When you need to travel, who will you call? Ticket agents and travel clerks, of course! Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks set up travel arrangements and sell tickets to passengers. If you are looking for reservation and transportation ticket agent and travel clerk jobs, here are some answers for the most common questions:
Who hires reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks? Large hotel chains or airlines often hire reservation agents to help people plan trips and make reservations. Transportation companies like airlines, bus terminals, and train stations often hire transportation ticket agents to sell tickets, assign seats to passengers, and check baggage. Finally, travel clerks work for membership organizations to plan trips and offer travel suggestions for club members.
What are the job duties? If you work in the travel industry as an agent or clerk, you will be expected to handle ticket sales/reservations, answer passenger questions, coordinate travel arrangements or make suggestions as to the best route, assist customers at kiosks, and manage baggage for passengers. This may range from simple one-day travel arrangements for a single individual to complex international trips for multiple people that involve numerous ticket reservations, hotel reservations, bus and train schedules, airplane flights, and so on.
How much can I expect to earn? On average, reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks earn about $31,000 a year, although this varies widely by industry and employer. As in most fields, higher-paying positions go to candidates who have more experience and education than average. Reservation and transportation ticket agents who work for exclusive clubs may earn much more than average. Most agents and clerks in the travel industry work a typical 40-hour workweek, although some may need to work evenings, nights, or weekends since travel is a 24/7 industry.
What about education and training? You will need at least a high school diploma to work in this field. As a reservation and transportation ticket agent, you will also need on-the-job training. Depending on your particular employer, you might need to attend company-sponsored programs that teach about the reservation system and procedures. You will also likely spend time training with a more experienced travel clerk or agent.
What other skills may be helpful? Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks are constantly dealing with people, so communication skills are a must. Travel can be a stressful industry, but as an agent or clerk you may be able to help passengers feel safe and welcome by working with them to find the best arrangements and reservations. Because the travel industry can also be stressful for you as the agent, you should be able to handle multitasking and high-pressure situations. You should also be familiar with how to operate a computer, and to be considered for the higher-paying jobs, you may need to have college coursework in business or management.
What is the job outlook? Job opportunities for reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks are expected to be good in the coming years, with an employment growth rate of about 8 percent. However, because many employers offer lucrative travel benefits and low entry requirements, you may face competition for the best jobs. Keep yourself in the game by going to travel conferences and seminars—there is always more to learn and the most competitive applicants pay attention to industry trends.