How to Become a Travel Agent in Washington

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How to Become a Travel Agent in Washington

People become travel agents for a myriad of reasons.

Most travel agents have traveled themselves and enjoyed it.

They often decide to make a career out of it.

According to TravelMarketReport.com, here are some other reasons why people in the profession choose to become professional travel agents:

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  • Be your own boss.  Unless you work for a travel agency, you can work on your own and be your own boss.
  • You can conduct your job from anywhere. As long as you have access to a computer and a phone, you can work from anywhere. You can work in an office, at home, even when you are on a vacation yourself.
  • A good way to see the world. Travel agents get several perks, including free travel, upgrades, and travel discounts. If you enjoy traveling, this is a good job for you.
  • It is interesting. If you like research, you will love learning about various regions to recommend to your clients. Also, traveling is fun and makes people happy.
  • Free training. If you do not want to pursue a degree, there are many training programs online and many are free to help you get started and help you market yourself.
  • Travel is on the rise again. Many people that were hesitant to travel in 2020 and 2021 are planning trips in 2022. So while travel numbers declined, they are now back.

What Are the Travel Agent Duties and Responsibilities in Washington?

Travel agents have a wide range of responsibilities and work very hard.

Much of their time is spent researching information for potential travelers.

But despite the fact they work hard, they have the benefit of travel.

According to USA Today, in a typical day, a travel agent can expect to do at least some of the following tasks:

  • Sell travel: Plan and sell airline tickets, group trips, coordinate transportation, book cruises, booking hotel rooms.
  • Research: Conduct research on various locations.
  • Assist clients: Help clients determine their needs and advise them as to the best options, costs, dates, and accommodations.
  • Local environment and rules: Alert clients to local customs, climate, advisories.
  • Documentation: Make sure travel documents are up-to-date and valid.
  • Assist with travel issues: Help clients with travel issues due to weather conditions, natural disasters, and other unforeseen issues.
  • Help in-house agents: Help in-house travel agents book blocks of rooms, coordinate travel for groups, recommend things to do.

Do Travel Agents Require a License in the State of Washington?

In the state of Washington, there are a couple of licenses that are required when planning to become a travel agent.

  • The Seller of Travel License: In Washington, travel agents need to be bonded. Surety bonds for travel agents vary in cost based on the amount of travel, as well as your personal credit.
  • Travel Agent License: In Washington, all travel agents must have a license to do business. The cost is generally around $221.00, but this can vary from state to state. Some states do not require a travel agent license.

How Much Does it Cost to Attend a Travel Agent Program in Washington?

There can be a big fluctuation in costs for those taking classes and taking online courses.

Many online travel courses are free of charge.

In Washington state, many people choose to take a course at a community college.

In Washington, both Edmonds Community College and South Seattle College offer classes.

They are called Applied Science in Hospitality Management classes.

College tuition often changes, so you would need to find the program and then look into the price for each course.

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, such as Washington dude ranches, can make on the higher end of that scale.

In the local area, here is projected income for travel agents:

  • Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue: $57,200
  • Bremerton-Silverdale: $50,670
Annual Salary Range:
$37K
$41K
$48K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Seattle $42,296
Spokane $37,290
Tacoma $41,020
Vancouver $40,057
Bellevue $42,296
Everett $41,391
Federal Way $41,020
Kent $40,937
Yakima $38,287
Bellingham $39,495

Sources

Washington State Travel Agent License – The License Company LLC

Six Reasons To Become A Travel Agent (travelmarketreport.com)

What Are the Duties of a Travel Agent? (usatoday.com)

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a travel agent get a better deal on hotels, etc?

Yes, often they can get a better deal than an individual, especially if they have a relationship with someone at the hotel/venue.

If they sell rooms at a hotel frequently, they may get a discount.

Do I have to pay a travel agent?

Travel agents often make a commission from a hotel chain; other times they may add a fee to the itinerary.

As a travel agent, will I get free trips?

Yes, you may get free travel.

New tourists spots and hotels will offer FAM trips, which enable agents to see and explore a property, eat a meal in their restaurant and get to know an area, so they can go back home and sell it to their travel clients.

USA Travel Agent License by State


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