How to Become a Travel Agent

Written by Connie Motz in Travel
Viewed by 76 readers since 07-28-2009

Do you have thoughts about traveling the world? Do you enjoy selling products and working with other people? Do you like to use computers and conduct research? Do you enjoy solving problems and working in an office setting? Are you organized, have a keen attention to detail, and are able to multi-task? These are just some of the qualities and skills needed in order to become a Certified Travel Agent.

What do Travel Agents do?
Travel agents sell travel. Above all, becoming a travel agent means becoming a sales person. The number one problem that occurs within a travel agency is that the travel agents do not understand fundamentally that a travel agent is a sales person.

Qualities of a Travel Agent
A travel agent should have the desire to travel, the ability to sell to customers, and the knowledge to be able to do so.

The desire to succeed as a travel agent goes hand in hand with a commitment to continuous learning. This includes asking questions, reading about destinations, watching travel television shows, and traveling as much as possible.

Once you’re trained as a travel agent, you’ll be able to attend local travel seminars and trade shows. This will give you the opportunity to achieve additional destination certifications and specializations; finding your niche to concentrate on is the key to becoming a successful travel agent.

Read “How to Become a Travel Agent” and more on the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) website.

What are the Educational Requirements to Become a Travel Agent?

In order to become a travel agent, you must first graduate from high school. Then, along with having a general aptitude for travel, you will need to attend post-secondary school to achieve certification as a Certified Travel Agent.

Visit ASTA Travel School Directory and keep in mind that there are very few schools offering legitimate travel agent study courses.

Don’t Fall for any ‘Become a Travel Agent’ Scams

When looking to become a travel agent, don’t fall for internet scams such as becoming a travel agent by paying a fee, traveling for free, or watching YouTube videos so you
can sell to your family & friends.

Becoming a travel agent takes time and requires legitimate training. Discount travel is earned through sales and industry relationships, not because you have a card saying you’re a travel agent.

The only legitimate travel agent identification card accepted by airlines & tour operators worldwide is the International Air Transport Association (IATA) card. The travel agency itself is first an accredited member and then the travel agent applies for an official IATA card through the agency once all of the requirements, including minimum sales and experience, are met.

How much does a Travel Agent get Paid?
According to ASTA and calculated by using the ASTA Salary Tool, for a starting travel agent with limited experience working for a company with only location but more than one employee, the median salary is $20,436 USD per year; adding a year’s experience, the median salary is $29,268; with a few year’s experience and performing management duties as well as sales duties, the median salary is $39,927.

For more job information, check out the ASTA Travel Industry Job Board.


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