How to Become a Travel Agent in Illinois

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The pathway is flexible for becoming an Illinois travel agent, and only a few requirements exist.

However, having a route where you know the end goal is selling travel and making itineraries is nice.

Whether you want to work in Illinois as a travel agent or go out internationally with IL as your home base, the following guide will help you.

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

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Travel Agent Duties in Illinois

Travel agents working in Illinois are located in the heart of the Midwest.

Along with the Windy City of Chicago, the state is also home to Springfield, made famous by The Simpsons cartoon.

You have plenty of travelers coming into the state to see such sights, but you also can anticipate working with tons of Illinois residents hoping for a vacation or business trip.

A travel agent in IL should prepare for what is expected of their job.

This starts with having a keen sense of travel through the act of traveling yourself.

The more places you can visit and the more tours and types of transportation you can take, the better you will be as a travel agent.

The goal here is to know what it feels like to travel, so you can provide your clients with the best possible travel itinerary.

Your job skills as a travel agent in IL will revolve around setting up travel plans.

This includes:

  • Arranging for transportation via airlines, trains, boats, public transit, car, etc.
  • Finding accommodations at hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, and more
  • Selecting meals, organizing sightseeing tours, and providing equipment for outdoor sports

You are also tasked with understanding the safest, coolest, most affordable, and best travel destinations.

As a travel agent, you must also know geography and world cultures and how to budget and finance travel plans. 

Licensing Requirements to Become a Travel Agent

In Illinois, there are no specific requirements for licensing if you want to work as a travel agent.

You are not required to get certified either to start selling travel programs.

However, there are licensing programs nationally and internationally.

These include:

You may also consider earning a degree that will help advance your career as a travel agent.

The typical bachelor’s degrees for travel agents that you can earn include public relations, tourism, and hospitality management. 

Travel Agent Programs

College of DuPageCollege of DuPage

The College of DuPage is located in Glen Ellyn, IL, serving the suburbs of Chicago.

Students interested in travel agent training can enroll in the travel and tourism program.

This program leads to a two-year Associate in Applied Science in Travel and Tourism.

You can also pick up additional hospitality courses to continue training or provide specialized services.

The Travel and Tourism degree requires 65 credit hours in total.

Southern Illinois UniversitySouthern Illinois University

One hundred percent online travel agent training at Southern Illinois University is a remote pathway to a career.

Along with internet-based coursework, you are given a final exam that leads to industry certification.

The program is $2,245 for the total tuition and examination costs.

This is a 100-hour credit course that takes up to six months to complete. 

By the end of the program, students are prepared for the Travel Institute’s Travel Agent Proficiency (TAP) exam.

This board exam provides certification for the travel industry and prepares you for employment in Illinois.

Travel Agent Representative Schools in Illinois – Summary Table

School Name Address
College of DuPage Fawell Blvd, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137, USA
Southern Illinois University 1263 Lincoln Dr. Carbondale, IL, 62901, USA


The average travel agent salary per year in the US is $36,710 and $46,920.

This salary is based on a national average.

Compare this to the salary for Illinois travel agents.

If you work as a Chicago travel agent, you can expect to earn $52,316 to $83,061 annually.

Chicago is the busiest metro town in the state and one of the heaviest traveled in the country.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Chicago $38,726
Rockford $36,152
Aurora $38,398
Naperville $38,014
Peoria $35,458
Springfield $34,739
Joliet $37,743
Elgin $38,099
Waukegan $36,683
Cicero $38,726

Regional Salary in Illinois

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI1,540$46,920$22.56$63,940$27,680
* 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 Have to Get IATA Certification as a Travel Agent in Illinois?

No, you are not required to be IATA certified if you want to be an Illinois travel agent.

The state does not require certification or licensing to sell travel services.

However, if you are certified you are more likely to get hired by a company or agency as a travel agent.

You stand to increase your odds of employment with certification.

Am I Required to be Bonded as a Travel Agent in Illinois?

Yes, you must be bonded with a travel agent bond in Illinois.

This security bond provides insurance and protection for you and your clients.

You are responsible for getting bonded and maintaining a travel agent bond.

You can become bonded at an insurance company that specializes in travel agents.

Where Do Travel Agents in IL Work?

Generally, you will work out of your home or an agency as an IL travel agent.

If you are self-employed, you will typically work remotely.

Those IL travel agents working at an agency will most likely work in an office with other agents.

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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