How to Become a Travel Agent in Illinois

independent travel agent working from home

Travel agent jobs in Illinois are an excellent fit for friendly, organized individuals who enjoy helping others and planning trips.

Education and Training

Completing a training course or accredited educational program will help you learn the skills you need to become a certified travel agent in IL.

Self paced, online courses for $2,245:

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How Does This Program Help Me?

Students will benefit immensely because the main outcome to pass secure TAP certification (Travel Agent Proficiency) from the Travel Institute (formerly ICTA).

The Travel Institute since 1964

What Do You Study?

Your instructors will teach you about the following:

  • Travel Planning
  • Communication and Sales
  • Advanced Marketing Techniques
  • Travel Safety and Regulations
  • International Travel
  • Fundamentals of Hospitality and Tourism
  • Travel Software and Booking Programs

Learning the Business Aspects

A lengthier hospitality and tourism degree program may go more in-depth about the business aspects of the industry.

You’ll learn how to network with luxury resort owners, restaurant managers, cruise lines and airlines, and other tourism and travel professionals to ensure top-of-the-line services for your clients.

How Long Is It?

6 months is usually how long it takes the average student to complete the 100 total class hours.  Since the classes are online, you can control how quickly you progress.

Illinois Travel Agent Requirements

Travel agent certifications are optional in Illinois, so it’s possible to find a job at a travel agency if you lack a certified travel associate (CTA) or certified travel counselor (CTC) credential.

However, aspiring travel agents in IL might need one of these licenses if they want to qualify for well-paying positions at the state’s top travel agencies.

Certification Options

If your preferred travel agent job in Illinois requires you to have an official certification, consider getting your credential through one of the following companies:

Specific Agency Requirements

Each agency has its own requirements that aspiring travel agents in IL must meet. You usually need to be at least 18 years old and submit proof of graduation from a high school diploma or GED program. From there, you must complete the organization’s online training course and pass a competency exam to earn your travel agent certification.

Opening a Travel Agency in Illinois

Unlike travel agents in California, Nevada, and Florida, travel agents in IL can run their own travel agencies without obtaining a Seller of Travel license.

However, you must purchase a surety bond to protect your clients against financial mishandling, fraud, and misrepresentation. You’ll also need to register your business with the Illinois Department of Revenue.


While the average travel agent salary in Illinois is about $55,00 per year in the Chicago-Naperville area, according to the Bureau of Labor, annual earnings vary by employer and experience.

Job Description

A friendly, upbeat personality and strong organizational skills are essential for those performing travel agent jobs in Illinois.

Whether they’re working in a traditional office setting or in their own homes, travel agents in IL typically complete the following duties during their work days:

  • Discuss travel needs and preferences with clients
  • Create itineraries of events, day trips, and activities that suit the traveler’s schedule and budget
  • Offer trip packages and travel insurance
  • Book flights, cruises, accommodations, restaurant reservations, and event tickets for clients
  • Arrange car rentals, ferry rides, and other transportation for travelers during their trip
  • Keep in contact with travelers during their trips
  • Make adjustments to the travel itinerary as needed

On-the-Job Travel Agent Training

During on-the-job training, aspiring travel agents in IL typically learn how to use particular software programs, marketing techniques, and itinerary templates to plan trips for business and leisure travelers.

You might also learn to up-sell certain travel packages and insurance features in order to earn commissions from company partners.

Career Outlook

The national demand for travel agents is likely to increase by about 20 percent, according to reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Qualified travel agents in IL can take advantage of this projected growth rate by completing an accredited training course to improve their chances of getting hired at some of the most well-known travel agencies in the country.

Search Travel Agent Training Programs

Get information on Travel Agent Training programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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