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As a travel agent, you sell lodging, entertainment packages, and transportation to corporations, and individual travelers. You can help plan entire trips, honeymoons, or even executives traveling for business. Travel agents may specialize solely in corporate travel, or you may work for a leisure travel agency. You may also work for a particular hotel chain or cruise line, and offer packages for that company only.

Illinois Travel Agent Schools

To work as a travel agent in Illinois, most companies will want to see travel-specific training. This can include an education, on-the-job experience, and proper licensing. There are travel agent schools in the state that can prepare you for this highly competitive industry. Some schools to consider include:

  • College of DuPage: Located in Glen Ellyn, this larger college offers a one-year sales program as well as a one-year tourism and travel marketing program.

  • Northwestern College: Located in Chicago, this small for-profit college features a two-year program that includes an associate degree.

  • Triton College: Located in River Grove, you can receive a two-year associate degree in sales.

  • Pyramid Career Institute: Located in Chicago, this for-profit private school offers a one-year program in tourism and travel services.

  • Harper College: Located in Palatine, this program has a less than one-year program as well as an associate degree in sales.

  • Penn Foster: This online program allows you to work at your own pace and offers a tourism and travel specialist training program.

What to Expect from Illinois Travel Agent Programs

Travel agent schools in Illinois focus on the art of sales, marketing, and tourism. After all, you are working as a sales professional. Some skills and courses you may take include:

  • Sales and Marketing
  • Travel Software and Booking Programs
  • Travel Planning
  • Travel Regulations
  • Travel Safety
  • International Travel
  • Tourism

A vast majority of your training may include hands-on experiences or working in a travel agency.

Illinois Travel Agent Certification and License

To demonstrate your capabilities as a travel agent, you should first complete training at travel agent schools in Illinois. Then, you can take the Travel Agent Proficiency (TAP) test. The Travel Institute offers this test. The Travel Institute has varying levels of certifications, all dependent on your training. This includes:

  • Certified Travel Associate (CTA) - Limited experience required.
  • Certified Travel Counselor (CTC) - Five or more years of experience required, plus you must pass an examination.

If you plan to offer international travel and tourism, then you may need the International Air Transport Association's Travel and Tourism Professional (TTP) designation. For cruise line booking and services, you may be required to obtain a certification from the Cruise Line International Association. This association also has three levels of certification, which include:

  • Accredited
  • Master
  • Elite Cruise Counselor

There are no state licensing requirements for the state of Illinois.

Resources for Travel Agents in Illinois

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More Illinois Travel Agent Schools

Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/

School Name
Campus
Highest Award
Total Enrollment
Glen Ellyn
Associates
26,165
Palos Hills
Associates
14,620
East Peoria
Associates
9,266
Chicago
Masters
2,307

Job Popularity in Metro Areas for Travel Agents

The map below shows job statistics for the career type by metro area, for Illinois. 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. Salary data was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

2017 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; O*NET® 23.1 Database, O*NET OnLine, National Center for O*NET Development, Employment & Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, onetonline.org

Metro Area
Jobs
Annual Median Salary
PeoriaN/A $41,690

Sources:

  • Travel Agents, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2016-17, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/sales/travel-agents.htm, accessed September 17, 2016
  • Becoming a Travel Agent, American Society of Travel Agents, https://www.asta.org/Education/content.cfm?ItemNumber=1681&&navItemNumber=11327, accessed September 17, 2016
  • Travel Agents, O-Net OnLine, http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/41-3041.00, accessed September 17, 2016

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