How to Become a Travel Agent in Illinois

Updated On November 13, 2023
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Unlike many other occupations, becoming a travel agent in Illinois is a rather straightforward process.

It will take a few years to get there, and this guide will present the whole process, so read on!

Travel Agent Job Description and Duties in Illinois

So, what are travel agents supposed to do while in the office?

Those who are not familiar with this occupation will think that these agents only facilitate:

  • Transportation
  • Accommodation
  • Entertainment

However, things are a bit more complicated than that, as the agents must account for the client’s budgets and preferences.

For this, The majority, if not all of them, choose to focus on a type or two types of traveling.

These are the main types of tourism:

  • Honeymoon
  • Family-oriented
  • Business
  • Budget
  • Cruise
  • Luxury

This is how a travel agent actually spends his day at the office:

  • Review visas, vaccinations, and other travel necessities
  • Understands the needs and desires of their clients
  • Keeps accurate records
  • Finds solutions to issues and emergencies
  • Handles payments and deposits
  • Promotes the various packages resorts, hotels, and cruise companies offer
  • Negotiates with hotels, resorts, cruise companies, and more

Receiving additional tasks from time to time is also common for these professionals.

Requirements to be a Travel Agent in Illinois

Of course, there are some prerequisites to meet if you want to work as a travel agent.

The most common of them are:

  • Good communication skills
  • Good management skills
  • Able to use various computer programs
  • Good problem-solving skills
  • Great marketing skills
  • Able to work full-time
  • Detail-oriented
  • Being confident
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a clean criminal record
  • Be honest
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Speaking a foreign language
  • Liking and having the ability to travel

It’s not rare to be asked for some experience in the field.

This depends on each employer though.

Education and Certification for a Travel Agent in Illinois

Some of the skills needed for the job are learned and developed through an educational program.

The courses travel agents have to attend have a duration of about 2 to 4 years.

Here are the Illinois schools you can look into for this.

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Top 18 Schools in Illinois

School NameAddress
College of DuPage425 FAWELL BLVD. GLEN ELLYN, IL 60137
DePaul University1 E JACKSON BLVD CHICAGO, IL 60604
Eastern Illinois University600 LINCOLN AVENUE CHARLESTON, IL 61920
Harper College1200 W ALGONQUIN RD PALATINE, IL 60067
Highland Community College2998 W PEARL CITY RD FREEPORT, IL 61032
Illinois Central College1 COLLEGE DRIVE EAST PEORIA, IL 61635
Joliet Junior College1215 HOUBOLT RD JOLIET, IL 60431
Kennedy-King College6301 S HALSTED ST CHICAGO, IL 60621
Lincoln Land Community College5250 SHEPHERD RD SPRINGFIELD, IL 62794
Moraine Valley Community College9000 W. COLLEGE PARKWAY PALOS HILLS, IL 60465
National Louis University122 S MICHIGAN AVE CHICAGO, IL 60603
Parkland College2400 W BRADLEY AVE CHAMPAIGN, IL 61821
Richland Community CollegeONE COLLEGE PARK DECATUR, IL 62521
Roosevelt University430 S MICHIGAN AVE CHICAGO, IL 60605
St. Augustine College1345 W. ARGYLE ST. CHICAGO, IL 60640
Southern Illinois University1263 LINCOLN DRIVE CARBONDALE, IL 62901
Triton College2000 5TH AVE RIVER GROVE, IL 60171
Western Illinois University1 UNIVERSITY CIRCLE MACOMB, IL 61455

A few schools accept all student candidates.

But, it’s also common for schools to have limited spots for some degrees or fields.

However, you’ll still have to present a high school diploma, though a GED is also accepted.

Travel agents need to learn about these topics:

  • Introduction to the travel industry
  • Professional Skills
  • Basic/International geography
  • Destination geography
  • Introduction to international travel
  • Introduction to air travel
  • Transportation
  • Career development
  • Sales and marketing for travel

What not many people talk about is how the classes take place.

For tourism, classes can take place both online and in person.

Travel Agent Salary and Employment in Illinois

It’s common for travel agents to work for tourism agencies.

There is a significant number of agents that work on their own as well.

If you’re interested in this, you’ll most likely need additional licenses.

For this, you’ll have to contact your local authorities.

The salary is an important aspect of any job out there.

Travel agents in Illinois earn on average $39,400 per year.

These are higher in cities like Chicago, Aurora, and Elgin.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Travel Agents in Illinois

City NameSalary

Regional Salary

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI1,540$46,920$22.56$63,940$27,680
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Travel Agents, OCC 41-3041, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Additional Information for Travel Agents in Illinois

It’s recommended for travel agents to start traveling before getting employed and throughout the duration of their employment.

This will keep you updated with changes in prices, attractions, and other aspects, that will help make better recommendations.

Travel Agent State-specific Information:

2 Comments on Illinois

  1. B
    Belen Webster says:

    This guide is exactly what I needed! Now I feel more confident about pursuing my dream career as a travel agent in Illinois.

  2. C
    Chance Morris says:

    It’s encouraging to see that there are opportunities to become a travel agent in Illinois, even if you don’t have a degree in hospitality.

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