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.
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:
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:
A vast majority of your training may include hands-on experiences or working in a travel agency.
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:
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:
There are no state licensing requirements for the state of Illinois.
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 Illinois. 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.
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
Annual Median Salary