Considering a career in the field of tourism? If so, you’ll need to examine a few practical aspects of being a travel agent or a counsellor in Canada. The type of work you’ll be expected to do and the salary are two of the most important factors.
Travel Agent Career Description
Travel agents and travel counsellors are professionals that work with clients and suggest tourism options. They may be asked to present packages, destinations, activities and travel programs. In addition, agents assist their clients in terms of research, bookings, paperwork and useful tips.
The job is truly diversified and it comes with numerous perks. Often, agents travel to different destinations in order to acquaint themselves better with the vacation opportunities. In addition, many travel companies make training options available to their agents. Through such opportunities, agents can maintain their competitiveness and move up the professional ladder.
Travel Agent Salary Statistics
So, how much can a travel agent in Canada expect to earn?
According to the latest PayScale.com statistics, the median annual salary in the country is 30,816 Canadian dollars. The salaries range from a minimum of 23,533 dollars per year to 41,588 dollars per year.
Agents can expect to earn commissions, as well. These range in the vicinities from zero to 15,126 dollars.
The pay varies by experience levels. Beginners in the field that have zero to five years of experience can expect to earn 30,000 Canadian dollars per year. Travel agents that have anywhere between five and 10 years of experience earn a median annual salary of 33,000 dollars, agents having 10 to 20 years of experience earn 36,000 dollars and the agents that have more than 20 years of experience can expect to earn a median of 37,000 dollars.
Larger cities are the ones that give travel agents more lucrative employment opportunities. Agents in Toronto, for example, can expect to earn an average that is seven percent higher than the median annual salary for the country.
Outlook and Sources of Employment
The financial parameters of being a travel agent sound good enough but how about the career growth opportunities and the professional outlook? Can travel agents in Canada expect professional stability and is the field worth entering?
According to 2013 Service Canada data, the popularity of the travel agent’s job grew quickly in the 1990s. For numerous years, the number of available employment opportunities remained stable, after which a decline was experienced. Many blame internet booking systems and new technologies for this decrease.
Today, travel agents and counsellors can rely on various sources of employment. People are once again starting to look for personalised suggestions, especially when it comes to more expensive trips and exotic destinations. As a result, agents can find employment in agencies, as self-employed professionals and even in large corporations that need to plan business trips often.
A number of job openings become available after older travel agents retire. Both experience and certification play an important role for the selection of candidates. Agents that have invested more in their education and the ones that have a niche specialisation tend to benefit from better employment opportunities than everybody else.
Some Other Interesting Facts and Figures
A few additional numbers shed some light on the work of the travel agent and the scope of opportunities in the field.
It’s interesting to point out that more than 75 percent of the travel agents in the country earn between 20,000 and 40,000 dollars per year. Only 15 percent of all travel agents earn annual salaries in vicinities of 19,999 dollars or less.
Nearly 53 percent of all travel agents work full-time. The others work and charge on an hourly basis, which gives them more flexibility and an opportunity to enjoy a better work to life balance.
In terms of employment by region, 42.5 percent of the active travel agents are employed in the Montréal area. Montérégie follows with 18.1 percent. Laval, Capitale-Nationale, Lanaudiére and Laurentides come in next.
The average hourly payments in the field range from 10 to 25 dollars per hour. The travel agents in Vancouver are among the ones that make the most per hour in the country, 2013 data suggests.
Flexibility, financial stability and a very dynamic job are some of the reasons why so many people choose the job of the travel agent. If you’re interested in this opportunity, you may want to pursue the right training. Certification and specialized skills are two of the essentials for getting access to a better-paid employment option.