After a couple of slow years, the travel industry is coming back!
Being a travel agent is a great career for those that enjoy traveling, because of the perks and opportunities they have to see the world.
Travel agents play an important role in helping people find their dream vacation.
They are equally important in a business setting, where they can help businesses and in-house travel managers find great locations for conferences and group travel.
Because they often know reliable vendors that give their guests special treatment, they can often get deals that are not available to the rest of us.
If you are in the state of Texas, getting your travel agent credentials is easy, as long as you have a high school diploma.
Throughout this article, we are going to provide what Texans need to do to be able to sell travel, what their daily responsibilities may be, and what they can expect to get paid.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Travel Agent Responsibilities with More Technology at their Fingertips
- 2 What You Need to Do to Become a Travel Agent in Texas
- 3 Do Travel Agents Require a License in the State of Texas?
- 4 Local Travel Agent Programs in Texas
- 5 How Much Does it Cost to Attend a Travel Agent Program in Texas?
- 6 How Much Can a Travel Agent Make?
- 7 Sources
- 8 Frequently Asked Questions
Travel Agent Responsibilities with More Technology at their Fingertips
Becoming a travel agent in Texas can be a very rewarding job.
In some cases, you may help a bride and groom find the perfect destination wedding location or help them plan the perfect honeymoon.
You may help parents plan the perfect family trip to Disney.
Other agents focus more on business travel and may do everything from helping plan locations and coordinate travel for groups attending conventions, seminars, and other events.
They may be asked to book blocks of rooms for attendees, help reserve conferences rooms, catering, local tours, and other needs like ground transportation, airport transfers, and other specific needs.
According to Technology Trends & Solutions, travel agents today must be able to use various technologies to be marketable and keep travelers coming back to them instead of booking their own travel.
The article goes on to state that travel agents still have a competitive edge, offering their clients’ customized services instead of the one-size-fits-all that individuals booking their own travel can find.
Here are ways that technology is impacting today’s travel agent:
- Travel agents can access GDSs, high-traffic travel sights, and industry booking systems that help them filter travel options and provide the best options to their clients.
- Technology gives agents the data they need to streamline operations, reduce costs and improve their bottom line.
- Social media advances enable a small team of agents to stay up to date on travel delays, wait times and other travel needs their clients may need to be aware of.
- The use of experiential technology, helps travelers see their hotel accommodations, event space, and other information, to virtually see what they can expect from their upcoming trip.
- Of course, at the most basic level, travel agents, research, book, and fulfill the needs of travelers. They book airline, train, and cruise travel, ground transportation, hotel needs, and accommodate all the other needs of their clients.
What You Need to Do to Become a Travel Agent in Texas
Surprisingly, each state has its own criteria for becoming a travel agent.
Most feel that having a universal set of criteria would be easier but to date, all states make their own rules.
In Texas, you must have a high school diploma or GED equivalent before you begin a career as a travel agent.
However, most travel agencies look for agents that have higher education, such as degrees from the traveling curriculum.
Do Travel Agents Require a License in the State of Texas?
Travel agents do not need to have a travel agent license in the state of Texas.
They should however have a specialty insurance license as well as a Tax ID number.
This will protect them should they be sued over a trip and so the IRS can track their income.
In most cases, host travel agencies will ask that a new agent sets up a separate business so they can act as an independent contractor.
A local attorney can help guide Texas travel agents to the right procedures to make sure they are abiding by local laws for business owners.
Local Travel Agent Programs in Texas
Unlike other states that require educational degrees for travel agents, in Texas, there are few credentials needed.
Many people want to jump-start their careers by taking classes in the hospitality, travel, and tourism industries.
Some travel agents choose to pursue a Certified Travel Associates certificate.
In most cases, the cost for this certification is around $500.00.
There are websites which, however, offer certification online for free.
Some of the local colleges offer classes that are helpful for those pursuing a career in travel and these include:
- Texas Gulf Coast Community College
- The University of South Alabama Centers for Continuing Education and Conference Services
- Northshore Technical Community College
There are also many online options available, including:
How Much Does it Cost to Attend a Travel Agent Program in Texas?
The cost to attend a travel agent program varies depending on the cost of the higher-learning program.
Many colleges offer degrees in hospitality management, which can be an expensive option.
Others choose certificate programs, in a small community college setting.
At Texas State Technical College, students can expect to pay about $1,995.00 for classes.
So, students looking to back up their career with education should look around for the best deal and consider online study as a more affordable option.
How Much Can a Travel Agent Make?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a travel agent can expect to make about $42,320 per year (median).
That equates to $20.36 per hour.
Those that advertise or specialize in local area events and market themselves may make even more money.
GlassDoor.com states that the median salary for a travel agent in Texas makes about $38,974.
On the low end, new agents can expect to make around $32,854, and established agents at the top of their field can earn nearly $95,000.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Regional Salary in Texas
|Region||Employed||Avg. Annual Salary||Avg. Hourly Pay||Top 10% Annual Salary||Bottom 10% Annual Salary|
|Austin-Round Rock, TX||240||$49,690||$23.89||$83,930||$29,970|
|Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX||1,130||$48,140||$23.15||$74,630||$29,820|
|Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX||810||$45,900||$22.07||$73,540||$29,170|
|San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX||160||$42,410||$20.39||$62,540||$28,470|
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.
Frequently Asked Questions
What technologies should I know how to use as a travel agent?
Using industry-wide technology may be a good option, even if you are with a host agency.
While they may have their proprietary tools, those would be specific to that agency.
Do travel agents today have the freedom to work from home?
Yes, more travel agents have become independent agents and can work anywhere with access to the internet and phone service.
How do I grow my business?
Being a travel agent is a people business, you should work with your network of friends and family to generate referrals.
In some cases, a host agency may feed their agents leads, but that is not always the case.
It may be a good idea to network, join a local chamber and advertise your services to get a strong client base.