Travel Coordinator Careers: Job Description & Salary Info

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What are the pros and cons of a travel coordinator career? Get real job duties and salary info to see if becoming a travel coordinator is right for you.
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Pros and Cons of a Becoming a Travel Coordinator

Travel coordinators plan all aspects of travel, professional events and meetings. Continue reading the pros and cons to help you make your decision.

Pros of a Becoming a Travel Coordinator
Some jobs only require a high school education*
Previous travel booking experience may not be required*
Duties aren't physically strenuous*
Positions can be found in various industries*

Cons of a Becoming a Travel Coordinator
Experience may be necessary to gain employment*
Some projects may be under strict budget and time constraints*
Some employers may require you to be on-call*
International travel arrangements may require complex planning*

Sources: *Multiple job postings (found May 2012), **Salary.com.

Career Information

Job Description and Duties

As a travel coordinator, you may be tasked with fulfilling travel needs for companies that deal with business over varying distances. If you have employees traveling to other countries, you may need to procure travel visas, passports, government clearances and foreign currency. You are also in charge of seeking out lodging and transportation that stays within budgetary constraints. Some employers may require you to address travel issues, including budget conflicts, required documentation and travel approvals.

If travelers are leaving on short notice, you may be required to establish travel arrangements in an efficient and quick manner. Some additional duties may include establishing event arrangements, delivering confirmation notices and ensuring the availability of meeting equipment.

Salary

According to Salary.com, travel coordinators earned a median salary of about $52,000 in 2015. The lowest ten percent in the field earned about $42,000, while the top ten percent made almost $70,000 during the same year.

Career Skills and Requirements

To enter this field, employers may require you to have a few years of experience in travel support or education from a travel and tourism associate's degree program. During these educational programs, you will learn how to plan meetings, coordinate international trips, promote business travel and negotiate group travel prices. You may also gain accounting skills to help manage the travel budget. Some employers will require you to know how to use global distribution system (GDS) software, including Apollo, Worldspan and Sabre. The following are a few general traits that employers are looking for:

  • Exceptional multi-tasking and organizational skills
  • Strong customer service skills
  • Ability to work alone or with others
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Skilled use of Microsoft Office applications

Job Posting from Real Employers

Job openings in this field can be found with companies that require frequent travel to meet clients or attend conferences. Since some of these positions require you to also work with your employer's clients, you may need to have customer service experience. If your duties include submitting and storing travel-related paperwork, you may also need to have a background in office administration. Employers who deal in international business may also prefer candidates who are skilled in foreign languages. Although this isn't a comprehensive view, the following postings were gathered from job boards in May 2012:

  • A fashion company in Los Angeles was looking for a coordinator able to create detailed itineraries and develop travel expense reports. Applicants must be prepared to work in a fast-paced environment and have two years of experience in coordinating travel plans.
  • A language services company in Houston was searching for someone able to process invoices and negotiate costs with travel vendors. The employer requires coordinators to book and arrange domestic and international travel and research possible vendors. Applicants must also be on-call on a rotational basis. Two years of travel experience and ability to speak Chinese or Portuguese is required.
  • A staffing agency in Maryland was looking for someone familiar with federal travel regulations and Oracle processing procedures. A minimum of 1-3 years of experience is required and excellent organizational skills are necessary.
  • An agricultural marketing organization in Syracuse searched for someone with experience in meeting and event coordination. Responsibilities include planning and scheduling meetings, making travel arrangements and booking lodging reservations. Applicants must be willing to work evenings and weekends and have 3-5 years of experience.

How to Make Your Skills Stand out

If you would like to prove your skills and demonstrate your abilities, you may be interested in earning the Travel and Tourism Professional (TTP) designation offered by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). To qualify for this designation, you are required to have at least a high school education and three years of experience. If you have previously earned a bachelor's degree, you only need to have two years of experience.

The IATA requires you to renew your certification every two years by earning 50 maintenance points. Maintenance points can be earned by completing IATA courses, participating in workshops, providing the IATA with a written reference letter from an employer, proving membership from an industry-related association and actively promoting the IATA.

Alternative Career Paths

As an event planner, you may be tasked with coordinating a means for client transportation and event lodging. You are also in charge of establishing the cost, time, location and program of an event. To enter this field, you may need to complete a bachelor's degree program in hospitality management. If you come from another background, some employers may require you to have some related work experience. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in May 2012, workers in this field earned a median salary of about $46,000.

As an information clerk, you may be in charge of clerical and administrative roles in an office environment. Some duties may include maintaining files, helping clients fill out paperwork, entering data into computers, taking orders from clients and sending out office mail. Candidates can usually find positions in law offices, medical offices, hotels, resorts and private businesses. Employers usually look for candidates who have completed high school. You may find that earning a related associate's degree may be preferred by some employers. According to the BLS, information clerks earned a median salary of about $26,000 in May 2011.

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George Mason University

  • Master of Business Administration

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The Art Institutes

  • Hospitality Management (BS)
  • Hospitality Management (AAS)
  • Event Management (C)

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Baker College Online

  • Business Administration - DBA (Doctorate)
  • General Business (MBA)
  • Business Administration - Associate

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Purdue University

  • Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management

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Kaplan University

  • Master : Business Admin
  • Bachelor of Business Admin
  • Associate: Business Admin.

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Colorado State University Global

  • MS - Management
  • MS - Organizational Leadership
  • BS - Business Management
  • BS - Organizational Leadership

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Saint John's University

  • Master of Business Administration: Interdisciplinary Business

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Northcentral University

  • PhD in Business Admin - Management
  • Doctor of Business Admin - General Business
  • MBA - Marketing
  • Master of Business Admin - General Business

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