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Travel and Tourism Career Outlook and Salary Information

The travel industry is one of the U.S.’s largest employers, generating more than 7 million jobs with an annual payroll of $162 billion, according to the Travel Industry Association. The combination of competition for these sought-after jobs and the increasing popularity of Internet travel booking, however, are predicted to cause a decline in job openings in travel agent jobs through 2014.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for travel agents is poor, with 6% fewer jobs available between 2004 and 2014. The abundance of online travel web sites allows travelers to research and book their own vacations is eliminating the need for travel agents.

If you’re interested in more on-site travel work, the job outlook is better for travel and tour guides, with a 15.7% increase projected between 2004 and 2014.

While the salaries for travel agents and travel guides usually aren’t high, the job’s perks make the careers worthwhile to many in this competitive job market. In May 2004, the average salary for a travel agent was $27,640, with the lowest 10% earning a salary less than $17,180 and the top 10% making more than $44,090. The average annual salary for travel guide jobs was $28,090.

The upside of working as a travel agent is that you can travel at a reduced fare, and sometimes for free if you take a trip to “familiarize” yourself with a destination. Travel and tour guides can live or work in exotic destinations. If you’re willing to work for cheap travel rather than a high salary, this career could be ideal.

 

Related Career Resources

Travel and Tourism Colleges and Schools

Travel and Tourism Career Information

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Become a Travel and Tourism Specialist

 

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