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Career and Education Opportunities for Travel Agents in Bridgeport, Connecticut

Bridgeport, Connecticut provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for travel agents. There are currently 1,690 working travel agents in Connecticut; this should shrink 8% to 1,560 working travel agents in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for travel agents, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 1.1% over the next eight years. In general, travel agents plan and sell transportation and accommodations for travel agency customers.

A person working as a travel agent can expect to earn about $13 hourly or $27,510 annually on average in Connecticut and about $14 per hour or $30,570 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for travel agents are not quite as good as in the overall category of Travel in Connecticut, and better than the overall Travel category nationally.

There are seventy-five schools of higher education in the Bridgeport area, including one within twenty-five miles of Bridgeport where you can get a degree to start your career as a travel agent. Given that the most common education level for travel agents is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a travel agent if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Travel Agent

Travel Agent video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, travel agents plan and sell transportation and accommodations for travel agency customers. They also determine destination, modes of transportation, travel dates, and accommodations required.

Travel agents compute costs of travel and accommodations, using calculators, computers, carrier tariff books, and hotel rate books. They also furnish customers with brochures and publications containing travel data, such as local customs, points of interest, or foreign country regulations. Equally important, travel agents have to collect payments for transportation and accommodations from customers. They are often called upon to book transportation and hotel reservations, using computer terminals or telephones. They are expected to print or request transportation carrier tickets, using computer printer systems or system links to travel carrier. Finally, travel agents talk with customers to establish destination, mode of transportation and accommodations required.

Every day, travel agents are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings.

They also have to be able to talk with customers to establish destination, mode of transportation and accommodations required And finally, they sometimes have to compute costs of travel and accommodations, using calculators, computers, carrier tariff books, and hotel rate books.

Like many other jobs, travel agents must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Travel Agent Training

Central Connecticut State University - New Britain, CT

Central Connecticut State University, 1615 Stanley St, New Britain, CT 06050. Central Connecticut State University is a large university located in New Britain, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,233 students and an admission rate of 60%. Central Connecticut State University has a bachelor's degree program in Tourism and Travel Services Marketing Operations which graduated fifteen students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Sales Professional: The Certified Sales Professional (CSP) program gives a thorough understanding of consultative selling.

For more information, see the Manufacturers Representatives Educational Research Foundation website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Bridgeport, Connecticut

Bridgeport, Connecticut
Bridgeport, Connecticut photo by Xtremeyanksfan22

Bridgeport is located in Fairfield County, Connecticut. It has a population of over 136,405, which has shrunk by 2.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Bridgeport, 151, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Bridgeport are valued at $110,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, twenty-six new homes were built in Bridgeport, down from forty-one the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Bridgeport are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, administrative and support and waste management services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 12.2% of Bridgeport residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Bridgeport is 12.1%, which is greater than Connecticut's average of 8.3%.

The percentage of Bridgeport residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 70.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Calvary Episcopal Church, Golden Hill United Methodist Church and Good Shepherd Christian Church are among the churches located in Bridgeport. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church and the United Church of Christ.

Bridgeport is home to the North Branch Bridgeport Public Library and the Challenger Learning Center as well as Went Field and Johnson Oak Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lafayette Shopping Plaza Shopping Center, Baldwin Plaza Shopping Center and Bayview Shopping Center.