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Career profile Travel Agent

Also known as Auto Travel Counselor, Beach Expert, Corporate Travel Consultant, Destination Specialist, International Travel Consultant, Tour Coordinator, Tour Counselor, Travel Agent, Travel Consultant, Travel Counselor

Travel Agent

Also known as Auto Travel Counselor, Beach Expert, Corporate Travel Consultant

Interests Profile
  • Enterprising
  • Conventional
  • Social
Pay Range
$25,230 - $73,360 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Service Orientation
  • Reading Comprehension
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Geography
Core tasks
  • Collect payment for transportation and accommodations from customer.
  • Plan, describe, arrange, and sell itinerary tour packages and promotional travel incentives offered by various travel carriers.
  • Converse with customer to determine destination, mode of transportation, travel dates, financial considerations, and accommodations required.
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What does a Travel Agent do?

Travel Agents plan and sell transportation and accommodations for customers.

In addition, Travel Agents

  • determine destination, modes of transportation, travel dates, costs, and accommodations required,
  • may also describe, plan, and arrange itineraries and sell tour packages,
  • may assist in resolving clients' travel problems.

What kind of tasks does a Travel Agent perform regularly?

Travel Agents are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Collect payment for transportation and accommodations from customer.
  • Plan, describe, arrange, and sell itinerary tour packages and promotional travel incentives offered by various travel carriers.
  • Converse with customer to determine destination, mode of transportation, travel dates, financial considerations, and accommodations required.
  • Compute cost of travel and accommodations, using calculator, computer, carrier tariff books, and hotel rate books, or quote package tour's costs.
  • Record and maintain information on clients, vendors, and travel packages.
  • Book transportation and hotel reservations, using computer or telephone.
  • Print or request transportation carrier tickets, using computer printer system or system link to travel carrier.
  • Provide customer with brochures and publications containing travel information, such as local customs, points of interest, or foreign country regulations.

The above responsibilities are specific to Travel Agents. More generally, Travel Agents are involved in several broader types of activities:

Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with People Outside the Organization
Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

What is a Travel Agent salary?

The median salary for a Travel Agent is $42,350, and the average salary is $46,650. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Travel Agent salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Travel Agents earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Travel Agents earn less than $25,230 per year, 25% earn less than $32,010, 75% earn less than $56,520, and 90% earn less than $73,360.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Travel Agents is expected to change by 5.5%, and there should be roughly 7,500 open positions for Travel Agents every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$25,230 - $73,360
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Travel Agents?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Travel Agent are usually higher in their Enterprising and Conventional interests.

Travel Agents typically have very strong Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Also, Travel Agents typically have strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Travel Agent tend to value Relationships, Achievement, and Recognition.

Most importantly, Travel Agents moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, Travel Agents moderately value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Lastly, Travel Agents moderately value Recognition. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Travel Agents must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, integrity, and dependability.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Travel Agents, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

What education and training do Travel Agents need?

Travel Agents often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Travel Agents usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Travel Agents

  • 3.1% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 19.4% completed high school or secondary school
  • 27.3% completed some college coursework
  • 11.6% earned a Associate's degree
  • 31.3% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 5.9% earned a Master's degree
  • 1.4% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Travel Agents

Travel Agents may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, sales and marketing, or geography knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Travel Agents might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Sales and Marketing
Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.

Important Abilities needed by Travel Agents

Travel Agents must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Travel Agents need abilities such as speech recognition, oral comprehension, and speech clarity in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Travel Agents, ranked by their relative importance.

Speech Recognition
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Speech Clarity
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Critical Skills needed by Travel Agents

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Travel Agents frequently use skills like active listening, service orientation, and reading comprehension to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Travel Agents, ranked by their relative importance.

Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Service Orientation
Actively looking for ways to help people.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.