Travel agents perform a wide range of services that help individuals and families explore vacation and travel options and, ultimately, book them. The expertise and experience travel agents gain over the years puts them in a unique position to help consumers book ideal travel plans. Common tasks performed by travel agents include:
Georgia travel agent programs prepare students for a career in the hospitality, tourism, and leisure sector. According to a report from the Georgia Department of Labor, travel agents in Georgia can choose from two separate certifications, both offered through The Travel Institute:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a total of 1,410 travel agents were employed in Georgia in 2014. Together, they earned an annual mean wage of $38,300. The following regions in Georgia employed the bulk of these workers that year:
Because online search engines have made it easier for individuals to book their own travel plans, job openings for travel agents are expected to decrease over the coming years. In Georgia, specifically, employment for travel agents is expected to tumble -11.3 percent during the decade leading up to 2022.
As noted above, travel agents in Georgia earned an annual mean wage of $38,300 in 2014, which works out to approximately $18.42 per hour. That figure compares favorably with the national annual wage for this profession, which was $37,730 in 2014.
On a national level, some industries paid travel agents more, on average. Here are the highest paying industries for travel agents in 2014:
Employment per 1,000 Residents
Annual Mean Wage in 2014
Atlanta - Sandy Springs - Marietta
To learn more about the hotel, tourism, and travel agent industry in Georgia, we reached out to Mark Newton, Program Director of the Hotel/Restaurant/Tourism Management Program at Gwinnett Technical College.
What are some of the unique issues that travel agents and those in the hospitality industry face in the state of Georgia?
We are a people industry, and the challenges we face always boil down to preparing students for a lifetime of serving others. The hospitality industry is all about making people happy. When we teach, we do case studies and explore different situations people might find themselves in. The biggest challenge is training students to deal with people appropriately. We are a large, people-centered industry.
What is the greatest benefit of practicing this field within the state of Georgia?
The biggest benefit for hospitality students is that this field offers quick entry into the workforce. A lot of jobs in this industry can be had with Associate's degrees. Our job is to make our students more employable. A lot of job openings in Georgia go unfilled because they are looking for more employable people.
How will the job of a travel agent change in the next 10 to 20 years?
The hotel industry and travel industry continue to change and become more technology-oriented. It really comes down to customer service - and customer service is about relationships with customers.. No matter what, it will always be based on that. Even as technology changes, you have to make your customers happy.
How is your school preparing students for the future?
We learn in the classroom, but we also do a lot of field trips and talk to lots of industry experts. On November 4th of this year, we are taking our students on a trip called the "Tour of Atlanta" where we take a bus downtown, stop at restaurants and travel agencies, and get employers to come out and talk to us. The biggest thing we do to prepare students is to stay connected to the industry. We also teach convention planning, wedding planning, and country club management. A lot of people don't realize how big this industry is.
Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
The map below shows job statistics for the career type by metro area, for Georgia. A table below the map shows job popularity and salaries across the state.
Listed below are metro areas ranked by the popularity of jobs for Travel Agents relative to the population of the city. Salary data was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; O*NET® 22.1 Database, O*NET OnLine, National Center for O*NET Development, Employment & Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, onetonline.org
Annual Median Salary