Travel agent

Travel agents book and plan business and leisure travel for customers.

Annual Salary

£14,000 to £40,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 40

What's it all about?

You may work in a high street travel agents or a call centre, specialising in personal or business travel.

Depending on your role, your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • understanding and meeting customers’ needs
  • using your geographical knowledge to help customers find a suitable package holiday or plan independent travel
  • making bookings and payments using online computer systems
  • advising customers about passports, insurance, visas, vaccinations, tours and vehicle hire
  • informing customers of changes like cancelled flights
  • arranging refunds and handling complaints
  • meeting sales targets
  • keeping up to date with developments in the travel industry


You could do a Level 3 Diploma in Travel and Tourism.

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course


You could do a travel consultant advanced apprenticeship.

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), usually including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

Other Routes

There are no set entry requirements, but a good general standard of education is expected. Some employers may ask for English and maths GCSEs or equivalent.

College courses in travel and tourism could help you prepare for this job. Experience in customer service or sales, or knowledge of foreign languages, could also be useful.

It's common to find work with a travel agency and then train on the job.

£14,000 to £40,000

Starter salary: £14,000

Experienced salary: £17,000 to £25,000

Salaries usually include commission based on meeting performance targets. You may also get discounts on holidays.

These figures are a guide.

37 to 40

You'll usually work 37 to 40 hours a week over 5 days in 7, covering evenings and weekends.

You'll be expected to have a smart appearance, and will usually be provided with a uniform.

You’ll work at a desk in a travel shop or contact centre.

Your employer may arrange short visits to resorts to improve your knowledge of the holidays that you're organising and selling.

With training and experience, there may be opportunities to progress into senior roles like branch or call centre manager, operations director, regional director or managing director.

You could also move into other roles in the travel sector, like tour operating.

You can find out more about careers in travel from the Institute of Travel & Tourism and Careers that Move.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • excellent customer service skills and telephone manner
  • strong communication and sales skills
  • the ability to prioritise and cope with pressure at busy times
My top 5 skills from the skills bank
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