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Top 10 Corporate Travel Agent Certifications

This article provides an overview of the most popular and sought-after certifications for corporate travel agents.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 16 min read

Certifications are important for corporate travel agents in the job market as they demonstrate to potential employers a commitment to professional development and mastery of the industry. Certifications also provide assurance that the agent has the knowledge and skills necessary to carry out their duties effectively and efficiently. Furthermore, certifications are often required by employers when hiring corporate travel agents, as they are a sign of credibility and trustworthiness. Additionally, certifications can give an agent an edge over other applicants when competing for a job, as they provide proof of their expertise and qualifications. Finally, having certifications may open up more job opportunities in the corporate travel industry.

The purpose of this article is to review the top certifications for Corporate Travel Agents and explain how they can help advance a career in corporate travel.

What are Corporate Travel Agent Certifications?

Corporate travel agent certification is a specialized designation that recognizes the expertise of agents in the corporate travel industry. It is awarded to those who demonstrate proficiency in areas such as booking flights, researching hotels, and negotiating rates with suppliers. This certification can help agents stand out from their peers and provide them with an edge when competing for new business. Corporate travel agent certification also allows agents to keep up with industry trends and stay informed on best practices. In addition, it can help agents network more effectively with other professionals in the corporate travel industry and increase their visibility within the sector. Finally, having a corporate travel agent certification can give employers assurance that agents are knowledgeable and capable of providing high-quality service to their clients.

Pro Tip: Make sure to research the different types of corporate travel agent certifications available before committing to one. Different certifications may offer different levels of expertise and knowledge, so it's important to find the certification that best suits your needs. Additionally, look for certifications that are accredited by reputable organizations in order to ensure the highest quality training and education.

Related: What does a Corporate Travel Agent do?

Top 10 Corporate Travel Agent Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Corporate Travel Agents today.

1. Certified Corporate Travel Professional (CCTP)

Certified Corporate Travel Professional (CCTP) is a certification program offered by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). It is designed to provide travel professionals with the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to effectively manage corporate travel programs. The CCTP certification is an internationally recognized credential that demonstrates a commitment to professional excellence and ethical standards in the corporate travel industry.

The CCTP certification requires applicants to have at least two years of experience in corporate travel management or a related field. Applicants must also pass an exam consisting of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as corporate travel policies, risk management, supplier negotiations, and cost control. The exam is administered online and takes approximately three hours to complete.

To obtain the CCTP certification, applicants must submit an application form along with their resume and proof of experience. Once approved, applicants must pay a fee of $495 USD to take the exam. Upon successful completion of the exam, applicants will receive their CCTP certification.

Overall, obtaining the Certified Corporate Travel Professional (CCTP) certification requires a commitment of time and money but can be beneficial for those seeking career advancement in the corporate travel industry.

2. Certified Travel Counselor (CTC)

A Certified Travel Counselor (CTC) is a professional designation awarded by the Travel Institute to individuals who have demonstrated a high level of knowledge and experience in the travel industry. The CTC designation is recognized as a mark of excellence in the travel industry, and it is often sought after by employers when hiring for travel-related positions.

To become a CTC, applicants must first complete an approved course of study from an accredited school or institution. This coursework must include topics such as geography, international travel, customer service, sales and marketing, and safety and security. Once the coursework is completed, applicants must pass an exam administered by the Travel Institute to demonstrate their knowledge of the material presented in their coursework.

The entire process typically takes between six months and one year to complete depending on how quickly applicants can finish their courses. The cost of becoming a CTC varies depending on which school or institution you choose to take your courses from. Generally speaking, however, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000-$2,500 for tuition and fees related to earning your CTC designation.

3. Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Certification

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Certification is a professional designation that recognizes individuals who have achieved a high level of expertise in the business travel industry. It is designed to help professionals demonstrate their knowledge and proficiency in the field, as well as to provide employers with an objective measure of an individual’s qualifications.

In order to receive the certification, individuals must pass an exam that covers topics such as corporate travel policy, cost control, risk management, and travel technology. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and takes approximately two hours to complete.

Individuals can apply for the GBTA Certification through the GBTA website or by mail. The cost of the application fee is $150 USD and there is also an additional fee for taking the exam. Once the application has been approved, individuals will be able to take the exam at a Pearson VUE testing center.

It typically takes about three weeks from when the application is submitted until results are received. Upon passing the exam, individuals will receive their official GBTA Certification certificate within six weeks.

