How much do travel agents earn?

If you’re thinking about a career in travel, becoming a travel consultant might be one of the first things that come to mind. I wonder how much a travel agent earns? This number is difficult to determine and is due to several different factors. However, two are most revealing: education and experience.

When looking at historical data including all travel agents, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Host Agency Surveys (HAR) found that the average travel agent was making an average of about $44.00 in 2019 (the last year normal was available).



The BLS estimates the average travel agent salary at $44,690 with a range of $23,360 to $69,420, separating the 10 percent of travel agents from junior to top.

Surveys of host agencies showed that in 2019, the average salary for travel agents with three or more years of experience hovered around $44,312.

While this data seems simple enough to read, it only shows part of the picture of what a travel agent earns. The annual salary varies greatly depending on the type of travel agent, whether they are affiliated with the host agency, whether they are employees, self-employed, or independent contractors for a larger travel agency.

For those looking to work in the tourism industry selling travel, reviews of host agencies have shown that travel agency employees tend to have more predictable salaries. A job in a travel agency where wages and commissions play a smaller role in the overall salary. According to the Travel Institute in 2019, the total income of these travel agents was as follows:

–37% of travel agency employees earn less than $24,000 a year.
–25% earned between $24,000 and $59,999.
–18% earned over $60,000.

The salary of a travel agent also fluctuates based on experience. According to an ASTA report, experienced corporate travel agents earn about $13,000 more per year than their newbie counterparts. As for travel agents, those with experience earn about $10,000 more a year. According to HAR’s 2019 Travel Agent Earnings Survey, hosting agents with three or more years of experience earn an average of $44,312 in 2019.

Travel consultant working on laptop
Travel consultant working on a laptop. (photo via JLco – Julia Amaral/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Education also plays an important role in how much money a travel agent makes. In fact, the Travel Institute found a direct relationship between agents’ income and education in their study The Changing Face of Travel Agents. The results show that there is a clear line that can be drawn between higher sales performance and certification levels.

“I look at these results, especially compensation, as a triple bang for our industry, starting with well-trained travel professionals making significantly more money than agents with no prior training,” the Travel Institute said…


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