How to Become a Travel Agent in California

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California’s a top world tourist destination, boasting enticements to visitors from fantastic scenery to iconic landmarks.

People worldwide want to visit Hollywood, Disneyland, San Francisco’s culture, San Diego’s beachy vibes, and breathtaking natural wonders like Yosemite National Park.

Then, you’ve got to consider the state’s tourism infrastructure, from transportation, hotels, hostels, and short term-to-longer housing options, incredible areas of natural beauty, and incredible shopping, entertainment, and cultural offerings, and it’s easy to share your knowledge and enthusiasm for this particular spot.

And California’s diverse culture and cuisine deliver possibilities for crafting unique and tailored travel experiences.

But the real reason, if you ask any experienced agent, it’s the satisfaction of helping people live their dreams. 

Reinvigorate, rest, and regenerate.


Have an adventure and create unforgettable memories in one of the world’s most romantic, complex, culturally robust, and beautiful destinations, making being a travel agent in California a fulfilling profession.

Search Travel Agent Training Programs

Get information on Travel Agent Training programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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Travel Agent Duties in California

Helping clients fulfill a dream vacation, honeymoon trip, or family reunion is part of the excitement and fulfillment of being a travel agent.

Whether you work with an agency or provide freelance services, here are some of the skills, duties, and responsibilities of the job:

  • Interpersonal communication skills are golden.
  • Communicate with the client.
  • Listen and learn about their travel plans, such as location, business or pleasure, price point, season, and reason for the trip.
  • Research destinations, transportation, and lodgings that fit the parameters of the client’s wish list.  
  • Present travel package options from a network of hotel, resort, timeshares, airline, train, and cruise line partners that support your clients’ travel agendas.
  • Educate on travel insurance options.
  • Collect the client’s travel document information.
  • Assemble an itinerary that meets the client’s timetable and budget.
  • Book flights and accommodations. Purchase event tickets, plan activities, and make restaurant reservations.

California Travel Agent Requirements

Although unlicensed individuals can qualify for travel agent jobs in California, having an official certification can make finding well-paying positions in the industry more accessible.

You can complete a certification exam and earn your credentials through your employer.


Many past, present, and future travel agents in California earned their certification through the following agencies:

Licensing Requirements to Become a Travel Agent in California

A high school degree or equivalency is the minimum educational requirement necessary to become a California travel agent.

That’s the entry point; from there, candidates can gain experience and complete on-the-job training.

Another route to opportunity and advancement is to take a course of study and earn a certificate, diploma, or degree.

These programs are offered throughout California, and some tremendous career-oriented programs, often at more affordable price points, can be found at trade schools and community colleges.

How Long Does Travel Agent School Take?

Program lengths for those working to be travel agents in California differ by institution.

Some students might earn a travel agent certificate in as little as six weeks.

However, other programs take eighteen weeks or even a year.

And if the student is working towards hospitality and tourism degrees at a college or university, they can complete their courses in four years to earn a bachelor’s degree.

How Much Does Travel Agent School in California Cost?

What can you expect to pay to train as a California travel agent?

It depends on the route that you take.

Some pay around $300 — $900 to complete their certificate programs.

Then, there are online courses, which cost approximately $200.

Bachelor’s degree program? $50,000 or more all-in; however, this route might provide varied career and professional options that could open more easily.

Salary for California Travel Agents

The salary for travel agents in California ranges from 36,000-47,000, and the average annual pay is $40,000.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Los Angeles $41,214
San Diego $39,616
San Jose $46,071
San Francisco $45,888
Long Beach $40,932
Fresno $36,784
Sacramento $39,753
Oakland $44,786
Santa Ana $40,969
Anaheim $41,024

Regional Salary in California

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Fresno, CA60$42,290$20.33$58,770$29,840
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA2,100$51,560$24.79$74,530$34,500
Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA120$46,020$22.12$60,630$31,250
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA370$50,320$24.19$71,320$30,820
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA830$61,440$29.54$94,940$36,480
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA240$56,200$27.02$72,320$36,620
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Travel Agents, OCC Code 41-3041, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need any license to operate as a travel agent in California?

The answer is that all travel agents and each travel agency in California have to register with the California Attorney General to become authorized and official Sellers of Travel and acquire an official license.

How do I get a Seller of Travel license?

Fulfill the following steps:

  1. Complete your California Seller of Travel Registration Application
  2. Give them the $100 registration fee.
  3. Turn in the application and registration fee: Seller of Travel Program at the Attorney General’s office.
  4. In 1–3 weeks, your California Seller of Travel Certificate will arrive in your mailbox.

Does the Seller of Travel license have to be renewed?

Yes, annually.

And the fee is $100.

What are the job opportunities now and for the future for travel agents in California?

Job opportunities for travel agents in the U.S. are likely to increase by providing the possibility of positions with local and national travel agencies or working as freelance travel agents.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the vocational outlook is expected to grow by 20% from 2021-2031, much faster than many other segments of the economy.

Travel Agent Info by State

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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