How to Become a Travel Agent in South Carolina

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How to Become a Travel Agent in South Carolina

Travel restrictions around the globe due to the Coronavirus pandemic make it seem like the wrong time for a travel agent.

However, there may have never been a better time to be a travel agent in South Carolina.

Your knowledge will prove invaluable in helping travelers navigate the constantly changing environment of COVID-19.

Travel Agent Job Responsibilities

  • To discuss your travel preferences, budgets, and needs with clients.
  • Coordinates travel, accommodations, and insurance.
  • Assist clients with information about destinations, culture, customs, and weather.
  • Keep up with about developments industry and potential destinations.
  • Participate in travel conferences and/or seminars.
  • Collect payments, make travel arrangements, and pay any applicable fees.
  • Handle travel conflicts, cancelations, complaints, etc.
  • Keep precise records of bookings, transactions, and payments.
  • Build and maintain good relationships with tour and travel.
  • Help out with agency activities by carrying out related tasks as required.

Quick Facts for South Carolina Travel Agents

Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that approximately 490 travel agents were employed in South Carolina in 2014.

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These professionals collectively earned a mean annual wage of $32,970.

This works out to $15.85 an hour.

Most of these workers were employed in 2014 in the following South Carolina areas:

  • Charlotte – Gastonia, Rock Hill, NC-SC 290
  • Greenville – Mauldin – Easley: 110
  • Charleston-North Charleston – Summerville: 110
  • Columbia: 100
  • Low Country South Carolina: 40
  • Myrtle Beach – North Myrtle Beach – Conway: 40

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Projections Central, this field will see a decline in job opportunities between 2012 and 2022.

The BLS points out that clients who want customized travel experiences will continue relying on agents to help them with their travel and vacation needs.

Travel agents who can help clients find employment in popular destinations or group events may have an advantage when it comes down to finding work.

South Carolina’s Licensing Requirements

The job outlook is good due to the constant demand for tourist and business travel planners.

While a professional license in South Carolina is unnecessary, it is strongly recommended that you receive training to work in this area.

Register for Your Travel Agent Certification

Strong credentials are crucial in the travel industry.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of agents has increased by 10% between 2010-2021.

Certification is more important than ever with new travel restrictions.

To get your certification:

  • A GED or high school diploma is usually the minimum requirement for travel agents.
  • You can learn more about your travel destinations at a good community college by taking courses in geography, history, or cultures.
  • You must have at least 18 months’ experience to be eligible for the highest industry certifications. Apply for entry-level positions at a travel agency, airline, or travel agency to get started.

Certified Travel Agent (CTA)

Register to a travel agent certification program.

A CTA title replaces five years of experience that are required to become accredited by the International Air Transport Association.

If you are a travel agent, this will remove the need for professional liability coverage.

You must take all eight courses and four elective courses to earn your CTA certification.

The following topics are covered:

  • Geopolitics
  • Global distribution systems for fares
  • Offering travel insurance
  • Tourism
  • Communication skills

CTA courses can usually be completed in between three and twelve months.

18 months of experience as a travel agent qualifies you to submit an application for your CTA.

Within a few weeks, your documentation should be sent by the CTA.

An associate degree in tourism or travel planning might be possible.

These programs can be found at many community colleges.


Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Columbia $35,845
Charleston $36,735
North Charleston $36,735
Greenville $36,745
Rock Hill $38,076
Mount Pleasant $36,735
Spartanburg $36,153
Sumter $34,590
Hilton Head Island $36,114
Florence $34,869

Regional Salary in South Carolina

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Charleston-North Charleston, SC140$43,250$20.8$58,990$31,060
Columbia, SC60$38,210$18.37$60,540$24,960
Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC60$43,000$20.67$59,650$27,570
Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC40$38,980$18.74$59,060$20,650
Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC140$36,470$17.53$50,310$29,830
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Travel Agents, OCC Code 41-3041, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.


South Carolina is a great place to start your career as a travel agent.


Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to have certification to become a travel agent in South Carolina?

While certifications are unnecessary, the Travel Agency Proficiency Test is a great way to get started in your career.

The Travel Institute offers continuing education for experienced agents to help them become Certified Travel Associates and Certified Travel Counselors.

Can I work remotely to be a South Carolina travel agent?

Covid-19 has led to many companies adopting remote work methods.

Many companies have maintained their work-from-home policies in order to provide flexibility for employees after the pandemic.

What can I do for my career to grow?

Your experience is key to your promotion and growth as a travel agent.

Agents can improve their careers by learning more about personal marketing, sales, and how to market themselves.

Because of the many moving parts, it is difficult to identify the employer for a travel agent.

Agents can work for a variety of travel agencies.

Some agents work as independent contractors.

While some may work for their own companies, others might be contractors.

USA Travel Agent License by State

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