4. Certified Meeting Planner (CMP)

Certified Meeting Planner (CMP) is a professional certification program offered by the Convention Industry Council (CIC). It is designed to recognize meeting professionals who have achieved a high level of knowledge and experience in the field. The CMP credential demonstrates that the holder has met rigorous standards of performance and ethics, and is committed to continuing education in order to remain current in the industry.

To become certified, applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements, including having at least three years of full-time work experience in the meetings industry within the last 10 years. They must also pass an examination that covers topics such as strategic planning, finance and accounting, risk management, technology, event design, and legal considerations.

The CMP certification process typically takes around six months from start to finish. To begin the process, applicants must first submit an application for certification with supporting documentation. Once approved by the CIC Board of Directors, applicants can then register for and take the exam. After passing the exam, they will receive their official CMP certificate within two weeks.

The cost of getting a CMP designation varies depending on whether you are an individual or a member of an organization that provides discounts on certification fees. Generally speaking, individuals will pay around $700 USD for all associated costs including application fees, exam fees, and any additional materials needed for study purposes.

5. Certified Corporate Meeting Professional (CCMP)

Certified Corporate Meeting Professional (CCMP) is a professional certification program offered by the Convention Industry Council (CIC). The CCMP is designed to recognize meeting professionals who possess the knowledge and skills necessary to plan, manage, and execute corporate meetings.

It typically takes an individual 2-3 years of experience in corporate meeting planning to be eligible for the CCMP. In addition, applicants must complete a minimum of five CIC-approved courses and pass a comprehensive exam.

To get the CCMP, interested individuals must first register with CIC and pay an application fee. After registering, they can then begin taking the required courses. Upon completion of the courses and passing of the exam, applicants will receive their CCMP certification.

The cost to take all five courses varies depending on which provider you choose; however, it typically costs between $1,500 - $2,000 USD. Additionally, there is a one-time application fee of $275 USD and an annual maintenance fee of $75 USD that must be paid upon registration and each year thereafter to maintain your certification status.

6. International Air Transport Association (IATA) Diploma in Corporate Travel Management

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) Diploma in Corporate Travel Management is a professional qualification designed to provide travel professionals with the skills and knowledge needed to manage corporate travel operations. This diploma provides an industry-recognized certification that demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of the principles and practices of corporate travel management.

The IATA Diploma in Corporate Travel Management consists of six modules, which cover topics such as corporate travel policies, risk management, budgeting, customer service, and more. The program can be completed online or through classroom-based instruction at an IATA Training Center. It typically takes between three and six months to complete the program.

To get the IATA Diploma in Corporate Travel Management, applicants must have at least two years of experience working in the travel industry. They must also pass an exam at the end of the course to demonstrate their understanding of the material covered. The cost varies depending on where you take the course and how you choose to pay for it; however, it typically costs around $2,000 USD.

7. American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) Certified Corporate Agent Program

The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) Certified Corporate Agent Program is an industry-recognized certification program designed to recognize travel agents who have achieved a high level of expertise in corporate travel management. The program was created to ensure that corporate travel buyers have access to knowledgeable and experienced professionals who can provide quality service and advice.

To become ASTA Certified as a Corporate Agent, applicants must complete two courses: “Corporate Travel Management” and “Travel Agency Services for Corporations.” These courses are offered through ASTA’s online learning platform, ASTA University. It typically takes approximately 8 hours to complete both courses, but the amount of time may vary depending on the individual's learning style and experience level.

Once the courses are completed, applicants must pass a comprehensive exam with a score of 70% or higher in order to earn their certification. Once certified, agents must maintain their certification by completing at least 12 hours of continuing education every three years.

The cost for the ASTA Certified Corporate Agent Program is $395 USD for ASTA members and $495 USD for non-members. This fee includes both courses and the exam fee.

8. Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Cruise Counsellor Certification

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Cruise Counsellor Certification is a professional certification program that recognizes the knowledge, skills and abilities of experienced travel professionals who specialize in selling cruise vacations. It is designed to help travel agents stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends, products and services.

The CLIA Cruise Counsellor Certification requires applicants to have at least two years of experience in the cruise industry as well as a minimum of 10 completed cruise bookings within the last 12 months. In addition, applicants must complete a comprehensive online training course and pass an exam with a score of 80% or higher.

The online training course consists of six modules covering topics such as cruise lines, destinations, onboard amenities, shore excursions and more. The course takes approximately 4-6 hours to complete depending on the individual’s learning style and pace.

Once the training course has been completed and the exam passed with a score of 80% or higher, applicants will receive their CLIA Cruise Counsellor Certification which is valid for two years from the date of issue.

