Becoming a travel agent is a great career for those with a love of travel and helping people.
Becoming a travel agent in Rhode Island is not difficult.
The licensing body in Rhode Island is the State of Rhode Island Division of Commercial Licensing & Racing & Athletics, although travel agents do not need a license in Rhode Island due to deregulation.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Travel Agent Duties
- 2 Licensing Requirements to Become a Travel Agent in Rhode Island
- 3 Rhode Island Travel Agents Salary
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
Travel Agent Duties
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), travel agents plan and sell transportation, accommodations, and entertainment for people who want and need to travel for business, leisure, and necessity.
Agents will review travel documents for travelers they work with, promote travel and hotel tourism and hospitality packages, and negotiate with hotels, cruise lines, and other travel industries outlets.
They sell tour packages, arrange itineraries, and help resolve travelers’ problems.
They may specialize in certain types of travel such as honeymoons, family travel, group travel, luxury travel, cruises, adventure travel, or business travel.
Travel agents learn their clients’ travel needs and recommend types of transportation, travel packages, best times to travel, best travel destinations, and provide information about travel activities.
Agents will take care of travelers’ recordkeeping and payments and deposits.
Licensing Requirements to Become a Travel Agent in Rhode Island
While there are no licensing requirements to become a travel agent in Rhode Island because of deregulation, education and certification are very beneficial for a career in the travel industry.
The BLS says many employers prefer candidates with sales experience or hospitality industry certification or education.
Individuals should consider a college degree or courses related to travel and hospitality.
Technical training in travel and hospitality can be found at community colleges and vocational schools and travel industry associations.
There are also undergraduate degrees in travel and hospitality.
Formal education and certification focus on reservations systems, marketing, and international travel regulations.
On-the-job training will include reservation systems for airlines and other systems.
Individuals interested in becoming travel agents can get training and professional credentials from industry organizations.
The Travel Institute offers differing levels of credentialing.
Those new to the industry with little experience can prepare for the Travel Agent Proficiency test.
Additional certifications offered include the Certified Travel Associate (CTA), Certified Travel Counselor (CTC), and Certified Travel Industry Executive (CTIE), credentials requiring annual continuing education to keep current on industry trends, regulations, and information.
The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) has programs for individuals to become a travel agent, including the Verified Travel Advisor (VTA) and the ASTA Roadmap to Becoming a Travel Advisor.
The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has four levels of cruise industry certification that require training and product knowledge to attain.
Individuals can prepare for Certified Cruise Counselor (CCC), Accredited Cruise Counselor (ACC), Master Cruise Counselor (MCC), or Elite Cruise Counselor (ECC).
Rhode Island Travel Agents Salary
According to Salary.com, the salary range for travel agents is $35,245 to $45,050.
It is slightly higher for travel agents in Rhode Island at $37,149 to $47,482.
BLS reports that the median annual wage for travel agents in May 2020 was $42,350, including commissions and service fees.
Salary earnings vary slightly by location within Rhode Island but are just over $40,000 as of November 29, 2021.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
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Frequently Asked Questions
How do travel agents make money?
This depends on several factors, including whether the agent is self-employed, is an employee of an agency, and is leisure travel or corporate travel agent.
Travel agent employees are compensated in different ways, including salary only, commission only, and a combination of salary and commission, with Travel Institute reporting that 38 percent of travel agent employees earned salary only and 45 percent earned salary and commission.
How to get started on a career as a travel agent?
The best way to get started is to get some industry education and/or certification.
For individuals totally new to travel, The Travel Institute’s TRIPKIT introductory training program provides a thorough overview of industry terminology, key areas of travel, information on cruises, marketing, geography, and independent contractor business advice in an online interactive self-study plan.
How long does it take to become a travel agent?
According to Tammy Levent, president of TASK (Travel Agent Success Kit), it takes at least six months for new travel agents to get set up and operational.
Levent says that new agents have to get their business organized, set up marketing and advertising, decide what to sell, what niche they want, and how to further their travel industry expertise.
She advises new agents to join travel industry associations like ASTA and CCRA to get news of vendors and events.
Should I work for a host agency or franchise?
Travel agents can work for a host agency or franchise to take advantage of training, marketing assistance, and client leads.
To learn about host agencies and franchises, new travel agents can start with Host Agency Reviews (HAR) and get industry information.
HAR has a seven-day Setup Challenge with an extensive directory of host agencies and franchises to help new agents decide if a host agency or franchise is right for them.