Travel agent

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Hospitality, catering and tourism
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Career outlook for travel agent

UK Salary Ranges

Entry-level

£18,000

Experienced

£27,000


Currently employed in Scotland

1,600

Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would book trips, sell holiday packages and give advice to help make travel easier for people.

You could be based in a high street travel agent or a call centre.

You would:

  • Help customers to find a package holiday or plan independent travel
  • Check the holiday availability by phone or computer
  • Make bookings using a computer
  • Collect deposits and fill in booking forms
  • Contact customers when their tickets arrive, and collect final payments
  • Tell customers about any changes such as cancelled flights, and arrange an alternative
  • Advise customers about passports, travel insurance, visas, vaccinations and tours
  • Arrange refunds and handle complaints

You might also manage travel for business people. You would deal with documents, tickets, car hire and accommodation.

Working conditions

Hours

You would usually work 35 to 40 hours a week over five days, normally between Monday and Saturday. Part-time hours may be available.

Environment

You would be based in an office. You would be expected to have a smart appearance, and would usually be provided with a uniform.

Travel

In some companies your employer might arrange short visits to resorts overseas to improve your knowledge of the holidays that you are selling.

UK employment status

Full-time

51%

Part-time

29%

Self employed

20%

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  • Building relationships
  • Cooperating
  • Verbal communication
  • Empathising
  • Respecting
  • Attention to detail
  • Developing a plan
  • Taking initiative
  • Time management
  • Negotiating

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.

Qualifications

There are no formal entry requirements for this career, although a good general education is useful.

Some entrants:

  • have studied a travel and tourism course, for example a National Certificate (SCQF level 6), a Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or a Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8)
  • or have relevant work-based experience and qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Travel Services (SVQ level 2/3)
  • or do a Modern Apprenticeship

You can enter some travel and tourism National Certificate or National Qualification courses (SCQF levels 2-6) with no formal qualifications but most courses ask for National 4/5 qualifications (SCQF level 4/5).

You can enter Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma courses (SCQF level 8) with National 4/5 qualifications and one to two Highers or a relevant NC or HNC.  

Useful subjects

  • English (required by some courses)
  • Maths (required by some courses)
  • Geography
  • Modern studies
  • Administration
  • IT subjects

You will also need

For some jobs employers may ask for experience in using specialist booking software. Computer skills are important.

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that show an understanding of the industry, customer care, organisation and administration skills such as Skills for Work Travel and Tourism (SCQF level 4/5).

Relevant industry qualifications such as Scottish Vocational Qualifications in Travel Services (SVQ level 2/3) or be willing to work towards qualifications once in a job.