Travel Agents

Hospitality and Tourism > Travel Agents > Preparation
Travel Agents

Travel Agents - Preparation

To work as a travel agent, you typically need to:

  • have a high school diploma or equivalent; and
  • complete moderate-term, on-the-job training.

Education after high school

Travel agents must have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Many have a bachelor's degree. Several majors are good preparation for this occupation. These include computers, geography, languages, and history.

While not required, many employers prefer applicants who completed a travel agent course or program. Many vocational schools offer programs to train travel agents. These programs last from six to 12 weeks. Completing a travel agent program should help you get a job as a trainee. However, you should check the school's reputation with area employers before enrolling. Another option is the American Society of Travel Agents' correspondence course. This course provides a basic understanding of the travel industry.

Work experience

A job as a reservation clerk or receptionist in a travel agency is good background for this occupation.

On-the-job training

Once hired, new agents learn how to use their employers' computer systems. You may receive training for up to one year.

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.