What Travel Agents Do
As a home-based travel agent, you will help make travel arrangements for people who are planning trips. This could involve everything from reserving flights, hotel rooms, tickets, rental cars, restaurant reservations, and more. There are many people who find the process of vacation planning extremely stressful and they are more than willing to seek outside help, especially since travel agents often do not charge for their services.
How Travel Agents Get Paid
Most travel agents work on commission. There are some who do charge a small service fee to clients in addition to whatever commission they might receive from their agency, but many don’t charge their clients anything. The commission check will come from the agency after vacation plans have been booked for the client. There are also some major companies that hire home-based workers to help manage travel arrangements for their clients, and these may hire you as an actual employee, paying you a base amount or salary in addition to commission.
Travel Agent Training
Most of the travel companies you can work for will require you go through some sort of training prior to working as an agent. Sometimes the training is paid and sometimes you’ll actually be required to pay for your own training.
When you’re partnering with a host agency as an independent agent, there may be an enrollment fee to pay first. This fee will cover your training via a home-study course and possibly a personal website along with other business start-up costs.
Travel Agent Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most travel agents were making around $34K per year in 2012. However, when you work as an independent agent, it can take a little longer to work up to a great income because you are in charge of your own marketing and recruiting clients. As with any business you start, those things take time.