Travel agents book and plan business and leisure travel for customers.
Salary range: £14,000 to £40,000
How to become a travel agent
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
You could do a Level 3 Diploma in Travel and Tourism.
You’ll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
You could do a travel consultant advanced apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
You can start as a trainee travel agent and receive on-the-job training from your employer.
There are no set entry requirements, but a good general standard of education is expected. Some employers may ask for English and maths GCSEs or equivalent. Good geographical knowledge will also be helpful.
It may help if you have customer service experience and can speak a second language.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- customer service skills
- excellent verbal communication skills
- the ability to sell products and services
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- administration skills
- active listening skills
- persuading skills
- a desire to help people
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
What you’ll do
Depending on your role, your day-to-day tasks may include:
- understanding and meeting customers’ needs
- using your geographical knowledge to help customers find a suitable package holiday or plan independent travel
- making bookings and payments using online computer systems
- advising customers about passports, insurance, visas, vaccinations, tours and vehicle hire
- informing customers of changes like cancelled flights
- arranging refunds and handling complaints
- meeting sales targets
- keeping up to date with developments in the travel industry
You could work in a contact centre or at a store.
You may need to wear a uniform.
Career path and progression
With training and experience, there may be opportunities to progress into senior roles like:
- branch or call centre manager
- operations director
- regional director
- managing director
You could also move into other roles in the travel sector, like tour operating.