Career Detail


Travel Agent
“Dream Vacation Maker”
Provides information to help travelers find destinations and sale them best possible travel arrangements for transportation, hotel accommodations, car rentals, and tours.
The Job
Travel agents who primarily work for tour operators and other travel arrangers may help develop, arrange, and sell the company's own package tours and travel services. They may promote these services, using telemarketing, direct mail, and the Internet. They make presentations to social and special-interest groups, arrange advertising displays, and suggest company-sponsored trips to business managers. Travel agents use a variety of published and computer-based sources for information on departure and arrival times, fares, quality of hotel accommodations, and group discounts.
Work Environment
Travel agents spend most of their time behind a desk conferring with clients, completing paperwork, contacting airlines and hotels to make travel arrangements, and promoting tours.
College Majors
Minimum Qualifications
The minimum requirement is a high school diploma or equivalent; although many travel agencies prefer applicants who have a college degree and business or travel experience. Some prefer a sales background. Much of the training is provided on the job.
Personality traits helpful for this career
Well-organized, accurate, and detail-oriented. Must be professional and courteous when dealing with travel representatives and clients.
Quick Facts
  • Experience, sales ability, and the size and location of the agency determine the salary of a travel agent.
  • Minimum requirement is a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Many employers prefer a sales background.
  • Travel Agents are increaslingly becoming home based business owners.
  • More info: American Society of Travel Agents, Education Department, 1101 King St., Alexandria, VA 22314. www.asta.org
Compensation and Outlook
Experience, sales ability, and the size and location of the agency determine the salary of a travel agent. Median annual wages of travel agents were $30,570 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $23,940 and $38,390. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $18,770, while the top 10 percent earned more than $47,860. Median wages in May 2008 for travel agents employed in the travel arrangement and reservation services industry were $30,470.
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