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Career and Education Opportunities for Travel Agents in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for travel agents. About 3,600 people are currently employed as travel agents in Pennsylvania. By 2016, this is expected to grow 3% to about 3,700 people employed. This is better than 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.

Income for travel agents is about $15 per hour or $32,390 per year on average in Pennsylvania. Nationally, their income is about $14 hourly or $30,570 yearly. Incomes for travel agents are better than in the overall category of Travel in Pennsylvania, and better than the overall Travel category nationally.

There are eighty-three schools of higher education in the Pittsburgh area, including one within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh 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, 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

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

Community College of Beaver County - Monaca, PA

Community College of Beaver County, One Campus Drive, Monaca, PA 15061-2588. Community College of Beaver County is a small college located in Monaca, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,695 students. Community College of Beaver County has 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: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.