How to Build a Rewarding Career as a Travel Agent in Australia

Travel Agent

Are you passionate about travel and tourism? Do you possess excellent communication and people skills? If so, a career as a Travel Agent could be perfect for you. Travel Agents book trips, flights, and accommodations and make arrangements for clients that suit their budget and preferences. They help clients discover new and exciting destinations and offer advice on sightseeing opportunities. In this guide, we will show you how to turn your passion for travel and tourism into a rewarding career. Read on to learn about the skills required, the qualifications needed, the daily tasks, and the career prospects for a Travel Agent in Australia.

What Is a Travel Agent?

A travel agent in Australia has substantial knowledge of logistics and international travel. They use this knowledge to assist holidaymakers and business people in making travel arrangements, including purchasing tour tickets, renting cars, booking accommodations, preparing documentation, and budgeting. Travel agents can provide general advice or specialize in a specific type of travel such as cruises or theme-based tours (religious, leisure, educational, corporate, and romantic tours).

Travel Agent Duties

The most common duties of a travel agent include:

  • Understanding the client’s needs and preferences and booking flights, accommodations, tours, and other travel add-ons at the best prices.
  • Planning business and leisure trips.
  • Providing advice to travelers, helping them make the best use of their time away from home.
  • Informing clients about currency, insurance options, the use of traveler’s cheques and credit cards, vaccination information, and health risks for the destination country.
  • Coordinating activities and organizing services such as drivers, translators, and guides on arrival.
  • Responding to incoming clients’ requests and researching customized trips that may include multiple transportation modes, destinations, and sightseeing plans.
  • Suggesting tours, travel routes, accommodations, and tourist attractions to clients, helping them plan their journey.
  • Providing historical information and knowledge on local and national points of interest.
  • Booking domestic and international flights, hotels, and cruises for customers.
  • Preparing customer travel documents and service agreements for group travel.
  • Managing the booking process, including deposits and final payments.
  • Promoting tour packages and specials from travel partners such as resorts, cruise lines, and specialty travel groups.
  • Notifying clients about their travel dates, medical and visa requirements, and baggage limits.
  • Providing counseling and assistance for customer’s requests and checking documents for accuracy.
  • Discussing the availability of tour and transport, price, and procedure to handle lost/stolen documents.
  • Assisting in travel clearances.
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Travel Agent Skills

If you have the following qualities, then you are perfect for a travel agent role:

  • A passion for traveling.
  • Enjoy helping clients secure the best travel deals.
  • Good communication skills.
  • Confidence.
  • Strong negotiation and research skills.
  • Good time management and organizational skills.
  • Capable of working with multiple itineraries and clients at once.
  • Strong basic computer skills.
  • Friendly and pleasant personality.
  • Flexible.
  • Capable of providing a range of concierge services.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Patience with customer questions and modifying their travel plans.
  • Working knowledge of using online booking systems.
  • General travel knowledge.
  • Pragmatic thinking.
  • Aptitude for customer service.

Travel Agent Qualifications

No formal qualification is required to work as a travel agent in Australia. However, completing nationally accredited travel agent courses helps you take a good career path. Here are the steps to pursue a career as a travel agent in Australia:

  1. Complete a Relevant VET Course: Completing an education in travel will enhance your chances of job success in this exciting and fast-paced industry. Aspiring travel agents should complete a Certificate III in Travel through TAFE or other recognized training schools. It’s an entry-level travel course that combines travel consultant training with job experience, including sales, business management, and customer service. The travel agent course at TAFE equips you with the knowledge and skills to work in various settings such as tourism attractions, customer information centers, tour operations, cultural and heritage sites, and small businesses.

  2. Pursue Further Study in Travel and Tourism: After completing the Certificate III course, you can choose to continue your education or secure a job in the dynamic world of tourism. Certificate IV in Travel and Tourism Learning at TAFE or other training schools provides knowledge expansion and better career opportunities. Other courses for additional study include a Diploma in Travel and Tourism Management or a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree that includes a business administration component.

  3. Gain Travel Experience: A good travel experience is crucial as it helps travel agents provide personalized travel advice to their clients. Travel agencies know this and generally prefer candidates with some travel experience. Some travel agencies provide discounted holidays to travel agents to enhance their travel knowledge.

