How to Become a Travel Agent in South Dakota

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Have you ever worked with a travel agent to plan your dream vacation?

Would it be fun to help other people plan their dream vacations?

If so, you should consider a career as a travel agent in South Dakota.

If you love working with different people all the time and have excellent organizational skills, you already have two essential skills necessary to be a successful travel agent.

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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 South Dakota

You will have many responsibilities as a travel agent in South Dakota, so you must be willing to work hard.

The essential duties include:

  • Booking flights and accommodations
  • Create an itinerary including entertainment and must-see attractions.
  • Provide information regarding the necessary visas and vaccinations when traveling abroad.
  • You must handle cancellations or emergencies that occur during a client’s trip.
  • You must have extensive knowledge about many destinations and study up on destinations you need to learn more about to provide excellent service to your clients.

Licensing Requirements To Become a Travel Agent In South Dakota

Every state has different licensing laws for travel agents, and you don’t need a license in South Dakota.

Even though you don’t need to sit for a licensing test, you should still complete a training course to earn a certificate.

A program certificate will provide a better chance to land a job with a travel agency.

Also, the certificate will give you more credibility if you open your own agency and need to attract new clients.

Overall, you’ll be a more successful travel agent if you’re certified.

Travel Agent Programs In South Dakota

Taking a travel agent course and earning your certification will help you become a successful travel agent, and fortunately, there are a few excellent programs in South Dakota.

Black Hills State UniversityBlack Hills State University:

Black Hills University is located in Spearfish, South Dakota, and offers degrees in Tourism Hospitality Management and Hospitality, and it’s a two-year program. 

The required core courses include: 

  • Principles of Accounting I
  • Introduction to Tourism and Hospitality Management
  • Convention, Meetings & Event Planning
  • Internship
  • Restaurant Management
  • Lodging Management
  • Final Internship

You must also take four electives, and the best ones to become a travel agent include:   

  • Tourism Management
  • Tourism Planning and Development
  • Small Business Management
  • Organizational Behavior & Theory
  • The tuition for in-state students is around $16,000 per year after financial aid. 

National American UniversityNational American University: 

National American University is located in Rapid City, South Dakota, and offers a certification program that can be completed online or in person, depending on which is more convenient for you.

The course curriculum includes: 

  • Introduction to Tourism and Hospitality Management
  • Event and Convention Management
  • Destination Tourism
  • Food Service and Lodging Management
  • Tourism and Hospitality Marketing
  • Internship
  • If you choose the in-person course, you can only start when a new session begins. If you choose the online version, you can start classes at any time, and the program can be completed at your own pace, which is an excellent alternative for anyone who works full-time. 
  • Upon completing the course, you will sit for your certification test, and the six-month program costs $2,000. 

South Dakota State UniversitySouth Dakota State University:

South Dakota State University is located in Bookings, South Dakota, and offers a four-year program in hospitality, tourism, and event management.

This bachelor’s degree would qualify you for a job in travel management and other careers in the hospitality field. 

  • During the first year, you will take general studies courses, such as Science, Composition, Natural Science, and Fundamentals of Speech. The second year includes courses necessary to become a successful travel agent, including Principles of Accounting, Principles of Macroeconomics, Customer Service, and Consumer Behavior. The third year comprises courses that delve deeper into what you need to know as a travel agent, such as Lodging Management, Professional Documents, Hospitality Industry Law, International Tourism, and Advanced Events and Facilities Management. The fourth and last year courses include Management Information Systems, Hospitality Marketing, and Hospitality Facilities Management and Design. 
  • This four-year program costs $19,000 per year after financial aid. 

Travel Agent Representative Schools in South Dakota – Summary Table

School Name Address
Black Hills State University 1200 University St, Spearfish, SD 57799, United States
National American University 223 Main Gate Rd. Box Elder, SD 57719-2003, United States
South Dakota State University: 1451 Stadium Rd, Brookings, SD 57007, United States

Travel Agent Salary In South Dakota

The average hourly salary of a travel agent in South Dakota is $18.23, the bottom 20 percent can make as little as $14.34 per hour, and the top 20 percent can earn up to $28.23 per hour.

If you get paid a salary or own your own agency, you can make an average of $37,900; the top 20 percent can earn $29,800, and the top 20 percent can earn $60,000.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Sioux Falls $32,955
Rapid City $32,301
Aberdeen $30,378
Watertown $32,404
Brookings $32,404
Mitchell $32,404
Pierre $30,928
Yankton $31,971
Huron $31,391
Vermillion $31,538

Regional Salary in South Dakota

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Rapid City, SD30$50,230$24.15$66,960$39,160
Sioux Falls, SD50$47,940$23.05$64,180$36,480
* 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

Are websites such as,, and taking the place of travel agents?


Although these websites make booking flights and hotels easier, you won’t get the service you will receive from a travel agent.

These websites can’t create a personalized itinerary based on what you like to do, and they won’t help if something happens, like a cancellation or another emergency.

What type of program is best?

The program that’s best for you depends on your goals, schedule, and availability.

For example, a certification program is much cheaper and can be completed in half the time.

A four-year program is much more expensive, and you’ll receive training for jobs other than a travel agent if you decide something else is the right career for you.

Will I have to work full-time?

The answer to this question depends on where you find a job.

If you join a travel agency, you’ll likely be required to work full-time hours set by management.

If you can’t work full-time, finding an agency hiring part-time employees can be challenging.

If you own your own agency, you can set your own hours, but the more time you put into the business, the bigger the reward.

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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