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Career and Education Opportunities for Travel Agents in Cambridge, Massachusetts

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for travel agents in the Cambridge, Massachusetts area. There are currently 3,190 working travel agents in Massachusetts; this should shrink 2% to about 3,130 working travel agents in the state 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 about $14 per hour or $30,450 annually on average in Massachusetts and about $14 per hour or $30,570 annually on average nationally. Earnings for travel agents are better than earnings in the general category of Travel in Massachusetts and better than general Travel category earnings nationally.

There are 149 schools of higher education in the Cambridge area, including one within twenty-five miles of Cambridge where you can get a degree to start your career as a travel agent. Travel agents usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so 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

Bay State College - Boston, MA

Bay State College, 122 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02116. Bay State College is a small college located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 732 students and an admission rate of 78%. Bay State College has an associate's degree program in Tourism and Travel Services Marketing Operations which graduated three 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: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Cambridge, Massachusetts
Cambridge, Massachusetts photo by Scs

Cambridge is located in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. It has a population of over 105,596, which has grown by 4.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Cambridge, 142, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Cambridge are priced at $1,078,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, twelve new homes were constructed in Cambridge, down from twenty-five the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Cambridge are educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 65.1% of Cambridge residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 38.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cambridge is 5.6%, which is less than Massachusetts's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Cambridge residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 73.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Western Avenue Baptist Church, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Chapel and Cambridgeport Baptist Church are some of the churches located in Cambridge. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church.

Cambridge is home to the Great Court and the Cutter Square as well as John A Ahern Field and Sheridan Square. Shopping malls in the area include Porter Square Shopping Center, The Atrium Shopping Center and Cambridgeside Galleria Shopping Center.