What Education Is Necessary for a Career As a Travel Agent?

While there are no specific education requirements to work as a travel agent beyond a high school diploma, many employers prefer job applicants who have some postsecondary training. Read this article to learn more. Schools offering Travel & Tourism degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Education Requirements for Travel Agents

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most travel agents only need a high school diploma to find work, and employers frequently offer on-the-job training programs. However, relevant postsecondary certificate and degree programs are available in hospitality management, travel marketing, tourism and similar topics. Many employers prefer prospective travel agents who have completed some postsecondary education.

Important Facts about this Occupation

Median Pay$34,800 (2014)
Job OutlookEmployment expected to decline 12% between 2014 and 2024
Work Environment12% of travel agents were self-employed in 2012; most work in busy offices, but some work remotely
Similar OccupationsMeeting and event planners, sales representatives, secretaries and administrative assistants, hotel and resort managers

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Training Programs

Relevant programs are offered through vocational schools, community colleges and even 4-year universities. Potential program titles can include Travel Services Certificate, Associate in Science in Travel and Tourism or Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Tourism. Such programs emphasize topics related to the travel industry, as well as the food service, recreation and lodging industries. In some cases, you can gain hands-on experience through school-approved internships.

Common Coursework

Educational programs for aspiring travel agents might include coursework in global attractions, rating systems for hotels and spas, travel marketing and tourism systems. Other topics of study may include:

  • Customizing a vacation plan
  • Cruise & tour packages
  • Tours & meetings management
  • Distant area studies
  • Legal aspects of tourism & hospitality
  • Finance in the tourism industry

Voluntary Certification

While certification is not necessary to become a travel agent, earning a professional credential demonstrates a higher level of knowledge. The Travel Institute provides certification at three levels: Certified Travel Associate (CTA), Certified Travel Counselor and Certified Travel Industry Executive. Each designation requires successful completion of an exam and online coursework administered by the Travel Institute. If you have 18 months of experience, however, you can elect to take only the exam for the CTA credential.

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

  • Saint Leo University

    Saint Leo University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint Leo University:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Louisiana State University Shreveport

    Louisiana State University Shreveport responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Louisiana State University Shreveport:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Full Sail University

    Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado State University Global

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

    Popular programs at Colorado State University Global:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Notre Dame de Namur University

    Notre Dame de Namur University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Notre Dame de Namur University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern Careers Institute

    Southern Careers Institute responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern Careers Institute:

    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Utica College

    Utica College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Utica College:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. Next »