Do you like telling people about new places and exciting programs? Are you awesome at finding the best deals for your clients? You could have a great future as a reservation agent! Read on for more details:
Reservation agents arrange and book transportation and travel accommodations for business andcasual travelers. Working with clients to determine what their needs and desires are, you will plan and book hotel stays, rental vehicles and airline tickets, as well as special events, admissions to particular attractions or other items as needed by the client. If there are difficulties or an emergency, you will assist their clients in finding alternative arrangements during their trip. You’ll find schedule and fare information for your clients and calculate their total travel costs for all services.
Requirements and Qualifications
Most reservation agents work in some type of an office environment, whether at a travel agency, a car rental business, an airline call center or similar venues. Most reservation agents work full time hours, with some overtime during busy travel seasons and when a client needs emergency or last minute assistance. Almost 80% of all reservation agents worked in the travel arrangement and reservation services sector, with another 14% being self employed as of May 2010. Among qualities you’ll want to develop as a reservation agent include a sense of adventure, communications, being organized and detail-oriented and having some sales and marketing skills.
There are some colleges that offer travel in travel in tourism, but if you are not able to find a college to attend with those specialties, a degree in business with a high concentration of travel related classes would also be beneficial. Many community colleges and vocational schools offer travel industry classes, including international travel regulations, reservation systems and marketing.
Steps to Become a Reservation Agent
After completing your educational program, you may want to consider becoming a member of the National Association of Career Travel Agents, which will give you some networking contacts, marketing tools and access to industry-specific continuing education opportunities. There are also some helpful certifications you may wish to explore, one by the International Airline Transport Association’s Training and Development Institute and the other by The Travel Institute. Some states do require reservation agents to be licensed, so you’ll need to check with your state’s licensing agency.
Not quite ready to step out onto the world stage? That’s fine! Here are some other jobs covering similar areas you may find more to your liking.
- Good with data? Information clerks keep records, gather data and information and help clients with concerns, questions or service issues.
- Are you the life of the party? Meeting, convention and event planners coordinate professional events and meetings, including transportation, location, food, vendors and a variety of other details.
- Are you great at getting things done? Secretaries and administrative assistants provide organizational and clerical assistance by filing documents, writing messages, setting appointments and assisting other staff.
Reservation agents made $31,870 per year in average pay as of May 2010, very slightly less than the average of all career paths. Most reservation agents work full time, with some additional hours during high travel times and when clients need assistance with last-minute changes or emergencies.
Reservation agents are expected to see similar growth to the average of all careers, 10% over the next ten years for reservation agents versus 14% for all other positions for the same time period. Though the growing use of internet booking sites can cut into opportunities, there are still people looking for custom and specialty travel adventures, with specialization in specific places or types of travel giving you the best prospects.