What Are Popular Career Options in Travel and Tourism?

Jobs as travel agents, lodging managers and flight attendants are among the many options available to individuals interested in travel and tourism careers. Education requirements, career outlooks and salary information for these positions are provided below. Schools offering Travel & Tourism degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Popular Travel and Tourism Career Options

Government tourism departments, travel agencies, airlines, tour operations and hotels are just a few of the industries offering employment opportunities to individuals interested in travel and tourism careers. If you're considering a job in this field, you might want to be aware that common attributes of travel and tourism professionals include a pleasant personality and a sense of adventurousness, not to mention excellent customer-service, communication, organizational and interpersonal skills. Additional requirements for some of the job options available in this field are outlined below.

Travel Agent

A job as a travel agent could be ideal if you're interested in making lodging reservations, booking flights and scheduling tours for clients looking to embark on business trips or personal vacations.

Adequate computer skills and a high school diploma are the minimum requirements for some travel agent positions, though employers might prefer job applicants who've completed some sort of formal training. This is commonly available in the form of online and on-campus continuing education courses and certificate programs that cover travel geography, customer service, travel marketing and computer reservation systems. You might also opt to earn a travel and tourism degree that includes additional business coursework.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a 12% decline in job opportunities was expected for travel agents from 2012-2022. Agents catering to groups or corporate travelers could see the most favorable employment prospects. As of May 2012, travel agents earned an average salary of $36,970.

Lodging Manager

Lodging managers' job duties can range from booking guest reservations and training staff to ensuring the cleanliness of a hotel and managing its revenues. A high school diploma and significant work experience could land you a job in a smaller hotel, though employers in full-service establishments often require applicants to have an associate or bachelor's degree in lodging or hospitality management. These 2- and 4-year programs can provide you with an overview of housekeeping and food service operations and cover such topics as front office procedures and property management.

Little to no job growth was projected for lodging mangers from 2012-2022, according to the BLS. The best employment prospects were expected to be reserved for bachelor's degree program graduates applying to work at luxury hotels. These professionals earned an average of $54,800 per year as of May 2012.

Flight Attendant

In addition to presenting passengers with safety information, flight attendants generally provide the customer service needed to ensure a pleasant flight, whether by serving food and drink or reassuring anxious travelers. Applicants for these positions are expected to face strong competition, which allows many employers to favor job candidates with a degree in fields like public relations, communications and hospitality. However, educational requirements are only part of the job description. Many flight attendants have up to two years of experience working in the service industry. You'll also need to be a certain height and pass a medical exam before being offered a flight attendant position.

The BLS expects a 7% decline in flight attendant positions between 2012 and 2022, though applicants with a degree could face the best chance at landing one of these jobs. As of May 2012, flight attendants earned average salaries of $42,340.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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