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Travel Counsellor

Travel counsellors represent travel suppliers. They advertise, promote and sell a wide variety of travel services to the public.

  • Avg. Salary $32,786.00
  • Avg. Wage $20.03
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed 2,200
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Salesperson, Travel Agent, Travel Consultant

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Travel Counsellors (6431) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Travel Counsellors (G711) 
  • 2011 NOC: Travel counsellors (6521) 
  • 2016 NOC: Travel counsellors (6521) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Travel Counsellor is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Travel Counsellors

Interest in persuading clients by promoting particular destinations, tour packages and other travel services, and by selling single-fare tickets and package tours


Interest in operating computerized reservation and ticketing systems to make bookings and reservations; and in providing travel details to clients regarding destinations, transportation and accommodation options and costs, and recommending suitable products


Interest in compiling information to investigate new travel destinations, hotels and other facilities and attractions

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated May 25, 2021

In general, travel counsellors:

  • Describe and sell travel destinations, products and services to clients
  • Access information about costs, routes and schedules from computerized reservation systems and the internet
  • Make reservations using telephone, fax, computerized systems and the internet
  • Issue required documentation, such as electronic tickets, travel insurance policies and itineraries
  • Notify customers about changes in travel plans and required documentation
  • Calculate and prepare invoices
  • Accept payment from customers and pay suppliers
  • Calculate and arrange any applicable charges or refunds if travel plans are altered or cancelled

When routes or schedules change or other factors create the need to alter customer travel plans, travel counsellors must be able to make the necessary adjustments quickly.

Travel agencies may earn commissions by selling the services of suppliers such as:

  • Transportation companies, such as airlines, motor coach companies, railway passenger services, cruise lines and car rental companies
  • Accommodation facilities, such as hotels and resorts
  • Cruise lines
  • Travel wholesale and tour companies offering package holidays
  • Excursion companies or attractions (such as theme parks) offering deals on activities in the area
  • Other travel services, such as travel insurance
Working Conditions
Updated May 25, 2021

Most travel counsellors work in travel agencies located in towns or cities, but a growing number work from their homes. Most of a travel counsellor’s work day is spent consulting with clients and completing paperwork. They often are subject to time pressures. They need to work overtime during peak travel periods, when clients’ travel plans change or when socio-political events or natural disasters occur.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated May 25, 2021

Travel counsellors are sales representatives who are responsible for encouraging customers to return and use their agency’s services again. Therefore, they need:

  • A good memory
  • Patience and a pleasant manner to deal with all types of people
  • Attention to detail
  • Well-developed sales skills
  • Math skills
  • Typing and computer skills
  • Organization skills
  • A working knowledge of global geography
  • The ability to serve customers quickly and efficiently
  • The ability to handle stressful situations calmly and effectively

They should enjoy working with people and promoting travel products, performing detailed work and taking a methodical approach to compiling information, and operating computerized systems.

Educational Requirements
Updated May 25, 2021

Travel counsellors should have at least a high school diploma. Travel agencies generally prefer to hire people who have:

  • Sales experience
  • Travel experience
  • Office experience
  • Fluency in a second language

It is beneficial to have completed travel-related courses or programs at the post-secondary level.

Prospective students are strongly advised to discuss their career and education plans with people employed in the travel industry before enrolling in an education program.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Calgary City Centre

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton City Centre

Grant MacEwan University

Thompson Rivers University

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated May 25, 2021

Some employers prefer to hire people who are certified. Voluntary certification is available through the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA). The designations offered include Certified Travel Counsellor (CTC) and Certified Travel Manager (CTM).

Tourism HR Canada offers voluntary emerit Travel Counsellor certification. Certification training is accessible from the emerit website.

Employment & Advancement
Updated May 25, 2021

Travel counsellors are employed by:

  • Retail travel agencies
  • Wholesale tour companies
  • Transportation and tourism companies
  • Travel insurance companies
  • Hotel chains
  • Government tourist boards

Qualifications for employment vary considerably from one employer to another. Inexperienced workers may start in clerical positions and take night courses or in-service training while they are gaining experience. Advancement depends on the travel counsellor’s sales ability and initiative, and the size of the company. Some experienced travel counsellors move into travel agency management positions, or open their own travel agencies (emerit also offers certification as a Travel Manager).

Travel counsellors are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 6521: Travel counsellors. In Alberta, 92% of people employed in this classification work in the Business, Building and Other Support Services [pdf] industry.

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Business, Building and Other Support Services industry)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the 6521: Travel counsellors occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.9% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 57 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated May 25, 2021

Salaries, working conditions and travel benefits vary greatly from one employer to another. Many travel agencies have incentive plans where wages are based on sales productivity.

Depending on their agency’s sales performance, travel counsellors may qualify for reduced rates for air, cruise and hotel arrangements. Educational tours are offered to travel agencies by suppliers, and counsellors usually attend 1 tour a year.

Travel counsellors

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $21.79 $16.21 $16.00
Overall $15.00 $27.47 $20.03 $20.66
Top $15.00 $43.96 $29.90 $28.67

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

C: Lower Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Lower Reliability, represents a CV of between 15.01% and 33.00% and/or if fewer than 20 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 33% of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Industry Information

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated May 25, 2021

Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) website:

Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA) website:

Travel Alberta website, Industry hub:

Tourism HR Canada website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated May 25, 2021. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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