Online Certified Travel Agent Courses with Certification Info

Online travel agent courses are available through the continuing education departments of several colleges and universities. This article discusses the most common online travel agent courses, as well as certification information.

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Essential Information

Most online travel agent courses are part of certificate programs that prepare graduates for national travel agent certification. Online travel agent programs can typically be taken fully online and depending on the school, can usually be completed in six months or less. After completion, graduates are prepared for entry-level jobs as travel agents. Advanced certificates may also be available for experienced travel professionals.

List of Online Travel Agent Classes

The most common types of online travel agent courses are summarized below.

Travel Agent Training Course

The initial component of this class covers the history, function and marketing of the travel industry. Geography and travel technology are discussed, as well as the financial and business aspects of the travel industry, including marketing, communication and specialized sales.

A second component of the course covers the function and use of industry-standard travel agent computer programs and students learn to operate by using a simulation mode that mimics real-world travel agent operations. The course culminates with career education, and students learn job-searching techniques and the fundamentals of working in the travel industry.

Certified Travel Associate (CTA) Certification Course

Travel agents must have 18 months of full-time industry experience or 12 months with TAP test completion to qualify for this program. Classes build upon topics covered in the travel agent training course, with emphasis on specialized travel sales techniques, consumer-focused professionalism and office skills. Students also choose four electives to supplement the eight core courses, with options ranging from management of time to sales of specialized travel packages.

Certified Travel Counselor (CTC) Certification Course

This 6-month program is designed for the established travel professional with CTA certification and at least five years of experience. Courses focus on marketing and consumer relationships and classes discuss the development of marketing strategies, productive management of office politics and effective presentation tactics. Graduates must complete relevant continuing education classes every year to keep certification.

Certified Travel Industry Executive (CTIE) Certification Course

Candidates for this program must have at least five years of experience within the field and CTC certification. Courses cover advanced elements of travel industry business management and topics include the logistics of travel law, mutually beneficial conflict resolution, bookkeeping and marketing management. Students can have 18 months to complete the program.

Information on Online Travel Agent Certification

Travel Agency Proficiency (TAP) Test

The first step in national travel agent certification is the Travel Institute's TAP test. This multiple-choice test may be taken online and certifies that graduates have entry-level understanding of the travel industry. For those who successfully pass the test, six months of the work experience required for professional travel agent certification (CTA) is waived and candidates may earn the CTA in one year. Nationally certified travel agents are prepared for a career in the travel industry, either with a travel company or through independent practice.

Certified Travel Associate (CTA) Certification

Successful CTA certification is evidence of in-depth understanding of travel industry elements, such as specialized customer service needs and up-to-date computer literacy in travel programs. CTA certification requires a future yearly commitment to at least ten hours of continuing education classes in order to ensure travel agents' cutting-edge industry knowledge.

Certified Travel Counselor (CTC) Certification

CTC certification is designed for travel professionals looking to advance into management roles focusing on consumer relations. After successful completion of the 2-part CTC exam, travel agents are qualified in the area of business negotiations and marketing strategies and are prepared for travel industry management within the upper administrative tiers of travel agencies.

Certified Travel Industry Executive (CTIE) Certification

The CTIE certificate indicates a higher-level understanding of business relations within the travel industry. It is geared towards travel agents in upper-level management and the certification process, which follows the 6-month training program, includes an essay and an exam component. Professionals who earn the certification are qualified for sophisticated business management within the travel industry.

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