests you, don’t hesitate to apply for the job!