How to Become a Travel Agent – In 4 Steps

As a travel agent, you’ll assist travelers with booking accommodations, planning trips, and finding transportation.

While modern technology has replaced some tasks that travel agents do, there is still a high demand for the job.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there will be a 3% growth in the next ten years.

If you’re looking to become a travel agent, then keep reading!

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Steps to Become a Travel Agent

If you’re interested in becoming a travel agent, then you’ll want to know the following.

Becoming certified isn’t always necessary, but you can become a travel agent in several ways.

If you want higher education, you’ll need to follow steps 1-4.

If you plan on applying after high school, then you can head to steps 3-4.

Step 1: Attend Training

Attending college-level education and training can help future travel agents learn about business practices, tourism, and international affairs.

Aside from that, they can also learn strategies, financing, and marketing.

These aspects play a big role in how well you will do as a travel agent, and having an associate in tourism is useful.

However, attending college or higher education isn’t mandatory.

In addition to schooling, future travel agents can also attend a travel agent certification.

This is a lower level than an associate’s and requires less schooling.

Training courses must be certified by The Travel Institute, and students must pass the Travel Agent Proficiency (TAP) test, click here for our practice test for travel agents.

However, there are other certificates that a travel agent can get to work in the industry.

We will cover them in a later section.

Step 2: Gain Experience

Working in customer service or other jobs that require interpersonal skills can help you land a travel agent job.

One of the most important things as a travel agent is your ability to interact with customers.

You will need to help and assist various customers, each with their own needs.

Working jobs that require you to please customers can aid your interpersonal skills.

On-the-job training can also assist with building interpersonal skills.

Volunteer work may also be found in the customer service industry.

As long as you’re dealing with customers, you’re building important skills that a travel agent needs.

This can include anything from teaching, customer service, finance, computer skills, and more.

Step 3: Budgeting & Finance

Learning how to budget money is another important aspect of the job.

If you’re working in a job that allows you to deal with finances, you already have experience.

Remember, as a travel agent, you’ll work alongside customers to help get them deals within their means.

Due to this, travel agents must be swift at finding the best deals for customers.

If you don’t, then it could lead to complaints and dissatisfaction with the agency.

So, you must learn to work with money and be able to make decisions quickly.

Step 4: Learn Industry Tricks

Lastly, you’ll need to gain insight into all of the industry tricks.

This can be learning about the hottest vacation spots or finding the most popular itineraries this year.

Either way, you’ll need to research the latest industry trends and keep up with what’s popular.

Licensing Requirements to Become

Becoming a travel agent is less complicated than a lot of people think.

Many travel agents start their jobs right after high school.

You can apply to become a travel agent with your high school diploma or a GED.

However, applicants must be over the age of 18 when applying.

If you want to take your education to the next level, there are a handful of certificates to choose from:

  • American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA)
  • International Air Transport Association (IATA)
  • Travel Industry Designator Service (TIDS)
  • Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)

Those attending higher education can get an associate’s degree in Tourism.

A tourism degree is required for some travel agent jobs.

It will also provide better in-depth knowledge that can assist you.

Other degrees that can be used to become a travel agent include:

  • Associate in Applied Science in Hospitality and Tourism
  • Associate in Applied Science in Aviation Customer Relations
  • Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management

Online Training Programs

To become a travel agent, it’s best to gain experience by attending a program.

Don’t worry if you don’t have any located around you.

Today, there are plenty of online travel agent courses that can help you earn your certificate or degree.

Below, we’ll summarize the different travel agent certificates and degrees you can attend online.

Travel Agent Campus

The Travel Agent Campus is an online campus that enables potential students to learn various skills.

Here, students can choose from multiple courses that prepare them for working as travel agents.

Here are the different tiers of programs:

  • Travel Advisor Course $995
  • Travel Advisor Certification $1,095
  • Travel Advisor Certification W/ CCS (Certified Cruise Specialist) $1,195
  • Travel Advisor Certification W/ Certified Cruise Specialist and Certified Geophrahy/Destination Specialist $2,105

Students who attend will be able to gain insider information.

In addition, the Travel Agent Campus is well-connected and can help students land a job after completion.

Once certified, students can also take more courses to expand their knowledge.

American Society Travel Advisors

Potential students can take several courses offered by the American Society of Travel Advisors.

Here, students can choose from various courses that prepare them to become a Verified Travel Advisor (VTA).

Students who complete the courses can earn referrals from the company.

Online courses range from free to $200 each.

Here are some of the courses students can take:

  • Legal Issues
  • Finance & Accounting
  • Customer Service
  • Destination Weddings
  • Mature Adult Travel
  • And more.


The current average travel agent salary in the United States is $40,400.

The low-end makes around $29,650, while the high-end makes $64,100.

Of course, these amounts can go higher depending on employment history, company, and experience.

In addition, higher pay is also associated with higher education.

For hourly, the mean wage is $23.20.

It’s also important to keep in mind there are different travel industries.

Each industry will have a different pay.

Here are a few of the different hourly mean wages for the different industries:

  • Travel Arrangement and Reservation Services $22.53
  • Deep Sea, Coastal, and Great Lakes Water Transportation $22.44
  • Nonscheduled Air Transportation $27.99
  • Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Service $28.41
  • Traveler Accommodation $21.77

Aside from that, the location of where you’re hired matters.

The five highest-paying travel agent states are the following:

  • Florida
  • California
  • Texas
  • New York
  • Georgia

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