How to Become a Travel Agent in Tennessee

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How to Become a Travel Agent in Tennessee

Being a travel agent can be one of the most rewarding careers in the tourism industry.

The life of a travel agent is often very glamorous, but it takes a very specific skill set to be successful in this profession.

Travel agents often travel all over the world, but usually specialize in a specific geographic area or market, such as exotic wedding and honeymoon destinations.

Travel Agent Duties in Tennessee

Travel agents often have to travel for business.

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This allows the agent to make knowledgeable recommendations about vacation destinations to the client.

When a travel agent specializes in a particular area or type of vacation, agents often travel to the destination.

Since the outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic, travel agents have had to take on additional responsibilities, such as checking that clients have been vaccinated and which areas should be avoided due to rising infection rates.

Agents are required to stay abreast of other factors that may influence the vacation package such as high crime, or any potential natural disasters that are known to occur in the area, as this relates to client safety.

Also, an agent will check passports, visas, and any other documents needed for travel to ensure that clients have all necessary documents with them.

The agent is responsible for booking the accommodation and makes the necessary payments or deposits on behalf of the client.

In addition, the agent’s expertise in the particular destinations allows them to advise their clients on information regarding their trip.

This includes transportation, entertainment options in the area, and accommodations.

Agents negotiate with tour operators and hotel chains/resorts to obtain the best possible price for the customer.

And also keep accurate records of the upcoming trip and payments made.

Agents are required to be meticulous planners.

And also, an excellent salesperson, a good problem-solver, have a love for traveling, and be an outstanding communicator.

Licensing Requirements to Become a Travel Agent in Tennesee

According to The TravelNet, travel agents that seek to open an agency in Tennessee can do so simply by filling in a form and paying a small fee.

To work as a travel agent in Tennesee, you will need at least a high school diploma or GED.

An education or certification is not necessarily required, and most agents can enter the industry with little to no barriers to entry.

Many agents acquire their skills on the job.

Training or certification are often only required for higher-paying jobs with established agencies.

If agents opt to work as independent travel agents this is not required.

Travel Agent Programs

There are several programs that aspiring agents can complete to become certified travel agents.

Some educational institutions offer full-time and part-time degree programs that last between three and six years.

Alternatively, there are associate degrees in the state that require only two years of study.

And then there are short courses that last anywhere from a few days to a few months.

Some courses take place online while others are held in classes.

Tennessee State University

The university offers students a self-paced course with a maximum completion time of six months.

Students are prepared for the TAP (Travel Agent Proficiency) test and registration for this test is included in the course fee.

Students are prepared for the travel industry with subjects ranging from basic/international geography, introduction to the travel industry, and sales and marketing for the travel industry among others.

The price of this course is $1, 995.00

Chattanooga State Community College

This college offers the same course, at the same price, and for the same duration as Tennessee State University.

The University of Tennessee Knoxville

This facility offers a full-time and part-time bachelor’s course in travel and tourism.

The course generally runs for three to six years respectively.

Prospective students face an acceptance rate of 76% and tuition starts at $30,930.

This school is considered one of the more prestigious schools offering one of the best travel and tourism programs in the state.

Keep in mind that out-of-state and in-state students pay different fees.


According to, the salary range for a travel agent in the state of Tennessee is from $32,021 to $40,928 per year.

his range is influenced by a variety of factors.

Education and certification are major factors in better-paying jobs, as employers are willing to pay more for agents who have invested in training.

Other factors that affect salary include the location of the city and the years of experience an applicant brings to the table.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Memphis $35,848
Nashville-Davidson $35,950
Knoxville $35,492
Chattanooga $34,876
Clarksville $35,136
Murfreesboro $35,679
Jackson $35,577
Johnson City $33,667
Kingsport $33,793
Franklin $35,824

Regional Salary in Tennessee

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Knoxville, TN70$42,600$20.48$72,090$24,800
Memphis, TN-MS-AR60$47,680$22.92$59,940$26,980
Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN210$45,280$21.77$62,450$27,580
* 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to get travel agent's insurance in Tennessee?


This will protect you from having to pay out of pocket for mistakes.

This is liability insurance for agents.

Do I need The Certified Travel Associate (CTA)?


But, the Certified Travel Associate (CTA) can be earned after 18 months of on-the-job experience.

Will I receive a basic salary or commission in Tennessee?

This depends.

If you are an independent agent you will mostly work for a commission.

Agents that work at an agency will receive a fixed salary and commission on vacations booked.

USA Travel Agent License by State

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