The median pay for a travel agent working in the United States in 2012 was $34,600 or $16.64 an hour, according to the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics. There is no work experience required to break into the field, and candidates for travel agent jobs must only possess a high school diploma or a general education development certificate to get hired. Moderate-term on-the-job training is generally provided to newly hired travel agents.
The 10-year job outlook for travel agents is not so good. There is an anticipated decline of 12 percent in jobs for travel agents by 2022. There were 73,300 travel agent jobs in 2012, and there will be 8,900 fewer jobs for travel agents by 2022, as reported by the BLS.
Travel agents work to coordinate lodging, transportation and entertainment on vacations and other trips, and they also offer advice on planning trip itineraries and choosing destinations. Most of the travel agent's time is spent in an office, seated at a computer and talking on the phone. Around 12 percent of travel agents in 2012 were self-employed; most of the remainder worked for travel agencies.
While a decline is expected in the profession, the BLS notes that prospects for employment are greater for agents who specialize in specific travel destinations or who have a history of working with special interest travelers.