Travel Agent Certification and Certificate Program Overviews
Get information about travel agent certificate programs and professional certification requirements. Learn about required courses and continuing education options.
College certificate programs focus on aspects of the travel and tourism industry in addition to relevant business concepts, such as marketing and communications. Students usually learn one of the major computer reservations systems, like Sabre, Apollo, Worldspan or Amadeus GDS. Completion of a travel agency internship is sometimes required.
Professional certification options range from entry-level to advanced professional. Credentials can be earned through testing or a combination of coursework and testing.
Some schools require high school diplomas or GEDs for admission into travel agency certificate programs. Students may be asked to complete placement testing or assessments prior to registering for courses. Many online travel agent certificate programs have no prerequisites for admission.
Students take courses that prepare them for jobs with travel agencies, airlines, cruise lines, tour companies and corporate travel departments. The following classes are typical in a travel agent certificate program:
- Introduction to the travel and tourism profession
- Introduction to hospitality
- Computer reservations systems
- Tourism sales and marketing
- Business communications
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted a 10 percent increase in employment opportunities for from 2010 through 2020 (www.bls.gov). The popularity of travel booking websites has slowed demand for travel agents; however, travel agents with expertise in particular destinations, types of travel or special-interest travelers still have opportunities. The median yearly salary for travel agents was $34,600 as of May 2012, the BLS noted.
Professional Certification and Credentials
Graduates of travel agent certificate programs can take the test for the entry-level Travel Agent Proficiency (TAP) credential available through The Travel Institute. The Certified Travel Associate (CTA) program is available for professionals who have at least 18 months of full-time experience in the travel industry; certification must be renewed annually. Travel professionals with at least five years of full-time experience can enroll in the Certified Travel Counselor (CTC) program. Both the CTA and CTC certification programs include around 12 self-paced courses and culminate in certification exams.
Continuing Education Information
Travel professionals who graduated from certificate programs can often transfer their credits into related associate's degree programs. Travel and tourism bachelor's degrees are also available. Professional organizations, such as the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), offer continuing education and professional development courses for travel agents at any experience level (www.asta.org).
Related to Travel Agent Certification
- Recently Updated
Travel agents typically learn their skills on the job and generally don't face any licensing or credentialing requirements. For...
Travel agents provide customized service for clients and make arrangements for transportation, hotel reservations, and car...
Students interested in studying to become a travel agent near Baltimore, MD, have only a few schools to choose from. Read about...
Students interested in studying hospitality management in Philadelphia, PA, have only a few schools to choose from. Read about...
- How to Become an Online Travel Agent: Career Roadmap
- 5 Affordable Ways for Students to Travel the World
- Travel the World in the Blogosphere: 10 Top Geography Blogs
- Top School for a Public Administration Degree - Fremont, CA
- Computational Chemistry Careers: Job Options and Requirements
- Top School for a Business Administration Degree - Lexington, KY
- Medical Billing and Coding Job Options and Requirements
- Travel Industry Degrees: Program Overviews
- Certified Travel Consultant Courses and Certification Information
- Top School in Cleveland for Computer Programming Degrees
- Bank Compliance Officer: Job Duties, Job Description & Salary Info
- Career Information for a Degree in Retail Management and Merchandising