Travel Consultant: Career Summary, Occupational Outlook, and Educational Requirements
Explore the career requirements for travel consultants. Get the facts about job duties, job outlook, and education requirements to determine if this is the right career for you.
What Is a Travel Consultant?
Travel consultants assist travelers by gathering flight details and making arrangements for transportation and accommodation. They can assist clients looking to go on vacation or clients needing to travel for business. Travel consultants take into account the preferences and schedules of their clients when planning excursions, tour packages, hotels, transportation and more. They book everything for the client and provide calculations for total travel costs. If something comes up, these professionals are able to change arrangements as needed. Travel consultants may also make recommendations about weather, culture or attractions of the desired destination. The following chart gives an overview of what you need to know about entering this field.
|Degree Required||High school diploma or equivalent; postsecondary education preferred|
|Key Responsibilities||Make travel reservations, supply brochures, plan travel itineraries|
|Projected Job Outlook (2018-2028)||-6%*|
|Median Salary (2018)||$38,700*|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Is the Career Summary of a Travel Consultant?
Essentially, travel consultants help people make travel and vacation arrangements. They advise travelers on such matters as restaurants and hotels, weather forecasts and popular tourist attractions in both domestic and international destinations. Not only would you make airline and train reservations in this position, but you'd also book rental cars and hotel accommodations for your clients' convenience. In addition, you'd supply brochures, plan travel itineraries and inform clients of all associated costs. You'd be responsible for making the travel process a smooth experience from beginning to end. Some travel consultants work for travel agencies or tour operators, while others use their experience to start their own agencies.
What Is the Projected Occupational Outlook?
Little growth was expected to occur in the travel industry, because more vacationers began making travel arrangements online. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of travel agents was projected to decline by 6% between 2018 and 2028. Job opportunities could be more favorable if you complete formal educational training or if you build experience in booking particular destinations. The median salary for travel agents as of 2018 was $38,700, per the BLS.
What Educational Requirements Must I Complete?
According to the BLS, you should enroll in a formal travel agent program if you'd like to become a travel consultant, because employers would rather hire highly qualified candidates. You can find suitable educational programs online and in vocational and community colleges. An associate's degree program in travel and tourism would offer instruction in such topics as corporate travel and vacation counsel, travel automation, destination marketing, international and domestic geography, travel industry management and world cultures and regions.
Or, if you'd like to increase your employment prospects even more, you could attend a university and acquire a bachelor's or master's degree in hospitality, travel and tourism. Continuing education courses are recommended if you'd like to offer the best and most up-to-date services possible, because potential clients can increasingly find travel resources through their own Internet research.
What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?
Information clerks, secretaries and administrative assistants have related careers that require at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Information clerks are responsible for providing information to customers, record keeping and other clerical duties. Secretaries and administrative assistants also perform clerical duties, as well as administrative duties and assisting other staff members. Meeting, convention and event planning is another related career option. These professionals typically need a bachelor's degree to oversee and coordinate all the details of large events.