  4. Gain Industry Recognition: Consider registering with the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA). It will make it easier to find employment and excel in your career.

  5. Apply for Travel Agent Jobs: After you complete your studies, you can begin applying for jobs as a Travel Agent in established travel agencies. They provide on-the-job training on their booking system and procedures.

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Where Do Travel Agents Work?

Travel agents typically work indoors in an office, meeting clients and discussing their requirements. These offices are usually located on busy main streets or inside shopping centers. There are also travel companies that do not have offices and operate solely through websites and phone hotlines. Travel Agents working for such companies usually attend phone calls, messages, and emails either in call centers or at home.

The Most Common Jobs That Involve Travel Agents

With a travel education and some tourism experience, you can take up any of the following travel jobs:

  • Travel Consultant
  • Travel Agent
  • Travel Agency Manager
  • Customer Center Consultant
  • Inbound Tour Co-Ordinator
  • Tourism Customer Service Consultant
  • Retail Travel Advisor/Consultant
  • Tourism Wholesale or Supplier Booking Agent
  • Customer Service Agent
  • Reservations Sales Agent

Travel Agent’s Work Conditions

An office-based travel agent usually works regular business hours from 9 am to 5 pm, 40 hours per week from Monday to Saturday. A few travel agencies require their agents to work evenings and weekends to serve their clients better. Part-time and casual working options are also available for those who prefer more flexible or fewer hours.

In large travel companies, travel agents must attend seminars, product launches, and team-building events every two to three weeks after business hours. This way, they gain insightful knowledge and develop relationships with their colleagues that could help their career growth.

Travel Agent Specialization

Travel agents provide general travel services but may consider specialization in a specific travel area. These areas can be corporate travel or cruise travel to provide expert advice to travelers. It can improve your chances of securing work with companies operating in these areas. Available roles of specializations include Domestic Travel Consultant, Business Travel Consultant, Airline Passenger Officer, and International Travel Consultant.

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Career Path for Travel Agents in Australia

Most travel agents start their careers for an established travel agency – a branch of a large travel chain or independent travel agency. After gaining experience, you can advance to senior roles such as a manager or branch manager in your travel agency. Alternatively, there are opportunities to enjoy more independence, establish your travel agency, or work as a freelance travel agent for a host agency.

Job Prospects of Travel Agents in Australia

With the demand for travel services and the desire for people to explore the world, aspiring travel agents with the necessary skills and the drive to succeed have promising employment prospects in the coming years. Travel agents play a crucial role in helping individuals and businesses make their travel arrangements, and there will always be a demand for the services they provide.

Working Arrangements

  • Around 73% of employed Travel Agents work full-time for an average of 43 hours per week (all jobs average: 44 hours per week).

Main Industries

  • Administrative And Support Services: 87.0%
  • Transport, Postal, And Warehousing: 6.4%
  • Accommodation And Food Services: 1.3%
  • Financial And Insurance Services: 0.7%
  • Other Industries: 3.8%

Employment Across Australia

  • New South Wales: 33.6%
  • Victoria: 24.5%
  • Queensland: 22.2%
  • South Australia: 6.6%
  • Western Australia: 9.3%
  • Tasmania: 1.8%
  • Northern Territory: 0.6%
  • Australian Capital Territory: 1.4%

Regions with the Largest Share of Travel Agents

  • Melbourne – Inner
  • Melbourne – Inner South
  • Sydney – Hornsby, Inner South West, and North Sydney
  • Gold Coast

Employee’s Age and Gender Profile

  • The average age of Travel Agents is 36 years (between 25 and 34 years). (All jobs average: 40 years)
  • Females represent 80% of the total workforce. (All jobs average: 48%)
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How Much Does It Cost to Become a Travel Agent?

People who want to know how to become a travel agent online are often concerned about the cost of the online travel agent course in Australia. Online Courses Australia offers a recognized training institute that runs the “Become a Travel Agent Certificate 48 Study Hours” course.

How to Become a Travel Agent Without Experience?

