Working in travel and tourism with GCSEs (or similar)

Many travel companies have call centres for sales and customer service. Bus and train companies need staff for their ticket and customer service desks. 

There are apprenticeships in highways, operations, planning and customer services. The Merchant Navy has a cadet entry scheme.

Example jobs

Merchant Navy deck cadet
Helping with the safe navigation of a ship and overseeing crew members.

Airline passenger service agent
Greeting passengers, checking passports and tickets, issuing boarding passes, being security aware.

On board train crew
Serving food and drinks, customer care.

Transport information assistant
Compiling data on passenger numbers, publishing information notices and leaflets.

Approximate pay levels

Figures supplied as a guide only

Salaries for sales jobs can include commission and bonuses.

Pay levels graph

Typical working conditions

Thing you may need to know:

  • Work in travel can be fast-paced, as you are working to schedules.
  • You will need to work shifts and antisocial hours.
  • Many jobs involve travel. Some jobs are based on a train, aircraft, bus or ship.

Qualifications needed

The main requirements are good customer service skills and a good attitude towards customers. You may need English and maths GCSEs. It is important to be hard working, good at problem solving and able to work in a team. Having travel and tourism qualifications at level 1 or 2 will help your applications.

Career path

In a large travel company, you can apply for promotion to more senior roles, including supervising staff. You could move into ticketing or travel agency work. With your customer service experience, you could apply for a job as a resort rep or as cabin crew.

Useful links

Pearson is not responsible for content on external websites.

Careers at Sea

Find out about working at sea

Careers in Travel

Find out about working in travel

Apprenticeships in leisure, travel and tourism