California Travel Agent Training Programs, Schools and Careers

Career Information for Travel Agents in California

Travel agents perform a variety of services for people planning to travel for leisure or for professional reasons. They assist travelers by researching and arranging travel packages, such as hotel and airfare reservations, rental cars, and planning activities such as sightseeing tours.

California Travel Agent Schools

There are a number of different routes to becoming a travel agent, but typically you must have a high school diploma or GED to enter either a certification program or a degree program in travel and tourism. Here are a few examples of schools in California that offer travel agent and tourism programs:

  • Empire College School of Business: This school offers certification as well as an associate degree in tourism and hospitality, with a focus on wine country.
  • Foothill College: This school offers both certificate and degree programs and accepts dual credit and offers distance learning.
  • West Los Angeles College: This school offers an Associate of the Arts (AA) degree in travel. Graduates leave prepared for a career in the travel industry, including event planning, destination promotion, and travel agent.
  • Saddleback College: This college provides students both degree and certification programs in travel and tourism. Coursework prepare students for work as a travel consultant, event planner, or sales representative in the travel industry.
  • Columbia College: This school offers students the choice between an AA degree and certification in hospitality management.

What to Expect from California Travel Agent Programs

Tourism and hospitality students learn the basic skills necessary to build a career in the tourism and hospitality industry. Some programs focus on a particular type of travel, or possibly on a certain destination. For example, in Northern California, this may include training to work in the wine industry.

Depending on the program, students take a variety of courses. For example, a certificate in travel marketing may include the following:

  • Introductory Travel
  • Sales and Marketing for Travel
  • Travel Concepts - Advanced Level
  • Vacation Plan Customization
  • Destination Specialist

California Travel Agent License

The state of California requires anyone who "sells, provides, furnishes, contracts for, arranges, or advertises" him- or herself as someone able to provide arrangements for air or sea travel to register as a Seller of Travel (SOT).

Complete and submit your application as an SOT at least 10 days prior to doing business in California. In addition to the registration application, you must pay a yearly registration fee for each business office. If you do not pay your registration fee at the time of application submittal, it will be rejected.

You must also pay late fees, calculated daily. You will not receive a Seller of Travel number until all fees are paid.

In addition, you must comply with the Travel Consumer Restitution Corporation (TCRC), which is a nonprofit organization separate from the Attorney General. You must also participate in the Travel Consumer Restitution Fund (TCRF), designed to reimburse travelers who contracted travel services with a provider who then declared bankruptcy or ceased operations.

TCRC makes determinations on claims, and TCRF funds ensure claimants receive reimbursement.

Resources for Travel Agents in California

Potential travel agents have a wide variety of online sources available, including state agencies and industry-specific organizations.


  1. Frequently Asked Questions - Registrants, Office of the Attorney General, State of California Department of Justice, https://oag.ca.gov/travel/reg-faqs, accessed September 17, 2016
  2. Seller of Travel, Office of the Attorney General, State of California Department of Justice, https://oag.ca.gov/travel, accessed September 17, 2016
  3. Forms, Seller of Travel, Office of the Attorney General, State of California Department of Justice, https://oag.ca.gov/travel/forms, accessed September 17, 2016
  4. Travel Consumer Restitution Corporation, www.tcrcinfo.org, accessed September 17, 2016

Schools for Travel Agents in California are listed below.

Selected Travel Agent Schools in California

quickinfoThese schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).

Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.

This list also contains online schools that accept students from California.

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The Art Institutes system of schools
Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego

With an education from an Art Institutes school, imagine what you could create.

  • Programs: Culinary Management (BS), Hospitality Food & Beverage Management (BS)
  • Degrees: Bachelor

Advance your career with our affordable, self-paced, career-focused distance education programs.

  • Programs: Travel/Tourism Specialist
  • Degrees: Diploma

Advance your career with an online degree from California InterContinental University.

