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Career and Education Opportunities for Travel Agents in Charleston, West Virginia

Travel agent career and educational opportunities abound in Charleston, West Virginia. The national trend for travel agents 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 $13 per hour or $28,830 yearly on average in West Virginia and about $14 per hour or $30,570 per year on average nationally. Incomes for travel agents are better than in the overall category of Travel in West Virginia, and better than the overall Travel category nationally.

There are seventeen schools of higher education in the Charleston area, including one within twenty-five miles of Charleston 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. 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.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Charleston 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

West Virginia State Community and Technical College - Institute, WV

West Virginia State Community and Technical College, 103 Cole Complex, Institute, WV 25112-1000. West Virginia State Community and Technical College is a small college located in Institute, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,741 students. West Virginia State Community and Technical College has a one to two year program in Selling Skills and Sales Operations which graduated two 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: Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia photo by Malepheasant

Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.