Newark Liberty National Airport may be calling your name - and not for a vacation, but as a way to help you help New Jersey-based clients find the type of trip or travel that they seek, be that for a specific adventure, experience, visit or even reprieve. Whether it's a diploma or certificate-based program, travel training in New Jersey is a way to gain related training and become qualified to help others discover and reach their travel goals. Education is usually quick - often a program takes less than six months to complete - and many prepare you to take the travel agent proficiency exam, known as the TAP, which can be helpful to finding entry-level employment and showcasing your skills and knowledge.
Travel Training Schools in New Jersey
Why does travel training matter? There are plenty of travel opportunities out there, but clients want to have successful experiences and much of this comes from personal knowledge. If fact, out of the Newark airport alone, there are more then 30 different airlines operating, some of which include Southwest, TAP Portugal and Icelandair.
Travel training could lead to opportunities to work for these airlines or even for a travel agency. And, in New Jersey, there are plenty of travel agencies, too, including Liberty Travel, TravelSmiths, Two Rivers Travel, just to name a few. Travel training in New Jersey can be found in campus-based or online form. Courses will vary in format and delivery, but a few of the available training options are listed below:
- Mercer County Community College: Complete a certificate of proficiency to become a travel agent at this community college, which has campuses in both West Windsor and Trenton, N.J. The certificate program is 31 credits in all and includes coursework in business math, cultural geography, food and culture, and computerized reservations. Moreover, these credits can be applied toward the school's Associate of Applied Science degree in Aviation Customer Relations, which covers 63-64 credits in all. Including courses such as aerospace development, introduction to travel and tourism and more, graduates of the AAS degree could look for a job as a travel agent, flight attendant or ticket agent.
- Ashworth College: Discover 100 percent self-paced online coursework, enabling you to seek certification as a professional travel agent. Ashworth College's program can be completed in as little as four months, and prepares you to take the Travel Agency Proficiency test, offered through The Travel Institute. The college's curriculum is nationally accredited and tuition includes the cost of the proficiency test.
- Penn Foster Career School: The Travel and Tourism Specialist program at Penn Foster can be finished in as little as six month. All courses, including Exploring the World, World Geography, and North American Air Travel, are taken online and completed at your own pace. A diploma is awarded to students who finish, who are then also eligible to sit for the Travel Agent Proficiency (TAP) certification exam. Students also receive a student planner app to help track their program progress.
- The Travel Institute: Students enrolled in a home-based program available through The Travel Institute can complete their learning in as quickly 9, 18 or 33 weeks, using the school's Reading Guide. Coursework is based upon two tourism textbooks -- Travel Career Development and Exploring the World. When students finish, they are eligible to sit for the Travel Agent Proficiency exam. Enrollment also comes with three months of membership with The Travel Institute.
After completing a program, passing the Travel Agency Proficiency (TAP) exam may be helpful to developing a career. Candidates have two hours to complete this proctored test, which consists of 100 multiple-choice questions. As the Travel Institute points out, this test is the first toward professional recognition. Afterward, students of travel training in New Jersey may want to pursue more advanced programs. These could include specializations for travel in specific areas of the world or for particular types of people, such as the older population or singles, or even in the North American rail market. Also, there is no license needed to work as a travel agent in the state, as there are in other fields.
Travel Job Trends in New Jersey
Travel training in New Jersey may enable individuals to seek jobs ranging from travel to booking agent to a reservation agent at an airlines. Although people can now do some of their own travel research on the Internet, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that people still like to turn to agents for help with personal recommendations and assistance. Overall, job growth for travel agents in New Jersey is expected to be 8.8 percent from 2012 to 2022, reports Projections Central.
To start off at a travel agency, you may first need to assist others who are already working professionals or perhaps even train on the job for a few weeks or help some of their clients. Once on the job, you can gain more specific skills, learning what's hot in travel and what times of year to book certain vacations.
While many people work for a company, such as an agency or an airline, there could even be opportunities to work alone or from your home. According to the BLS, however, this number is small, accounting for 10 percent of travel agents overall who are self-employed. Finally, there are many job boards, such as traveljobs.biz and jobs.travelweekly.com, for those wanting to seek out travel related careers. Even Liberty Travel, which is headquartered in Ramsey, N.J., , has more than 160 shops located across the country, meaning there could be opportunities through this organization nationwide.
- Airlines. Newark Liberty International Airport. http://www.panynj.gov/airports/ewr-airlines.html
- Aviation Customer Relations, Associated in Applied Science Degree, Mercer Community College, http://www.mccc.edu/catalog/programs/AVI_CUS_AAS.pdf
- Certified Travel Agent Program. Ashworth College. https://www.ashworthcollege.edu/travel-agent-program/?&code=B087&kw=travel%20agent%20certification&mkwid=sv6kn77xk_dc|pcrid|84274602551|pkw|travel%20agent%20certification|pmt|e&gclid=CLrWxaeJh8wCFZSCfgod-uANNA
- Educational Program Courses, The Travel Institute. http://www.projectionscentral.com/
- Liberty Travel Careers, Liberty Travel. http://libertytravel.jobs/
- State Occupational Projections. Projections Central. http://www.projectionscentral.com/
- Travel Agent, Certificate of Proficiency, Mercer County Community College. http://www.mccc.edu/catalog/programs/TRAV_CERT.pdf
- Travel Agent Training, The Travel Institute. http://www.thetravelinstitute.com/travel-agent-training/
- Travel and Tourism Specialist Program Overview, Penn Foster Career School. http://www.pennfoster.edu/programs-and-degrees/culinary-arts-and-entertaining/travel-and-tourism-specialist-career-diploma
- Work Environment. Travel Agents. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 edition. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/sales/travel-agents.htm#tab-3