  • Programs: AA - Business Administration, BBA - Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Degrees: Associate, Bachelor

Baker College is proud to be the largest independent college in Michigan with the most focused approach to education and training available. With one of the highest graduate employment rates in the country, our mission is to help our students find meaningful employment.

  • Programs: Business Administration - Associate, Business Intelligence - MBA (Master's), Business Administration - DBA (Doctorate), more...
  • Degrees: Associate, Master, Doctorate, Bachelor

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

  • Programs: MS in Marketing: Sports Marketing and Media
  • Degrees: Master

Congratulations! Your interest in Independence University is an important first step toward changing your life. A career-focused degree is the key to a career with a potentially higher income, better benefits, and more satisfaction.

  • Programs: Business Administration (BS)
  • Degrees: Bachelor

Earn your Master's degree online from Norwich University.

  • Programs: Master of Business Administration Online
  • Degrees: Master

For over 35 years, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals. 

  • Programs: Master in Business Administration - Management, Doctor of Business Administration, DBA
  • Degrees: Master, Doctorate
San Joaquin Valley College
Bakersfield, Delano, Hanford, Hesperia, Lancaster, Madera, Ontario, Salida, Temecula, Visalia

San Joaquin Valley College - A Private Junior College.

  • Programs: Certificate - Business Administration (Management), Degree - Business Administration (Management)
  • Degrees: Certificate, Associate

Abilene Christian University is a national leader in Christian higher education and a place where students, faculty, staff and alumni make a real difference in the world.

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More California Travel Agent Schools

School Name Campus Highest Award Enrolled
Alliant International University San Diego Doctorate 3,704
Berkeley City College Berkeley Associate 5,287
Butte College Oroville Associate 12,228
Chabot College Hayward Associate 13,229
City College of San Francisco San Francisco Associate 46,411
Columbia College Sonora Sonora Associate 2,734
Cypress College Cypress Associate 13,592
Foothill College Los Altos Hills Associate 18,132
Long Beach City College Long Beach Associate 25,536
Los Angeles Mission College Sylmar Associate 8,493
Los Medanos College Pittsburg Associate 8,360
MiraCosta College Oceanside Associate 10,682
Mt San Antonio College Walnut Associate 29,842
Orange Coast College Costa Mesa Associate 24,424
Saddleback College Mission Viejo Associate 18,371
San Diego Mesa College San Diego Associate 21,437
Santiago Canyon College Orange Associate 14,085
West Los Angeles College Culver City Associate 9,975

Job Popularity in Metro Areas for Travel Agents

The map below shows job statistics for the career type by metro area, for California. A table below the map shows job popularity and salaries across the state.

Metro Areas Rated for Popularity for:
Travel Agents

Listed below are metro areas ranked by the popularity of jobs for Travel Agents relative to the population of the city, as of 2008. Salary data was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A Relative Popularity of 1.0 means that the city has an average number of the particular job, for its population, compared to the rest of the US. Higher numbers mean proportionally more jobs of that type.

Metro Area Jobs Salary


Oxnard 110 $37760 0.77
Thousand Oaks 110 $37760 0.77
Ventura 110 $37760 0.77
Riverside 320 $32530 0.51
San Bernardino 320 $32530 0.51
Ontario 320 $32530 0.51
Sacramento 140 $41540 0.33
Roseville 140 $41540 0.33
Arden 140 $41540 0.33
Arcade 140 $41540 0.33
Los Angeles 5210 $37180 1.92
Long Beach 5210 $37180 1.92
Anaheim 5210 $37180 1.92
San Diego 410 $32780 0.62
Carlsbad 410 $32780 0.62
Santa Maria 110 $31230 1.27
Santa Barbara 110 $31230 1.27
Santa Rosa 60 $37870 0.61
San Francisco 1390 $35800 1.32
Oakland 1390 $35800 1.32
Hayward 1390 $35800 1.32
San Jose 610 $33430 1.26
Sunnyvale 610 $33430 1.26
Santa Clara 610 $33430 1.26
Visalia 0 $30610 0
Porterville 0 $30610 0
Employment For:

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