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Travel agents in Indiana help individuals and businesses book unique travel experiences all over the globe. As travel experts, these professionals draw on their experience to suggest and research destinations and resorts that might be appealing to their customers.

Many travel agents plan itineraries down to the exact details -- including everything from the destination chosen to flights to nights out on the town, excursions, and dinner reservations. Other times they simply offer suggestions that help customers narrow down their list of possibilities. Some other common tasks completed by travel agents include:

  • Questioning clients about their vacation preferences
  • Researching travel options and accommodations based on client travel goals or dreams
  • Negotiating discounts to help their clients save
  • Booking reservations
  • Helping clients select the best flights and rooms
  • Solving disputes for their clients if a component of their trip goes awry
  • Advising clients on what to wear and bring on their trip, as well as local customs or laws

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a high school diploma is the only educational requirement to become a travel agent. However, some students opt to take advantage of travel or hospitality training in order to pursue a degree in this field. Associate and bachelor's degrees in hospitality and leisure are fairly common, and can increase one's job prospects considerably.

Fast Facts for Travel Agents in Indiana

As the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes, a total of 700 travel agents were employed in the state of Indiana in 2014. Collectively, these professionals earned an annual mean wage of $35,430, which works out to $17.03 per hour. The bulk of these workers were employed in the following areas:

  • Indianapolis - Carmel: 310
  • Fort Wayne: 60
  • Gary: 50
  • Evansville, IN-KY: 40

The rest of the travel agents in Indiana are presumably scattered throughout the state based on where they live and where their services are most needed.

Although travel agents are already represented in the state, there may be room for plenty of more in the coming years. Specifically, the U.S. Department of Labor predicts that employment for travel agents in Indiana will increase 19.4 percent through 2022. That kind of change would result in around 140 new jobs during that timeframe.

Travel Agent Salaries in Indiana

As noted above, travel agents in Indiana earned an annual mean wage of $35,430, a figure which works out to approximately $17.03 per hour.

On a national level, some industries paid travel agents considerably more. Here are the top paying industries for these workers in 2014:

  • Computer Systems Design and Related Services: $45,200
  • Office Administrative Services: $44,340
  • Scheduled Air Transportation: $42,830
  • Management of Companies and Enterprises: $40,120
  • Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services: $38,710

Metro Areas Rated for Salary and Popularity

Region

Employment per 1,000 Residents

Annual Mean Wage in 2014

Indianapolis - Carmel

0.33

$42,220

Fort Wayne

0.30

$28,160

Gary

0.19

$20,970

Evansville, IN-KY

0.20

$35,380

Expert Q&A

To learn more about travel agents and what this career is like, we reached out to Katelyn O'Shaughnessy, travel-agent-turned-entrepreneur and founder of TripScope. Katelyn's expert responses to our questions are listed below.

How do you think the role of a travel agent has changed the past ten years? How will it change in the next ten years?

The typical traveler visits 38 sites before booking a vacation, spending an astounding average of 42 hours. Overwhelmed by the thousands of options provided by self-serve travel sites, we have seen a resurgence in demand for the services of the traditional offline travel agent over the last decade. Today's travel agents no longer books the entire world, but rather focus on one expertise; whether that be a cruise specialist, honeymoon expert, or African Safari expert. Travel Agents have adopted new modern technologies, such as TripScope, to allow them to modernize their practices in a way that meets the demands of today's traveler.

In the next ten years we see the travel agent still providing indispensable value, but we believe that they will no longer serve travelers through their brick and mortar store fronts. Instead, agents will utilize online channels, as well as evolve into a mobile concierge.

Is a career in travel planning worth pursuing? Why or why not?

If you have a passion for traveling, and helping others explore the world, the travel industry needs you! Successful travel agents not only are able to articulate their travels and translate experiences to sales, but also be nimble enough to be an on-demand resource for high-demand clients. The travel agent industry is in the middle of a renaissance, where long-time veteran agents are retiring, and millennials are stepping up to the plate, adapting their dynamic work methods to redefine decades-old booking procedures.

There are a ton of great perks that come with this career as well, such as quarterly FAM trips (familiarization trips) where agents get to experience beautiful 4 and 5 star hotels from around the world, so they can properly sell them to their clients.

What technologies can help travel agents do their jobs?

Having a smart phone in your pocket has nearly bypassed knowing the GDS as one of the most important technologies a travel agent can have. For luxury agents, success with both clients and suppliers is built on relationships, which logistically translates into real-time communication through modern channels like social media, text messaging and emailing. Mobile itineraries, such as TripScope, allow the agent to properly service their client and stay connected to them before, during, and after the travel experience.

What should future travel or hospitality workers look for in a degree or career preparation program?

Success in the travel industry stems not from your specific degree, but the skill set you developed attaining it. A travel-bound worker with an outgoing personality paired with an analytical, detail-oriented eye will be well prepared.

What advice would you give someone who wants to work in the travel industry?

Find an environment with resources that will support your growth. As an agent, supplier knowledge is crucial. I recommend joining an agency that is affiliated with a top travel consortia, such as Virtuoso. Many agencies host suppliers frequently, either in-person or on webinars, so expose yourself to as many experiences as possible, and understand that networking is a key element of being a travel agent.

Sources:

  1. Interview with Katelyn O'Shaughnessy, travel-agent-turned-entrepreneur, December 12, 2015, Contact: Olivia Scott, olivia@theavenuewest.com
  2. Long Term Occupational Projections, Projections Central, http://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
  3. May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Indiana http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_in.htm
  4. Travel Agents, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/sales/travel-agents.htm
  5. Travel Agents, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2014, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes413041.htm
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2016 Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, BLS.gov

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Campus
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Job Popularity in Metro Areas for Travel Agents

The map below shows job statistics for the career type by metro area, for Indiana. 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.

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, BLS.gov

Metro Area
Jobs
Annual Median Salary
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson 300 $50,260
Fort Wayne 70 $26,590
Bloomington 30 $35,330

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