Career and Education Opportunities for Travel Agents in Aurora, Illinois
If you want to be a travel agent, the Aurora, Illinois area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 6,720 people work as travel agents in Illinois. This is expected to shrink by 7% to 6,220 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for travel agents are expected to shrink by about 1.1%. In general, travel agents plan and sell transportation and accommodations for travel agency customers.
Travel agents earn about $15 per hour or $32,320 annually on average in Illinois and about $14 per hour or $30,570 annually on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Travel, people working as travel agents in Illinois earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Travel nationally.
The Aurora area is home to 175 schools of higher education, including eight within twenty-five miles of Aurora where you can get a degree as a travel agent. Given that the most common education level for travel agents is a high school diploma or GED, it will take only a short time to learn to be a travel agent if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Travel Agent
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.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Aurora include:
- Rental Counter Clerk. Receive orders for repairs, rentals, and services. May describe available options, compute cost, and accept payment.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Travel Agent Training
MacCormac College - Chicago, IL
MacCormac College, 29 E. Madison, Chicago, IL 60602-4405. MacCormac College is a small college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 163 students. MacCormac College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Tourism and Travel Services Marketing Operations.
College of DuPage - Glen Ellyn, IL
College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137-6599. College of DuPage is a large college located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 25,668 students. College of DuPage has 2 areas of study related to Travel Agent. They are:
- Selling Skills and Sales Operations, less than one year which graduated 14 students in 2008.
- Tourism and Travel Services Marketing Operations, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated thirty-two and one students respectively in 2008.
Nothwestern College - Chicago, IL
Nothwestern College, 4829 North Lipps Avenue, Chicago, IL 60630. Nothwestern College is a small college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 847 students and an admission rate of 83%. Nothwestern College has an associate's degree program in Tourism and Travel Services Marketing Operations.
Triton College - River Grove, IL
Triton College, 2000 5th Ave, River Grove, IL 60171-1995. Triton College is a large college located in River Grove, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,547 students. Triton College has an associate's degree program in Selling Skills and Sales Operations which graduated three students in 2008.
Pyramid Career Institute - Chicago, IL
Pyramid Career Institute, 3057 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60657-4207. Pyramid Career Institute is a small school located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 9 students. Pyramid Career Institute has a less than one year program in Tourism and Travel Services Marketing Operations.
Harper College - Palatine, IL
Harper College, 1200 W Algonquin Rd, Palatine, IL 60067-7398. Harper College is a large college located in Palatine, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,250 students. Harper College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Selling Skills and Sales Operations which graduated twenty-three and twelve students respectively in 2008.
Joliet Junior College - Joliet, IL
Joliet Junior College, 1215 Houbolt Rd, Joliet, IL 60431-8938. Joliet Junior College is a large college located in Joliet, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,088 students. Joliet Junior College has an associate's degree program in Selling Skills and Sales Operations which graduated four students in 2008.
McHenry County College - Crystal Lake, IL
McHenry County College, 8900 US Hwy 14, Crystal Lake, IL 60012-2761. McHenry County College is a medium sized college located in Crystal Lake, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,374 students. McHenry County College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Selling Skills and Sales Operations which graduated seven, three, and one students respectively in 2008.
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: Aurora, Illinois
Aurora is situated in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 171,782, which has grown by 20.1% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Aurora, 103, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Aurora are valued at $143,000 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred twenty-seven new homes were constructed in Aurora, down from three hundred thirty-eight the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Aurora are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and finance and insurance. The average travel time to work is about 29 minutes. More than 29.9% of Aurora residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.3%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Aurora is 10.9%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.
The percentage of Aurora residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Angels Roman Catholic Church, Saint Therese Roman Catholic Church and Bethany of Fox Valley United Methodist Church are all churches located in Aurora. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Aurora is home to the Watkins Hall and the Landmark Industrial Park as well as North River Street Park and O'Donnell Park. Shopping centers in the area include Yorkshire Shopping Center, Village Mart Shopping Center and Fox Valley Mall. Visitors to Aurora can choose from Comfort Suites Aurora, Galena Hotel and Comfort Inn for temporary stays in the area.