What Is the Average Salary for Entry Level Travel Agent Jobs?

Travel agents help customers plan and purchase travel accommodations, such as transportation and lodging reservations. Keep reading to learn more about entry-level salaries in this field and factors that could affect it. Schools offering Travel & Tourism degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Salary Overview

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mean annual wage for travel agents was $37,730 as of May 2014 (www.bls.gov). Workers in the bottom 10% made $19,680 or less, and those in the top 10% earned $59,070 or more.

When you first start out, your salary might be more or less depending on several factors, including your employment industry and location. PayScale.com reported that, as of September 2015, travel agents with 0-5 years of experience earned a median salary of $32,215.

Important Facts About Travel Agents

Required Education High school diploma or equivalent
Similar Occupations Information Clerks; Secretaries; Administrative Assistants; Meeting, Conversation, and Event Planners
Work Environment Travel agents may work in offices (travel agencies and call centers) or remotely.
Key Skills Analytical and critical thinking skills, oral and written communication skills, research skills, computer competency, interpersonal skills, calm demeanor, problem solving skills, detail orientation

Salary by Industry

The BLS stated that, in May 2014, the vast majority of travel agents were employed by travel arrangement and reservation services companies. Salaries in this industry were near the overall mean at $37,690 annually.

As of May 2014, the computer systems design and related services industry was the top-paying industry in this field, paying a mean annual salary of $45,200. Other industries with high average pay included office administrative services ($44,340) and scheduled air transportation ($42,830).

Salary by Region

As an entry-level agent, your earnings are likely to be higher if you work in a larger metropolitan area, a center of tourism or a major center of business. Travel agents working in Boulder, CO, earned a high annual average salary of $61,640 as of May 2014, reported the BLS. States with the top pay in May 2014 included Massachusetts ($48,710), New Hampshire ($46,530) and Virginia ($46,420).

Workers with the lowest average earnings made $27,590-$32,760, and they worked in locations that included Ohio, Idaho and Oklahoma. California and Florida had high travel agent employment levels, with average salaries of $39,260 and $35,490, respectively.

Job Outlook

According to the BLS, there is expected to be a 12% decline in travel agent employment over the 2014-2024 decade. This decline is due to individuals being able to use the Internet to plan their own trips. Better job opportunities were expected for candidates who provide services to corporate travelers and special interest groups.

You might consider pursuing a travel agent training program, certificate or degree through a community college or vocational school. If you choose to specialize in travel to a particular region, cater to special interest groups or market to luxury clients, you might also have better job prospects than an agent offering more general services.

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:

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