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Travel Agent Certification

The tourism industry is an important of any country’s economy and United States is no different. The federal government spends millions attracting tourists from all around the world. Every year, millions of people visit the States for vacations or just to spend quality time with their families. Keeping up with this, travel and tourism certification programs can help students pursue successful careers in the tourism industry.

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The most common qualification for becoming a travel agent is a high school diploma. However if you wish to become a successful travel agent and improve your employability prospects, you should consider seeking certification from a professional organization.

There are many different options that you may explore. Each certification is aimed at a particular group of professionals and requires a different set of criteria to be fulfilled.

Going through the following details will help you get a clear idea of the choices that are available to you:

The Travel Institute

This is the oldest institute that offers travel certification programs. With around 50 years of experience, the institute allows you to choose from a number of programs with varying objectives and requirements.

The options that are available include the following:

Certified Travel Associate (CTA)

Why should you apply?

This certification is appropriate for you if:

  • You want to focus on the fundamental skills and knowledge required in dealing with day to day work demands such as customer services, selling skills, and communication.

  • You wish to learn about specific destinations and niche markets

What are the requirements?

The minimum requirements for earning a CTA certification are:

  • 18 months of industry experience.
  • Completing twelve courses: eight core courses and four elective courses

Certified Travel Counselor (CTC)

Why should you apply?

You should apply if:

  • You want to gain knowledge and skills that’ll prove valuable in helping you start your travel business

What are the requirements?

  • You should hold a CTA certification
  • Have 5 years of work experience
  • You will have to successfully complete ten courses and take up an elective course such as Marketing, management, Sales and Customer Relationship, Communications, and Personal Development.
  • You will also have to submit a paper

Certified Travel Industry Executive (CTIE)

Why should you apply?

You should apply if:

  • You want to acquire the skills necessary for pursuing management or leadership positions in the tourism industry.

What are the requirements?

  • Have 5 years of work experience
  • You’ll have to submit a paper or complete a project

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Travel Agent Certification

CLIA offers certification for agents who specialize in cruises. Three different levels of certification are offered:

Accredited Cruise Counselor (ACC)

What are the requirements?

  • First you will have to become a CLIA affiliated agent
  • You’ll be required to successfully complete 100 credits; 30 from mandatory training, 50 from electives and 20 from product knowledge.
  • Training mainly includes online courses and exams, seminars, personal cruise experience, ship inspection

Master Cruise Counselor (MCC)

What are the requirements?

  • You must be a CLIA affiliated Accredited Cruise Counselor
  • You should be able to complete 100 credits; 50 from mandatory training, 30 from electives and 20 from product knowledge.

Elite Cruise Counselor (ECC)

What are the requirements?

  • You must be a CLIA affiliated Master Cruise Counselor
  • You should successfully complete 10 CLIA live seminars and courses and earn 20 credits from product knowledge.

Although the above list provides the details of some of the most popular travel agent certification, the list is not exhaustive. There may be some other certifications that you can explore.

Online Education

To make your life easier, these institutes allow you to complete the training requirements online. This’ll help you managing your personal and professional responsibilities while you pursue your certification. Students can also save money on travel and accommodation with online education.

Therefore, if you’d like to take your career a step further by becoming more recognized in the travel industry, it’d be in your interest to evaluate your interests and career plans and consider applying for one of the certification programs above.

However to prepare yourself well for these certifications, it’ll be a good idea to earn an associate’s degree in travel management or travel planning that is usually offered at many trade and community colleges.

States with the highest employment level in this occupation:



Employment per thousand jobs

Location quotient

Hourly mean wage

Annual mean wage

California 1660 0.11 1.26 18.13 37720
Florida 1130 0.14 1.68 17.97 37370
Illinois 960 0.16 1.92 17.9 37240
Texas 760 0.07 0.78 16.62 34570
New York 650 0.07 0.85 20.12 41840


How Long Does It Take to Get a Travel and Tourism Certificate?

