The idea of working behind a desk isn’t for everyone – well at least not for the 3.3 million people who currently work in tourism, according to the Office for National Statistics.
You too might be after a job that allows you to earn money and meet new people all whilst travelling- in which case, a career in the travel industry could open up a world of opportunities. But with so many sectors to choose from, it can be difficult to pick just one. Here we discuss the two main routes you could begin your career in the travel industry.
Travel and tourism
Travel and tourism largely involves travelling to and visiting or staying in a new environment, be it for pleasure or business. It covers a wide range of sectors – anything from tour operators, passenger transportation, all the way to visitor attractions, such as theme parks and zoos. Accommodation is also a key part of the industry, which includes hotels and holiday parks. Most hotels include conference facilities, so there’s also room for event management opportunities.
There are lots of skills involved in a career in travel and tourism, largely because you’re dealing with so many different types of people and situations. Above all, the industry relies heavily on excellent customer service and selling skills.
As a theme park manager, for example, you’ll be responsible for ensuring customers have an enjoyable experience without compromising their safety. You’ll be expected to manage park staff as well as the overall running of the park, successfully. You might also be responsible for the development of the park, including ways to attract more customers.
Salary: Once you have gained enough experience and with the right qualifications, you could be earning in the region of £22,000 to £40,000, depending on the park size. However, at an entry- level position, you’re likely to be earning around £17,000, according to Prospects.
Working hours: As most theme parks are open late, on weekends and bank holidays, you might be expected to work many of these hours.
Job perks: You may get free entry to the park to enjoy the rides and even get pre-access to any new rides or attractions!
If you’re after a career that allows you to explore the world and encounter different cultures and people, then aviation operations could be the ideal route for you. Whilst there are many roles that make up the aviation operations sector, the most traditional is the role of cabin crew.
From the moment passengers board their flight, you will be responsible for their well-being and safety, which includes running through all the necessary safety protocols, distributing food and drink throughout the flight, and responding to any other passenger requests. As part of the cabin crew team, you will be trained in dealing with emergency situations, which may include delivering first aid.
Salary: Although starting salaries vary between airlines, you can expect to earn between £12,000 to £15,000, according to Prospects. This figure will continue to rise depending on experience and progression. Airlines highly value staff that can speak multiple languages, with some airlines offering allowances based on the number of languages spoken.
Working hours: As you might expect, cabin crew work irregular shifts, which could mean working early mornings, weekends, on public holidays, and through the night. This may disrupt your days off especially if a flight is delayed or cancelled. Not to mention recovering from jet lag!
Job perks: Most airlines provide free flights within the UK, whilst others provide free or heavily discounted international flights to their cabin crew. There is usually some discount awarded to immediate family, too.
If spending most of your time in the clouds doesn’t sound ideal, then there are plenty of jobs on the ground, largely within an airport setting. There are roles that support with checking in, flight dispatching, security and baggage services. These too require the ability to work well under pressure, particularly within difficult situations, but are essential to the successful running of each flight.
There are lots of opportunities in both aviation operations and within travel and tourism. If you’re ready to take your passion around the world, then our travel courses can help you get there. We have fantastic links with some of the largest airlines including, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Cooperative Travel, so you’ll be the first to know about upcoming job opportunities.