There is a better future ahead.
It may be the case that you are simply in the wrong job.
If you are tired of going from job to job and want a proper career, then you should explore the opportunities available as a travel agent.
To become a travel agent in New Jersey, you need not acquire a special license.
Succeeding in the industry is not a matter of education or specialized training.
It is more a matter of gaining knowledge and insight into how the industry works and making the right connections to transport and hospitality vendors.
These are the means by which you will grow a customer base and become an effective and highly sought-after agent.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 What Does a Travel Agent Do?
- 2 How to Become a Travel Agent
- 3 Salary
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
What Does a Travel Agent Do?
Before you make the leap into what may sound like an adventurous and exciting field, you should have a good understanding of the duties of a travel agent.
For most people, planning a trip can be tricky.
It can be especially difficult if the vacation includes multiple individuals.
The primary purpose of a travel agent is to make the process of planning such a trip easier.
As a travel agent, you will meet with clients and determine where they want to go, when they want to go, how long they want to stay, what they want to do, and how much they want to spend.
After you have this information, you will be able to offer them a variety of travel packages which include transportation, accommodation, entertainment, and other arrangements.
You will work online and on the phone with airlines, cruise lines, resorts, and rental companies to secure such travel arrangements.
You will also carry out in-depth research on your client’s travel destinations so that you can inform them of weather conditions, travel advisories, visa requirements, and other relevant information.
Travel agents work year-round, but the Christmas holidays are their peak season.
How to Become a Travel Agent
Here are a few of the key elements for success in the field:
Although no formal education is required to become a travel agent, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management may give you an advantage.
At the very least, it will give you insight into many of the technical aspects of running a business in the industry.
There are also community colleges and online schools that offer full-time and part-time travel agent programs.
Rutgers University, Farleigh Dickinson University, Bergen Community College, and Mercer County Community College offer courses in hospitality management.
There is also the Travel Institute.
It offers what it calls a Certified Travel Associate program.
This is a professional development course for people with little or no experience as travel agents.
Customer service, business ethics, business writing skills, planning itineraries, travel insurance, preventing credit card fraud—these are just some of the many classes on offer.
To get the certificate, you must meet the following requirements:
- Pass the standardized CTA exam with a grade of 70% or higher
- Have 12 months of industry experience
- Earn a minimum of 10 Continuing Education Units a year for certification maintenance
The CTA is an online program that costs $450.
You can pay in installments of $74 a month for 6 months.
There is also a $50 non-refundable administration fee.
The tuition includes access to online materials and the final exam.
You will have 12 months to complete the course and take the exam after you have enrolled.
2. Gain experience in the industry
The only way to learn the travel agency business is to work in it.
One of the great advantages of pursuing a 4-year degree in hospitality management is that it gives you an opportunity to do internships.
Since your job as a travel agent will be to work with vendors of various sorts, you should seek internships with hotel chains, airline customer service departments, or even tour companies.
If you have no interest in doing a college degree or are not in a position to do so, you can get the experience you need by seeking an entry-level position as a receptionist, data entry specialist, or administrative assistant at a major travel agency.
3. Develop relationships with clients and partners
To gain any traction as a travel agent, you will need to develop your client base.
This means cultivating long-term relationships with a large group of clients.
Whenever the latter want to go on vacation, their first call should be to you.
There are a few ways of doing this.
You can focus on a local demographic in a town or city in New Jersey.
Or, you can make New Jersey your base of operations and develop a specialty in a particular type or region of travel that appeals to people across the nation.
In the latter instance, you will need to do most of your work online.
You will also need to develop strong partnerships with hotels, car-rental agencies, cruise lines, tour operators, and other vendors.
No travel agent can succeed in the business alone.
You will need to partner with people and venues that you can trust.
The salary for a travel agent is $35,245 to $45,050 a year.
This will of course increase as you grow your business.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
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Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a license to work as a travel agent in New Jersey?
There are no licensing requirements to do this job.
How do I make the transition from my current job to travel agent?
Unless you have prior experience in the hospitality industry, you will probably need to start at an entry-level position.
You should search online for new job openings at travel agencies near you.
Does being a travel agent pay well?
This will depend entirely on you.
The more effort you put into building your client base and travel industry partnerships, the more money you will make.