Certification leads to higher sales and income. That’s according to part two of The Travel Institute’s new study, The Changing Face of Travel Agents, which the organization has just released. The second half of the report also explores on-the-job contentment or the positive outlook held by travel professionals when considering a long-term career in the industry.
The results are based on responses of nearly 2,000 U.S. travel agents to an online survey, which was conducted in December 2017 by Schreiner Research Services, an independent market research organization.
Survey findings from The Changing Face of Travel Agents clearly indicate higher sales and income are by-products of certification, The Travel Institute said.
Looking at certification and specialist graduates, the average sales in 2017, ranked from highest to lowest, looked like this:
- Travel Institute Certified (CTA, CTC, CTIE) $554,880
- Travel Institute Destination & Niche Specialist $488,336
- CLIA Certified (CCC, ACC, ECC, MCC) $446,512
- Supplier/other destination & niche specialist $403,775
- Travel Institute TAP certificate (Travel Agent Proficiency) $265,541
- No certification or specialist training $215,114
Again, looking at certification and specialist graduates, the average compensation in 2017, ranked from highest to lowest, looked like this:
- Travel Institute Certified (CTA, CTC, CTIE) $42,953
- Travel Institute Destination & Niche Specialist $37,534
- CLIA certified (CCC, ACC, ECC, MCC) $33,332
- Supplier/other destination-niche specialist $31,645
- Travel Institute TAP certificate (Travel Agent Proficiency) $21,968
- No certification or specialist training $19,428
At the higher end of the compensation scale, nearly one in four or 22 percent of Travel Institute certified graduates and 16 percent of CLIA certified agents earned more than $60,000 in 2017, compared to just 7 percent of non-certified agents to reach the higher earnings threshold.
In the last decade, the satisfaction ratings by travel professionals have shown marked improvement in several key areas. Granted, the economy was far from thriving in 2008, but the positive outlook in 2017 truly bodes well for the workforce, The Travel Institute said. (Please note: ICs and employees are equally happy with working in the travel industry, so the following scores represent both segments.)
- 96 percent of agents are happy with their current position (vs. 84% in 2008)
- 97 percent are likely to remain employed in the travel industry for the rest of their career (vs. 52% in 2008)
- 68 percent recommend a career in retail travel (vs. 29% in 2008)
- Only 11 percent cite high job-related stress (vs. 29% in 2008)