How to Become a Travel Agent in Virginia

Pursuing a career as a travel agent demands a passion for exploration and artful expertise in crafting unforgettable travel experiences for your clients.

Involve yourself in a high-demand job, leading clients to a destination as vibrant and stimulating as your journey in guiding them there.

Education & Training

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How Does This Course Benefit Me?

One of the main goals of the class is to help you pass the TAP certification exam (Travel Agent Proficiency) from the Travel Institute (formerly ICTA).

The Travel Institute since 1964

You will also fulfill the state training requirements necessary to be a travel agent.

How Much Does It Cost?

$2,300, payable in monthly installments if needed.

This is considerably less expensive than traditional education pathways; even online college degrees may cost anywhere between $6,000 and $8,000 per semester.

How Long Does It Take?

The online course above will take about 6 months, but can be completed faster if you want.  It is a 100 hour course and you can go as fast or as slow as necessary.

Prospective travel agents wishing to pursue higher education may take between 2 and 4 years to complete a degree in a relevant field, such as tourism or marketing.

What Do You Study?

Your instructor will guide you through modules that cover the following topics:

  • What is the travel industry like?
  • Skills that you need to succeed
  • Local and world geography
  • Popular destinations
  • International travel considerations
  • Different forms of travel
  • What career opportunities are available
  • How to do sales and marketing for yourself

Virginia Requirements

Virginia is one of the 11 states with licensing regulations for travel agents. It is a state with one of the oldest travel laws in the country.

Virginia’s licensing requirements mainly pertain to advertising and content presentation, even regulating specificities such as brochure font size.

The state’s travel laws regulate in-state and out-of-state travel clubs.

License Required

Per the code of Virginia:

“B. No person may act as a limited lines travel insurance agent or travel retailer unless properly licensed or registered, respectively.”

Travel agents must complete a certification program and register with the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) to legally practice as travel agents.

Salary

How Much Can You Make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median national salary for travel agents is $46,400 per year, or $22 per hour. The average salary for a travel agent in Virginia is $47,500 per year, or $15.60 per hour, according to Indeed.com.

Average salaries for Virginia’s largest 5 cities, provided by Indeed.com, are as follows:

  • Virginia Beach: $48,000 ($15.73 per hr)
  • Chesapeake: $63,300 ($20.80 per hr)
  • Arlington: $76,000 ($25 per hr)
  • Norfolk: $47,500 ($15.59 per hr)
  • Richmond: $71,317 ($23.43 per hr)

Career Path

What Is Your Role?

The role of a travel agent involves orchestrating travel arrangements for clients who lack your expertise or choose to delegate the travel planning process to you, thereby simplifying their experience.

The job encompasses coordinating clients’ entire journey, from their departure to their destination and back, taking into account any specified dates and preferences emphasized by clients.

Your career may involve collaborating with private and corporate clients, potentially even specializing in specific sectors such as event planning.

Responsibilities & Duties

You will engage with clients face-to-face or consult virtually, ensuring a personalized service to put them at ease.

You will be tasked with seamlessly incorporating clients’ financial considerations, schedules, and prospective itineraries and aspirations into the planning process. From crafting well-thought-out plans and arranging accommodations and activities to booking flights and hotels, your job is to handle all the details.

Even further, you must organize documents necessary for travel and streamline the process for your clients. In the face of unexpected disruptions like cancellations, you must devise alternative arrangements, showcasing your commitment to a relaxing and fruitful vacation for your clients.

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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