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Career and Education Opportunities for Travel Agents in Springfield, Illinois

Travel agents can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Springfield, Illinois area. Currently, 6,720 people work as travel agents in Illinois. This is expected to shrink by 7% to about 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%. Travel agents generally plan and sell transportation and accommodations for travel agency customers.

Travel agents earn approximately $15 hourly or $32,320 yearly on average in Illinois. Nationally they average about $14 hourly or $30,570 yearly. Travel agents earn more than people working in the category of Travel generally in Illinois and more than people in the Travel category nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Springfield where you can study to be a travel agent, among nine schools of higher education total in the Springfield area. The most common level of education for travel agents is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become 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

Lincoln College - Lincoln, IL

Lincoln College, 300 Keokuk St, Lincoln, IL 62656. Lincoln College is a small college located in Lincoln, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,215 students and an admission rate of 77%. Lincoln College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Tourism and Travel Services Marketing Operations.

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: Springfield, Illinois

Springfield, Illinois
Springfield, Illinois photo by %C3%89ovart_Ca%C3%A7eir

Springfield is situated in Sangamon County, Illinois. It has a population of over 117,352, which has grown by 5.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Springfield, 75, is far less than the national average. New single-family homes in Springfield cost $245,700 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, ninety-seven new homes were built in Springfield, down from one hundred seventy-nine the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Springfield are public administration, health care, and educational services. For men, it is public administration, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 17 minutes. More than 30.6% of Springfield residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.6%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Springfield is 8.5%, which is less than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Springfield residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.9%, is more than both the national and state average. First Presbyterian Church and Christ Episcopal Church are all churches located in Springfield. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Assemblies of God and the United Methodist Church.

Springfield is home to the Oliver P Parks Telephone Museum and the Building I as well as Jaycee Park and Fairview Park. Shopping malls in the area include Capital City Shopping Center, Fairhills Shopping Center and Chatham Square Shopping Center. Visitors to Springfield can choose from Cottage Inn, Courtyard Springfield and Drury Inn and Suites Springfield IL for temporary stays in the area.