Atlanta has the world’s busiest airport with an average of 2,400 flights each way everyday according to College Board. Therefore, becoming a travel agent in Atlanta, Georgia, has potential for greater than average earnings. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual earnings of travel agents in 2008 were $32,470. The job outlook appears bright based on the consistent need for business and tourist travel planning assistance. The state of Georgia does not require a professional license, but obtaining training is strongly suggested to work in the field.
Complete the basic education training to enhance your skills. Begin learning from a travel institute or college to help ensure you are well-prepared for the new career. The training can be completed online, or in a traditional classroom setting.
Create a resume that includes any of your personal travel experience. This works well for getting hired at an agency or for sharing personal insight with clients who are looking for specific information about a location. To set yourself apart from the competition, specialize your services in a type of travel you are familiar with. For example, you may choose to be a local Atlanta tourist expert with ideas for historical landmark destinations since you are a native. In Georgia, there is no formal licensing requirement but laws change frequently, so it's best to check with the office of the Attorney General or the Department of Commerce about requirements.
Intern or seek part-time employment to gain specialized industry experience (i.e., cruising, luxury hotels). Typically, agencies look for two to five years' of field experience. American Society of Travel Agents and the National Business Travel Association are two resources to help new and established agents. Pay the appropriate fees to join.
Work for an Atlanta travel agency or start your own business. Learning about the business from someone else first may be the best initial option after completing your education in travel. However, working from home or in a small office may generate more flexibility and long-term job security.
Use social networking sites to promote the business and share business cards with busy professionals who have little time to plan for themselves.
Implement good study practices and earn a certificate from a travel school can be earned in about eight to 16 weeks.
AAA agency and private travel companies are potential job locations. Refer to your travel school for help in seeking employment direction.
2016 Salary Information for Travel Agents
Travel agents earned a median annual salary of $36,460 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, travel agents earned a 25th percentile salary of $27,030, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $48,600, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 81,700 people were employed in the U.S. as travel agents.