Travel agents are employed by travel agencies, airlines, tour operators, cruise lines, and more. A recent survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that their average salary ranges from USD 29,000 to USD 45,000. The table presented here provides statistics based on the years of experience and the expected salary range.
Experience Pay Range
Less than 1 year USD 20,000 to 38,000
1 to 4 years USD 24,000 to 38,000
5 to 9 years USD 29,000 to 42,000
10 to 19 years USD 30,000 to 42,000
20 or more years USD 31,000 to 46,000
Some of the top paying states:
Washington, Virginia, Tennessee, New Hampshire – USD 36,000 to USD 39,000.
Some of the top paying metropolitan areas:
Durham (NC), Birmingham-Hoover (AL), Bremerton-Silverdale (WA), Memphis (TN) – USD 43,000 to USD 53,000.
Since there are a variety of services offered by travel agencies, an agent has to perform a multitude of tasks, and this ability to multitask plays an important role in deciding the salary. There are many variable components such as the size of the organization, services offered, clients catered to, and the location of the business.
A travel agent acts like an auxiliary for people who wish to travel, either for business or pleasure. Nowadays, there are many service providers available at the traveler’s disposal, and it becomes very confusing for them to make the right choice. These professionals will help you make the right choice by booking tickets and arranging accommodation which are best suited to your requirement and budget. There are those who offer specialized services to business travelers, and special packages to people traveling for pleasure. Some even specialize in package tours to certain destinations. They have to handle a large volume of clients during holiday seasons like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and the spring break. Due to the nature of their work, they have to deal with a variety of people from different ethnic and religious backgrounds, as well as people with different nationalities and preferences. They need to plan a client’s itinerary, in addition to arranging facilities like accommodation and car rentals.
An aspirant needs to have at least a high school diploma. However, most employers prefer candidates with some formal training or certification in the travel domain. A bachelor’s or master’s degree in travel and tourism can drastically improve your job prospects. Some of the colleges that offer online bachelor’s degrees are Kaplan University, Phoenix University, Ashworth College, etc. Students who have completed their undergraduate programs can opt for a master’s degree from colleges like Walden University, Grand Canyon University, etc. There are also many vocational courses offered by schools and community colleges, which impart knowledge about geography, marketing, ticketing forms and procedures, and other related aspects. Also, most employers provide on-the-job training on computer systems used in the airline industry.
A job as a travel agent can be a very promising career option. Besides the remuneration, they also gain a lot of knowledge about different parts of the world. Traveling has not only become faster, but more affordable as well, encouraging more and more people to travel. This will lead to more job opportunities for such professionals in the future.