The cost for the CLIA Cruise Counsellor Certification is $125 USD plus applicable taxes and fees.

9. National Business Travel Association's (NBTA) Certified Corporate Travel Executive Program

The National Business Travel Association (NBTA) Certified Corporate Travel Executive (CCTE) Program is an industry-recognized certification program designed to identify and recognize travel professionals who have achieved a high level of expertise in the corporate travel industry. The CCTE program is intended for experienced business travel professionals who have a minimum of five years of experience in the field.

The program consists of three components: a written exam, an oral exam, and a portfolio review. The written exam covers topics such as corporate travel management, cost savings strategies, global travel management, risk management, safety and security, supplier relations, and technology. The oral exam focuses on the candidate’s ability to apply knowledge gained from the written exam to real-world scenarios. The portfolio review assesses the candidate’s ability to develop and implement successful corporate travel programs.

It typically takes around six months to complete all three components of the CCTE program. Candidates must register with NBTA prior to beginning their studies for the exam. Once registered, they will receive access to study materials that include textbooks and online resources.

The cost of registering for the CCTE program is $1,500 USD. This fee covers registration for all three components of the program as well as access to study materials and online resources.

10. Institute of Certified Travel Agents' (ICTA) Corporate Agent Certification

The Institute of Certified Travel Agents' (ICTA) Corporate Agent Certification is a professional designation for travel agents who specialize in corporate travel. The certification is designed to recognize the expertise and knowledge needed to successfully manage business travel arrangements. It also provides an assurance to employers that their employees are knowledgeable about the latest industry trends and regulations.

The certification process typically takes around four weeks to complete, depending on the individual's experience and knowledge in the field. To obtain the certification, applicants must pass a written exam that covers topics such as corporate travel policies, customer service, international travel regulations, and more. After passing the exam, applicants must submit a portfolio of their work experience in order to be approved for certification.

The cost of obtaining ICTA's Corporate Agent Certification varies depending on the country where you are located. In most cases, it will cost between $200-$400 USD to take the exam and submit all required paperwork.

Do You Really Need a Corporate Travel Agent Certificate?

The short answer to this question is: it depends. It will come down to the individual's goals and objectives as well as the specific requirements of their employer.

For those looking to enter into a career in corporate travel, having a corporate travel agent certificate can be a great way to demonstrate their knowledge and skills. It can also show potential employers that an individual has taken the initiative to obtain specialized training. Depending on the company and job requirements, a certificate may be necessary for employment in some positions.

On the other hand, those already working in corporate travel may not need a certificate if they have been working in the field long enough and have gained relevant experience and qualifications. In many cases, experience alone may be enough to qualify for certain positions or even gain promotions within an organization.

In summary, whether or not you need a corporate travel agent certificate will depend on your particular situation, goals, and employer requirements. If you are unsure if it is necessary for your position or desired career path, make sure to speak with your employer or potential employer before making any decisions.

Related: Corporate Travel Agent Resume Examples

FAQs About Corporate Travel Agent Certifications

FAQ #1: What is a corporate travel agent certification?

Answer: A corporate travel agent certification is an industry recognized credential that demonstrates proficiency in the areas of hotel and airline reservations, international and domestic travel planning, budgeting, customer service, and more. It also demonstrates knowledge of current trends and regulations in the corporate travel industry.

FAQ #2: How do I become certified as a corporate travel agent?

Answer: To become certified as a corporate travel agent, you must complete a training program or course offered by an accredited institution. After completing the training program or course, you must pass an examination to receive your certification.

FAQ #3: What are the benefits of having a corporate travel agent certification?

Answer: Having a corporate travel agent certification can help you stand out from other job applicants when applying for positions in the corporate travel industry. It can also give you access to higher-paying jobs and opportunities for career advancement. Additionally, it can provide you with greater confidence in your abilities when booking flights or hotels for clients.

FAQ #4: Are there any prerequisites for becoming certified as a corporate travel agent?

Answer: Generally speaking, no prior experience or qualifications are required to become certified as a corporate travel agent. However, some courses may require basic knowledge of computers or specific software applications such as Microsoft Office Suite or GDS systems (Global Distribution Systems).

FAQ #5: How long does it take to get certified as a corporate travel agent?

Answer: The length of time it takes to get certified depends on the type of training program or course you choose. Some courses may take several weeks while others may take several months to complete. Additionally, some courses may have additional requirements such as passing an exam before receiving your certification.