Frequently Asked Questions
Are there jobs available in the travel industry?
The answer is YES, the travel industry is booming. Here in South Florida, there are at least 10 to 15 jobs advertised every week in the local newspaper. In other parts of the country, the demand is just as high. Cruise lines are experiencing tremendous growth, tour operators are doing well and the car and hotel industries are growing also. And, once you are in the industry, the opportunity for advancement is great. Finally, the "agent @ home" concept has really caught on and is one of the fastest growing home-based businesses in America.
How much will I earn?
Starting salaries vary across the country. In South Florida, graduates start at $400 per week. In the Midwest, $350 and in the Northeast, $500. Graduates stay at these levels for the first 3 to 6 months, after that you can start to move up the ladder. A third of the people in the industry make under $25,000 a year, the second third make between $25,000 to $50,000, and the top third make over $50,000 a year. Your job is to get out of the bottom third!
I want to work from home, how do I do that?
Once you have completed your studies, you can apply to those companies that use "cyber agents". Cruise.com and Omega World Travel are 2 well respected and very successful companies that hire people to work from home. Also, several of the major cruise lines hire homebound staff too.
If your goal is to start your own business from home, then you will join forces with a "host agency" and run your business using the host's licenses and bond. Please understand that if you do not have customers and you are not making sales, you will not make any money. Having your own business means you have to have customers or understand how to go after a business. Some of our graduates go to work for 6 months or a year and then start their own business. Others have started their business right after graduation and have done just fine.
What is a "Host Agency"?
Host Agencies are very large travel agencies that allow people to work from home under the Host's licenses and bond. They typically will have thousands of people (all over the country) in their program. They charge fees for the services they provide, and some charge a set-up fee when you begin. They also give you access to one of the reservations systems. Because they are so large and do so much volume, they have qualified for all of the major suppliers override commission programs. What this means to you is that when you make your first sale, let’s assume a cruise, you will make 17% commission on that sale. Your local travel agent, if they don't sell many cruises, probably only gets 10%. So, the fees that a host charges are well worth the money for the override commission programs alone. The better host agencies will not allow anyone to join unless that individual has previous industry experience or has taken a course such as ours.
Be careful when selecting your host. Some host agencies will allow anyone to join their program for the set-up fees and then they give you a toll free number and tell you to have your customers call that number to book their travel. While this sort of program works for some, you must be aware that the training is minimal, usually just teaching you how to work within their system, and you will never be able to handle your customers yourself. And, they will typically take half of your commissions and charge fees. If you ever decide to switch agencies, you would have to get your training before you could make the move. Furthermore, some of your customers might not move with you. Remember, if you don't handle your customers, you are not in control of your business.
How much support can I expect if I do the Home Study Program?
The institute has worked very hard to ensure that the home study programs contain everything that the student will need in order to complete the course. If a student has difficulty in getting the quiz diskette to work properly, or experiences difficulty in connecting via the internet for their interactive computer training, the student should call the institute between the hours of 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM, Monday through Friday
What are my options for the Home Study computer training?There are two computer training options:
Home study training utilizing internet connection which is comprised of interactive instructions and exercises dealing with basic computerized reservations tasks. Students must have basic computing skills. This is the recommended type of training.
Home study training utilizing CD-ROM media which is comprised of interactive instructions and exercises dealing with basic computerized reservations tasks. Students must have basic computing skills.
Is the Internet going to wipe out the travel agent?
No, No, No. While the Internet is very popular with customers interested in travel, most are only browsing, but only a few are buying. Also, many of the most popular websites are travel agents. Airlines are currently getting approximately 20 percent of their total volume from the internet and that percentage has a high no-show factor. And, travel agents still issue about 80 percent of all airline tickets. Add to this the fact that the largest number of people in the US, in terms of age, are people over the age of 45 and most of them received no computer training as part of their formal education.
What are the benefits of being in the travel industry?
One of the reasons most choose to stay in the industry are the travel benefits. Once you have been in the industry for a year you can start to take advantage of the discounts available to travel industry personnel. Hotel, car, cruise, tour, and airline companies all offer discounts to travel agents.
Is Financial Aid Available?
There is no financial aid for this type of program. However, there is financing available for the home study, day, and evening programs. We have 2 loan programs so, upon approval, monthly payments will depend upon the loan chosen. Take a look at our Payment Options page for more information.
Is there a job placement?
Yes, job placement assistance is included in the course, not an expensive addition. While assistance is included, it is important to realize that securing a position in the travel industry is really up to the individual. You are the one to do the research on your area, prepare your resumé, and go to the interviews. You have to get the job. We will review your resumé, show you where to get information about the travel industry in your area, and point you to the right direction. We will also discuss with you your options within the travel industry i.e. travel agent, tour company, or hotel.
Is this a state-licensed program?
The Travel Career Institute is licensed by the Florida State Commission for Independent Education. The institute has held this license since 1992. The curriculum is also approved by the commission and the graduate receives a certificate of completion. The institute is certified to offer training in all 5 of the major Global Distribution Systems; Amadeus, Apollo/Galileo, Sabre, and Worldspan. Finally, the institute is an educational affiliate of the The Travel Institute, formerly known as the Institute of Certified Travel Agents (ICTA).
Call Us for Further Questions
Do you have further questions about our institute and our services? Simply contact us at (561) 395-0714. We are more than eager to enlighten you with regards to the services we provide.