The “Become a Travel Agent Certificate 48 Study Hours” course is a job-ready certification program. It involves theoretical and practical learning to prepare you for a Travel Agent role. In this course, you will learn an overview of the tourism industry, prepare quotes and reserve services, provide good customer service, process travel-related documentation, and use fare, reservation, and ticketing software for various transportation modes. This course is designed for busy people who cannot attend in-person training and want a flexible schedule to gain industry knowledge and unlock better opportunities.

Career Pathways

  • Tour Guide
  • Tour Package Salesperson
  • Destination Specialist
  • Tourism Manager
  • Service personnel
  • Small Business Owner (tours, accommodation, transport)
  • Tour Bus Driver
  • Hotel Manager
  • Outdoor Education Officer
  • Safari Guide

How to Start a Travel Agency in Australia?

Many travel agents at later stages of their careers consider starting a business within the Travel and Tourism Industry as a Tour Operator, Online Operator, or Retail Travel Agent. If you are one of them, here are the things you need to consider to have a good start:

Step 1: Have an Elaborate Business Plan
A business plan is essential before starting a business as it provides direction and prepares you for unexpected situations in the future. An ideal business plan includes describing a potential concept, defining the target market, showcasing a competitive edge, summarizing the company leadership and product/service management, outlining staff’s expertise and experience, stating the business’ capital requirements for the initial year of operation, mentioning achievable and realistic objectives to get started, and specifying operational and financial forecasts for at least 12 months.

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Step 2: Complete Qualifications in Travel
You can run a travel business without knowing the ins and outs of the travel industry. Gaining a formal training qualification is the best way to advance your career. AFTA recommends completing a Certificate III in Travel to develop foundation skills and continuing with a Certificate IV in Travel and Tourism to gain advanced knowledge and better career opportunities.

Step 3: Become ATAS Accredited
The AFTA Travel Accreditation Scheme is an industry accreditation scheme that establishes the quality standard for the travel industry. Becoming ATAS accredited shows clients your credibility and commitment to your new travel business. To become ATAS accredited, you need to have at least 50% of your business staff in a travel sales position. They also need to have a Certificate III in Travel or equivalent or at least two years of experience in a travel selling position. In addition to it, you also need to submit a copy of your business plan and estimated operational budget for the first year of operation.

Step 4: Business Insurance Protection
Having Public Liability and Professional Indemnity insurance safeguards you and your business if such a need arises. It is considered the best practice that every potential business owner should follow. ATAS mandates having both Professional Indemnity Insurance and Public Liability to run a travel business in Australia.

How Much Do Travel Agents Earn in Australia?

Besides being a diverse and enjoyable occupation, you receive a financial reward for helping people make their dream vacation. Travel agents also earn commissions for booking tour arrangements. Their salary is based on experience level, qualifications, work location, and employer. According to PayScale, the average travel agent salary in Australia is AU$45,274 per year or equivalent to AU$24.45 per hour.

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Estimated Annual Salary based on Experience

  • Entry-level Travel Agents (<1 year experience): AU$38,536
  • Early Career Travel Agents (1-4 years of experience): AU$44,369
  • Mid-career Travel Agents (5-9 years of experience): AU$44,663
  • Experienced Travel Agents (10-19 years of experience): AU$49,735

Estimated Annual Salary based on Work Location
Following are the high-paying cities for Travel Agents in Australia:

  • Sydney: $56,108
  • Melbourne: $55,659
  • Brisbane: $54,558
  • Sydney Central Business District: $53,657
  • Adelaide: $53,629
  • Perth: $53,561
  • Gold Coast: $52,203
  • Canberra: $43,343


Being a Travel Agent is an opportunity to help travelers discover the world around them and make the most of their holidays. If traveling is your life’s desire, then travel courses are the best way to fulfill your career aspirations. By gaining the necessary skills and industry knowledge, you can embark on a rewarding career in the exciting field of travel and tourism.

Useful Links to Explore:

  • English Language Requirements for Australia
  • Cultural Differences You Might Experience in Australia
  • How to Find Part-Time Work as a Student in Australia
  • Seven Tips for Students on a Budget in Australia
  • How to Get a Scholarship to Study in Australia
  • Driving in Australia as an International Student
  • How to Change Your Course or Institute in Australia
  • The Benefits of a Professional Year Program (PYP)
  • A Complete Guide to Study in Australia
  • Types of Education in Australia
  • What to Study in Australia?

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