How to Become a Travel Agent in Wisconsin

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How to Become a Travel Agent in Wisconsin

A professional travel agent is tasked with creating memorable and exciting travel plans that cater to each client’s preferences and needs.

Their services reduce the anxiety many travel planners feel when navigating the treacherous online travel-planning waters.

Are you interested in working in the travel and tourism industry – in one of the many exciting career opportunities available in Wisconsin and beyond?

Learn how to become a Wisconsin travel agent in the narrative below.

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Wisconsin Travel Agent Responsibilities

If you are passionate about travel, adept at organizing, and like helping others, a travel agent career in Wisconsin might be an ideal fit.

Professional travel agents meet their client’s travel needs about hotels, airplane reservations, dining, sightseeing tours, and other relevant recommendations.

Note, however, that travel agent services are customer-focused, requiring versatile thinkers, refined problem-solvers with a passion for helping others, and the ability to juggle a variety of travel planning facets.

The following are some of the more typically travel agent core duties:

  • Discussing travel plans with clients.
  • Creating itineraries to meet unique requests.
  • Having a firm understanding of technology.
  • Arranging lodging, activities, and transportation.
  • Offering guidance regarding visas, passports, customs policies, required vaccinations, plus cancellation policies, among others.
  • Maintaining accurate records with attention to detail.
  • Managing travel issues and emergencies, among others.

Licensing Requirement for Travel Agents in Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s state legislators have set forth no requirements for licensing travel agents in the state.

However, most individuals with a career objective that includes travel and tourism, even without a state education or licensing mandate, choose to enroll in one of the many available travel agent certificate programs.

If you wish to further your education, choose a travel agent training program with accreditation which will then:

  • Improve your marketable skills and competitiveness in the job market.
  • Allow the credits earned in these training programs to be eligible to be applied to more advanced degrees and programs.

Many of Wisconsin’s professional schools and colleges offer accredited programs, flexible training schedules, as well as the opportunity to be eligible to sit for the TAP Travel Agency Proficiency Certificate administered by The Travel Institute (TTI).

There are online options for working learners and other students with limited time commitments.

TTI’s TAP Certificate is the most basic industry credential.

It provides newer travel agents a chance to demonstrate their skills to potential employers.

The Travel Institute also offers these related travel and tourism certificates, each having specific eligibility requirements:

  • The CTA –Certified Travel Associate
  • The CTC –Certified Travel Counselor
  • The CDS –Certified Destination Specialist
  • The CTIE –Certified Travel Industry Executive
  • The Niche/Lifestyle Specialist – focusing on golf excursions, wellness retreats, luxury travel programs, or destination weddings & honeymoons.

For those who wish to specialize in cruising, the Cruise Line International Association offers a number of cruise industry-related certifications.

In addition, those interested in business and corporate travel, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) offers these related certificate programs:

Travel Agent Programs In Wisconsin

Wisconsin offers interested students, in part, these travel agent training programs:

  • The University of Wisconsin (UW Whitewater) –Certificate/Diploma

The University of Wisconsin in Whitewater offers a Travel Agent Training certificate program that requires the completion of 100 clock hours over one-half of a year.

  • Wisconsin Technical College (WTC) –Certificate/Diploma

The WTC offers a variety of hospitality certificates, including a 30-credit, one-year technical diploma as a hospitality specialist that prepares certificate holders for a variety of employment options upon graduation.

Credits may be applied towards a WTC associate degree program.

  • The University of Wisconsin (UW Platteville) –Associate of Science

The Platteville campus of UW offers an Associate of Science in Hospitality & Tourism degree that allows for transferrable credits into this and future academic degree programs.

  • The University of Wisconsin (UW Stout) –Bachelor of Science

UW Stout offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism Management (HRTM) that offers specialized, hands-on instruction.

The ACPHA has accredited this UW program.

Wisconsin Travel Agent Salaries

The average salary for a professional travel agent in the U.S. during November 2021 was $38,683.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook reports that 880 travel agents worked in Wisconsin in 2020, with a median yearly salary of $43,970.

The following offers 2020 statistical data regarding salaries in a few of Wisconsin’s metropolitan areas:

Annual Salary Range:
$34K
$38K
$44K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Milwaukee $38,284
Madison $37,903
Green Bay $37,109
Kenosha $38,002
Racine $38,002
Appleton $37,116
Waukesha $38,140
Oshkosh $36,876
Eau Claire $36,066
Bay City $37,384

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any state-level professional organizations in Wisconsin for travel agents?

No.

However, there are local chapters of organizations like GBTA, or ASTA-Great Lakes, to help with professional development.

Does Wisconsin require travel agents to register with the state before working?

No.

Wisconsin’s law is silent concerning travel agent registration and licensing.

Should a Wisconsin travel agent carry general liability and E&O (Errors & Omissions) insurance?

Those working with clients as independent agents are encouraged to protect themselves and the business with professional insurance coverage.

USA Travel Agent License by State


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