What Degree Is Required to Become a Travel Agent?

If you love to travel, are knowledgeable about geography, and enjoy planning vacations, consider a job as a travel agent. With a few courses or a two-year degree, you could get a leg up on competition in the industry and be well on your way to making reservations. Keep reading to learn what a travel agent does and what education you will need to become one. Schools offering Travel & Tourism degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Description

As a travel agent, you can help travelers see the world by air, land, and sea. Your main goal is to assist travelers in making arrangements regarding their trips, whether for business or pleasure. You will book flights, reserve rental cars, purchase cruise tickets, order tickets for events or attractions, set up vacation packages, and book hotel rooms. You'll also plan itineraries and answer any questions clients have about traveling.

Most travel agents work in trip planning and reservation services. Generally, a travel agency will employ you, but with experience you can become self-employed by starting your own agency.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Entry-Level EducationHigh school diploma, many employers prefer higher education or certification
LicensingVaries by state
ProgramsCertificate, associate, bachelor's
DegreesAssociate in Applied Science in Hospitality and Tourism, Associate in Applied Science in Aviation Customer Relations, Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management

Education

Travel agencies tend to hire agents with some training applicable to the field. You can take travel agency courses at a two-year college, or earn a diploma, certificate, or associate degree in travel or tourism. Some universities and colleges even offer bachelor's and graduate degrees in travel and tourism, which may lead to advanced positions in the industry. Travel-specific courses cover the following:

  • Geography
  • Air, rail and road travel
  • Computerized reservations
  • Marketing and sales
  • Introduction to Global Distribution System
  • Current issues and trends in hospitality

Salary and Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), the annual salary for travel agents was $34,800 in May 2014. The highest-paying industries were computer systems design and related services, office administrative services, and scheduled air transportation all of which offered more than $42,000 per year.

Since many travelers use the Internet to make their own travel arrangements, employment in this job field was expected to decrease 12% between 2012 and 2022, according to the BLS. Agents with formal training, particularly those who specialize in specific categories of travel such as adventure, corporate or group tours may experience the best job prospects.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

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  • Ashford University

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  • Maryville University

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    Popular programs at Maryville University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Purdue University Global

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  • Penn Foster High School

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  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Fortis College

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    Popular programs at Fortis College:

    • Certificates

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  • Colorado State University Global

    Colorado State University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado State University Global:

    • Master
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  • Full Sail University

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  • Seton Hall University

    Seton Hall University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Seton Hall University:

    • Master

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