Florida is a major travel destination for vacationers around the world.
Have you ever considered who helps people plan and execute all of those Florida vacations?
It is travel agents.
Becoming a travel agent could be an exciting career choice for you as it will give you the power to help your clients plan the vacation of their dreams while you make a living.
You will help them plan each phase of the vacation from start to finish.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Travel Agent Duties in Florida
- 2 Licensing Requirements to Become a Travel Agent in Florida
- 3 Travel Agent Programs
- 4 Travel Agent Salary in Florida
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
Travel Agent Duties in Florida
As a travel agent, your duties basically include everything from start to finish during the process of planning and actually going on a vacation.
The following are just some of the duties you will have as someone’s trusted agent.
- Consultation – When you first meet with your client, you will consult with them about their upcoming vacation. Get to know them as well as possible, so you can ascertain their wants and needs. This will help you design the perfect trip for them while still staying within their budget. They may even leave with a different and more exciting vacation than what they expected when they walked in.
- Planning – Your clients rely on your experience as a travel agent to get them the most bang for their buck on their vacation. This involves a lot more than you think. You will not just be selecting their hotels with them. You will be responsible for choosing their airfare, rental cars, and public transportation. You will also help them pick where to eat while they are on the trip, as well as plan entertainment and day trips. You are their exhaustive trip planning expert from start to finish.
- Execution – Because you have a relationship with the companies they are traveling with, your clients will likely need your help if anything goes wrong during their trip. You will need to interface with the providers and vendors to help smooth things out. Your job starts when they first plan the trip and is not over until they are home safe and sound.
Licensing Requirements to Become a Travel Agent in Florida
There is no specific state license required to work as a travel agent in Florida.
The only thing you will need is a travel agent certificate, which is obtained after you get at least a 70% on the TPA exam.
Most of what you learn about being a travel agent will happen via experience and training on the job.
Nothing beats the experience you acquire through actually working with clients on planning their next vacation in the United States or internationally.
To help you get started on your path to certification, there are a number of schools offering education for travel agents.
Travel Agent Programs
Some travel agents choose to go to a four-year college to get a bachelor’s.
There are a handful of schools that offer this program nationwide.
This can give you a leg up and help you in other areas of your career, but it is not necessary.
Consider attending one of the following programs to get started on your travel agent career:
- Florida State College at Jacksonville – This public school is the only one in the state of Florida that offers a travel agent program in its curriculum. The program has classes focused on every aspect of the industry and can be completed in a year. The goal is to get you ready for the TPA exam. The total cost of the program is $1950 and some payment plans and grants are available to help you with the cost in-state.
- The Travel Institute – If you would rather study online, consider the Travel Institute. The program offers a comprehensive course load that can get anyone prepared for both the TPA exam and a travel career. The total cost for the classes and the materials you will need is $440. Learning online gives you the chance to get ready at your own pace.
- Penn Foster – Penn Foster offers a travel agent training course that is completely online. The total cost for the program is $799 and will have you ready to work in tourism when you are done. The program is self-paced and accredited.
Travel Agent Salary in Florida
If you plan to work as a full-time travel agent in Florida, expect to make a salary of $33,483 to $42,797.
This ranges based on your experience and how effective you are.
As you work in the industry and advance, you can expect your salary to rise.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Regional Salary in Florida
|Region||Employed||Avg. Annual Salary||Avg. Hourly Pay||Top 10% Annual Salary||Bottom 10% Annual Salary|
|Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL||90||$46,180||$22.2||$62,020||$22,510|
|Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL||60||$39,530||$19.01||$55,820||$23,430|
|Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL||70||$41,760||$20.08||$57,020||$22,620|
|Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL||60||$39,750||$19.11||$59,700||$22,300|
|Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL||4,390||$47,020||$22.61||$64,120||$28,310|
|Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL||90||$56,360||$27.1||$77,370||$28,780|
|Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL||90||$43,500||$20.91||$59,560||$22,790|
|Panama City, FL||40||$35,440||$17.04||$46,470||$20,800|
|Port St. Lucie, FL||40||$42,790||$20.57||$57,480||$26,950|
|Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL||430||$44,030||$21.17||$64,630||$21,000|
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I be able to compete with online travel agents?
While online travel agencies do offer convenience and speed when booking travel, they cannot match the service and personal touch you can as a travel agent meeting face-to-face.
This is why the industry is still thriving even as the Internet is increasingly used to book travel.
Do the travel agencies charge clients a fee?
In most cases, the travel agent is paid by the resorts and other companies where their clients stay.
It is a better idea to work for a certified travel agency that operates in this manner because they are more trusted.
Is there an annual fee for IATA accreditation?
When you first get accreditation by the IATA, the cost is $165 if you are self-employed.
The agency you work for will often cover for their employees.