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Career and Education Opportunities for Travel Agents in El Paso, Texas

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for travel agents in the El Paso, Texas area. About 5,800 people are currently employed as travel agents in Texas. By 2016, this is expected to shrink 9% to about 5,280 people employed. 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. Travel agents generally plan and sell transportation and accommodations for travel agency customers.

Travel agents earn about $14 hourly or $29,900 yearly on average in Texas and about $14 per hour or $30,570 yearly on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Travel, people working as travel agents in Texas earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Travel nationally.

There are seventeen schools of higher education in the El Paso area, including one within twenty-five miles of El Paso where you can get a degree to start your career as a travel agent. 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

El Paso Community College - El Paso, TX

El Paso Community College, 919 Hunter Drive, El Paso, TX 79915-1908. El Paso Community College is a large college located in El Paso, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 25,833 students. El Paso Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Tourism and Travel Services Marketing Operations which graduated four and five students respectively 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: El Paso, Texas

El Paso, Texas
El Paso, Texas photo by Camerafiend

El Paso is situated in El Paso County, Texas. It has a population of over 613,190, which has grown by 8.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in El Paso, 80, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in El Paso are priced at $150,600 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, 2,521 new homes were built in El Paso, down from 2,666 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in El Paso are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 22 minutes. More than 18.3% of El Paso residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.2%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in El Paso is 8.7%, which is greater than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of El Paso residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 63.4%, is more than both the national and state average. Pentecostal Holiness Church, El Divino Redentor United Methodist Church and El Paso Catholic Church are some of the churches located in El Paso. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

El Paso is home to the Wyler Aerial Tramway and the Old Fort Bliss as well as Travis White Park and Feather Lake Wildlife Refuge. Shopping centers in the area include Las Palmas Shopping Center, NorthPark Shopping Center and Cielo Vista Shopping Center. Visitors to El Paso can choose from Holiday Inn El Paso, Best Western Airport Inn and Allstate Motel for temporary stays in the area.