If you are interested in working in the field of travel and tourism, you can choose a career as a travel agent. You can become a travel agent after completing your high school. If you want to go for a certificate program in travel and tourism, that can take around one year to complete.

What Are the Requirements to Get a Travel and Tourism Certificate?

To get a travel and tourism certificate, students will be required to complete courses such as trends in the travel industry, travel marketing, geography and computer use in travel and customer service during travelling. They will learn the duties and role of travel agents, along with learning communication skills and organization of travel plans.

How Much Can I Earn after I Get a Travel and Tourism Certificate?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Travel Agents made an annual median income of $38,700 in 2018, with 78,800 jobs available in the same year. The top paying states for travel agents were District of Columbia, Nevada and Washington.

Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:What important areas can students specialize in a Certificate In Travel And Tourism?

A:A certificate in travel and tourism program entails a number of courses and topics. Students can pick an area for specialization and further extend their career towards that. The most commonly offered areas for specialization include world destinations, numeracy and statistics, structure of travel and tourism, retail travel operations, and hotel/catering industry.

Q:What is taught in the Introduction to World Destinations course included in Travel and Tourism degrees?

A:If you are planning to opt for Travel and Tourism degrees, there are a number of different programs out there. For instance, you can opt for short certifications or take admission in full fledged degree program. You will get to study a number of courses, one of the being Introduction to World Destinations. In this course, the students get to study about all the seven continents of the world and importance places there.

Q:What will I study in Introduction to Travel Documentation course taught in Travel and Tourism certificate online?

A:If you are going to opt for Travel and Tourism certificate online, you'll get an option of taking admission in certification of a a few months to that of a year. During this period you will come across a number of courses and topics, on of the most essential being Introduction to Travel Documentation. In this particular course, the students are familiarized with different legal processes and documentations required for traveling across the world.

Q:What are the contents of the course on Introduction to Psychology in the diploma in travel and tourism?

A:The Diploma in Travel and Tourism has dedicated course on Introduction to Psychology. This course is worth 2 credits in total. It is designed to provide students with ample understanding of the different fields of psychology. Students are also highlighted with the concepts of the behavior related physiological mechanisms. Students are also provided with hands on experience.

Q:What are the contents of the course on Business Communication in the travel and tourism diploma programs?

A:It is common to get to read about the course on Business Communication in the Travel and Tourism Diploma programs. This course is worth 2 credits in total. It is designed to provide students with substantial understanding of the basic level principles of the communication that are needed in the business environment. Students are also provided with hands on experience.

Q:What topics will be included in the travel and tourism certificate?

A:Students interested in completing the travel and tourism certificate will be required to attempt a number of topics. Some of the topics included in this certification are Principals of travel and tourism, communication and information technology, customer care and retail practice, tour operations and fares and ticketing. Prospective students interested in this certification are advised to search our website for more information.

Q:Can you give some information about a travel certificate program?

A:A travel certificate program prepares students with the skills and knowledge needed to enter various travel and tourist industries such as travel agencies, airlines, hotels, cruise lines etc. students enrolled in this program develop skills such as hospitality skills, and study subjects such as travel marketing, front desk management, fares and ticketing procedures, and many more.

Q:A travel and tourism certificate program is covering areas such as?

A:A travel and tourism certificate program is basically a non-degree program. It is designed to provide students with career oriented knowledge and skills that can help them prepare for the tourism industry. The program will cover areas such as leadership and management, communications, industry practices, finance and accounting, and more. The coursework may vary a little from place to place.

Q:What will I need for Travel Agent Certification?

A:For entry into travel agent certification, students will need the completion of a high school diploma or an equivalent GED qualification. Some schools may also require the passing of an exam or test or a minimum cumulative GPA requirement. Students will be required to submit a completed application form with all required supporting documents.

Q:Is becoming a travel agent easy?

A:The answer to that question depends on if you know how to become a travel agent and whether or not you are interested in taking the necessary steps required to become a travel agent. In addition to your high school, you will have to acquire formal training required to become a travel agent.

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