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How to Become a Travel Agent in Maryland

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The U.S. Travel Association reports 42 percent of airline customers traveled for leisure from 2008 through 2009. Many received travel assistance from travel agents. Maryland has a number of technical colleges and universities that offer hospitality and tourism management programs or travel agent certification.

Enroll in a travel agent certification program at one of Maryland's vocational or technical colleges. The Maryland School of Travel is one school that specializes in the travel industry with a variety of classes to learn the trade; The curriculum is presented in two sections. Section one is an Internet tutorial presenting a comprehensive study of SABRE, a worldwide travel booking network. Section two is printed material explaining the procedures required to book tour packages and cruises.

Maryland School of Travel 9805 York Road Cockeysville, MD 21030 410-667-6090 school@roedertravel.com

Complete the required courses. The Maryland School of Travel requires completion and passage of a final exam within one year. Schools such as the multi-state Penn Foster Career School allow you to print your certification from home once the program is complete. Other programs may require you to submit paperwork.

Apply for jobs at Maryland travel agencies. Cities such as Boston will have a higher pay rate because of the cost of living. Consider applying for a job even as an assistant at large agencies like Safe Harbors during school to gain experience. It is possible to move up in agencies, or at the least you will have something to write on your resume.

Large businesses also offer employment opportunities. Many of them hire travel agents to work in their travel offices helping to book travel and lodging for executives and their staff.

Continue your education upon certification. Read news alerts on different vacation spots or take a computer refresher course at a Maryland technical college every few years. This way you stay fresh on your skills and can stay afloat in a competitive market.

Join the American Society of Travel Agents. This organization is recognized nationally and provides networking events and discounts for member. It also produces a monthly and weekly newsletter designed for travel agents.

About the Author

Sara Hickman owns a preschool science-based entertainment business in the Greater Cincinnati area. She has a bachelor's degree in communication and psychology from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point.

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