Post # 1
So I’m pretty miserable at my job. I work part-time at a fast food place here in town, and I hate it. I’m only 21 (22 next month) so entry-level jobs are just that. I’m tired of working my butt off for minimum wage, and not to mention the terrible hours.
I was brainstorming the other day with FI on things that we thought I might be really good in (career-wise) and one of the first things that came to my mind was a travel agent! I love working with people (yeah, I’m weird that way) and travel has always been a huge part of my life.
So now I’m Googling away on how to get started, but I was wondering if any of you ladies who are travel agents or have been in the past could give me some advice? How do I get started? Do I need to go to college? How much can I expect to make? All of that fun stuff. Thanks in advance girls!
Post # 3
@PacificMrs: I worked for a whole-sale travel agency, so I have a little insight. There are a lot of ways to do it and you don’t need a degree at all.
- You can become an independant agent through something like YTB or other online sources. Basically, you do an online “class”, they “certify” you and then you can book travel through a wholesale vendor using YTB’s IATA (travel agency) number. You would then build your buisness anyway you choose. Lots of people do this to book for themselves & friends, but some have an actual business.
- You can try to get a job with an established agency like AAA. They usually pay salary + commission, depending on the agency. Your salary is going to vary wildly depending on where you are in the country.
- You can work in a call center for a large agency like AmEx Travel. Depending on the agency & department you might have a lot of interaction with the same customers, or might only talk to them once. These types of jobs usually pay salary + incentives, but not a set commission. So instead of a percentage of every package you sell, you’d maybe get a set bonus for every $1k you sell.
Both the face-to-face agencies and phone/online agencies will train you & get you certified themselves. Basically, it’s on the job training everywhere, so you don’t need to do anything before applying.
The retail agents I know say it’s a hard road. It is fun helping people plan their trips, but a lot of the time customers use travel agents for their experience, take up their time & then go book on their own thinking they got a better deal. It can be really frustrating and it’s harder and harder to build a client base since there are SO many online booking tools readily available.