Corporate Travel Manager Job Description, Career as a Corporate Travel Manager, Salary, Employment
Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job
Education and Training: Bachelor's degree and travel agency or tourism experience
Salary: Median—$72,540 per year
Employment Outlook: Good
Definition and Nature of the Work
Corporate travel managers supervise a company's travel department, which arranges business travel for the company's employees. Small companies may employ a single individual to set up a travel budget, establish policies for employees to follow, and act as a liaison with an outside travel agency that handles the arrangements. Larger companies have whole departments that function like commercial travel agents. Sometimes a commercial travel agency may set up a branch office within a large company to handle its travel arrangements.
Corporate travel managers have many of the same responsibilities as wholesale and retail travel agents. While much of their work is supervisory in nature, they sometimes make reservations and choose transportation and lodging for company employees within the economic guidelines established by the company. They advise employees about passport and visa requirements, rates of currency exchange, and import duties. However, the responsibilities of corporate travel managers go far beyond these tasks and may include personnel relocation, convention planning, corporate aircraft administration, and group vacation organization for employees.
Education and Training Requirements
Most corporate travel managers have at least a bachelor's degree in business administration or a related field and some previous experience in a private travel agency. Many have taken courses in travel and tourism. The Institute of Certified Travel Agents administers an education and testing program leading to designation as a certified travel counselor. The American Society of Travel Agents offers home study courses for beginners and experienced agents. Courses include air and ground transport and cruise and accommodation arrangements. Travel managers must be proficient in the use of a computer.
Getting the Job
Job seekers with appropriate experience and credentials should contact prospective employers regarding openings. Trade magazines, professional associations, Internet job sites, and newspaper want ads may also provide job leads.
Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook
Because more and more companies are setting up corporate travel departments, the employment outlook for corporate travel managers is predicted to be good through 2014. Competition for the position of corporate travel manager will be keen, though, because there is typically just one manager per department. Agents tend to advance by moving into a higher position in the corporate travel department of another company.
Corporate travel managers work in modern, well-lighted offices. They spend a great deal of time at a computer terminal or on the telephone. They need to keep up with the latest travel industry news and other information vital to the travel planning process. Because their clientele is fairly fixed, it is especially important that corporate travel managers establish a reputation for discretion and reliability within the company.
Earnings and Benefits
Corporate travel managers do not have the reduced-rate travel privileges of agency personnel, but they receive the higher salaries and better employee benefits of big business managers. Excellent health care coverage and retirement plan options are standard for this position. According to several salary and attitude surveys conducted between 2004 and 2005, the median wage for corporate travel managers was $72,540 per year. Travel managers working in large cities earned much more than those in smaller ones. Those in large corporations with many employees who travel frequently earned the highest wages—more than $93,000 per year according to Business Travel News.
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