This guide will discuss how to become a travel agent in Texas.
After reading this, you will understand what it takes to work in this industry. In the interim, let’s go through these professionals’ roles.
Texan Travel Agent Guide
Being a travel agent can be fulfilling, thrilling, and lucrative. Even with the expansion of Internet booking platforms, the profession has changed.
Finding people on their ideal holiday will be your responsibility as a travel agent. Additionally, it aids companies, and internal travel managers in locating a top conference venue and group trip destination.
This post may be your best option if you reside in Texas and want to pursue this career.
Duties of Travel Agents
A travel agent’s job is to help people make travel arrangements. These include booking flights, sightseeing tours, hotels, and making recommendations.
They can also assess each customer’s unique needs, preferences, and budget to ensure their trip goes as smoothly as possible.
Other job descriptions of these experts include negotiating hotel rates for clients and determining travel costs to help clients save money.
A travel agent can also develop alternative travel plans when schedule changes or client events arise.
Moreover, they can inform clients about required travel documents, such as passports. These practitioners often act as buffers between the consumer and travel suppliers.
Guide to Becoming a Travel Agent in Texas
Pursuing a career as a travel agent in Texas involves several steps.
Firstly, you’ll be required to get formal training. After that, you’ll need hands-on experience, develop interpersonal skills, obtain certification, and more. Allow us to review these steps individually.
Satisfy the Minimum Academic Requirement
The most crucial educational certificate to enter this profession is a high school diploma or GED. This qualification will give you the typical knowledge and skills to begin a fulfilling career.
However, most employers across the country prioritize candidates with higher education. We refer to those with a certificate or diploma program at a Texas trade school.
You can take this career path if you have experience in tourism, foreign affairs, finances and marketing, strategy, travel insurance, and best business practices.
A bachelor’s degree in business management can also be ideal for those interested in advanced roles.
These credentials will equip you with the needed experience and knowledge to serve in diverse areas of the field. Moreover, they’re essential for those working with many vendors, handling budgets, and marketing.
You’ll cover topics such as airline and hotel pricing, networking, and travel insurance during your studies.
Other courses include domestic and foreign travel regulations, organizational and bookkeeping skills, computer systems and software for travel agents, and more.
Acquire Relevant Skills
After finishing your studies, the next step is to develop your skills, especially in communication.
The success of most travel agents often depends on their ability to interact with others. This could be through phone calls, emails, or in-person meetings.
Once you have excellent communication and interpersonal skills, gaining and retaining loyal clients will be easy.
Other critical skills you’ll need are attention to detail, problem-solving skills, and an understanding of technology. They’ll help you stay organized and capable of effectively managing a high volume of booking details.
To become a travel agent in Texas, you don’t need an attestation of competence. But the credential is vital for your success.
It will show your expertise to clients and potential travel agency employers. Moreover, it will set you apart from other candidates when seeking high-paying jobs in the industry.
Some certifications you can obtain include CTA, ASTA, IATA, TIDS, and CLIA.
Some recognized nongovernmental agencies provide these qualifications. A few include National Travel, The Travel Institute, Travel Agent Campus, Cruise Lines International Association, and more.
Before getting any of these credentials, you must meet certain conditions. These include completing a travel agency program, building relevant skills, and passing the professional test. You’ll also be required to pay $500 for the application.
Obtain a State-Issued License
Surprisingly, it is optional to acquire travel agent licensure in Texas. Practitioners only need an insurance license or TIN to operate unrestricted. These documents will protect you from being sued over a trip. The IRS usually tracks the income of travel agents lacking these papers.
As for new agents, they’ll set up a separate business to act as independent contractors. You can consult with your local attorney to guide you through the proper procedures to ensure you’re abiding by Texas laws for business owners.
Get the Best Deals for Clients as a Travel Agent
Most clients often rely on travel agents to cut costs when traveling.
So it’s cool if you research deals on hotels, flights, cruises, or events that can fit their budget. You can also call or email some establishments to inquire if they offer special prices or packages for specific travel dates.
Cost of Finishing a Travel Agent Program in Texas
You must know the cost implications of taking an academic program to become a travel agent in Texas.
This will help you choose a higher-learning program and prepare on time. According to reports, students are expected to pay about $100 to $900 for Texas State Technical College classes.
More in-depth certificate courses cost around $2,000 to $5,000—students in undergrad studies pay up to $15,000 or more.
That said, the amount can vary based on some factors. These include your choice of institution, residential status, type of certificate, and enrollment format.
To get accurate information on how much you’ll commit to your education in this field, visit the official page of your desired institution.
Meanwhile, online studies are a more affordable option, or you can choose certificate programs in small community colleges. Most mega-colleges offering hospitality management are often expensive options.
Average Salary of Travel Agents in Texas
Of course, you’ll want to know how much practitioners in this field take home as salary.
This will help you determine whether or not this profession can meet your financial needs. Now, the average wage of travel agents in Texas, according to BLS, is around $54,185 per year.
But you can earn as much as $60,000 or $70,000 annually, depending on a few factors. These include your level of education and experience, geographical location, and working environment.
Practitioners who serve around Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, El Paso, Houston, and San Antonio earn around $36,730 to $51,541 a year.
The Time It Takes to Become a Travel Agent in Texas
Luckily, growing into a travel agent in this state takes little time.
Most certificate programs can be completed in as short as six months, depending on where you enroll. Some schools offer accelerated courses that last only four to twelve weeks.
Meanwhile, prospective students who choose to complete a hospitality and tourism degree might take two to four years. Such programs are primarily associate or bachelor’s degrees.
The graduate-level degree might take you around five to six years to finish.
As discussed above, growing into a travel agent is a complex activity. You’ll be required to meet the minimum education essential, obtain relevant skills, and get certified.
All these processes will take your time, effort, and resources. Ensure you’re ready to pass these huddles before making any significant move.