Counter and rental clerks are entry level jobs which service the tourism industry. Visitors or vacationers can request rentals of cars, trucks or other vehicles for business or vacation related needs. Counter Clerks also can rent moving vans, trucks, and other special needs vehicles. Counter and rental clerks require little to no formal education to prepare a candidate for this position.
In addition to servicing clients and issuing rental vehicles, counter and rental clerks also must keep meticulous logs of events, know how to operate a cash register and credit card machine, be capapble of taking reservations both over the phone and through the internet, and be able to log and place requests for maintenance, general upkeep and follow all safety precautions related to rental vehicles.
Counter and Rental clerks take reservations over the phone or through the internet. They are responsible for discussing rental options with a prospective client, calculating costs and expenses, explaining fees and taxes and closing the sale by booking a reservation. Counter and Rental clerks are also responsible for issuing keys and answering any customer questions regarding vehicles and other questions about the local area that the customer may ask.
Full time Counter and Rental clerks make an average $20,000 annual. Additional benefits and retirement stipends or 401k contributions match vary from employer to employer. Some companies give additional commission to counter and rental clerks, or pay only commission earnings.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Job Description and Outlook
When a traveling business man or woman or tourist on vacation calls a rental company, they most often speak with a counter or rental clock. Counter and rental clerks listen to customers needs, compute costs, tally inventory and relay to customers various options for rental vehicles available for their visiting time frame. Counter and Rental clerks are responsible for providing excellent customer service in order to complete the sale and book the reservation.
Counter and rental clerks often work out of rental offices located in close proximity to airports, buss terminals or other transportation hubs. Counter and rental clerks can also work out of offices located in areas of high tourism. They provide rental services to tourists and other customers needing to rent vehicles for personal or business related needs. Count and rental clerks are also responsible for documenting damage to vehicles both before they are issued to a customer and after they are returned. Rental clerks are responsible for billing costs, taking reservations both over the phone and via the web, as well as keeping maintenance logs and maintaining customer satisfaction.
Counter and rental clerks can also rent out specialized vehicles for specific needs. Such include moving materials such as moving trucks, trucks for hauling or large vans for various needs of transportation. In addition, there are a number of rental companies which specialize in luxury rental vehicles for special occasions or for visiting tourists looking for a different type of vacation experience.
Counter and travel clerks may be required to work long hours including nights, weekends and holidays in order to accommodate to the busy travel season and meet customer needs. Since traveling can often be stressful for the traveler, often times Counter and Rental clerks are caught in the crossfire. Counter and Rental clerks must do his or her best to make sure that customer needs are met, however, often times not all reservation request cannot be accommodated due to unexpected influx of travelers or other unforeseen events.
Like other positions in the tourism industry, counter and rental clerks demands are expected to grow as the number of travelers increases. In general, this job is expected to grow as fast as average over the course of the next 10 years.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Training and Education Requirements
Counter and rental clerks are entry level positions which require little to no previous training or education experience to adequately prepare a candidate for the position. However, most rental companies will require employees to have a High School Diploma, GED or equivalent. Previous experience with telemarketing, customer service or reservation experience is helpful. A working knowledge of vehicle maintenance and upkeep is also helpful. Other helpful skills include data entry, logistics or other related skills.
Many rental offices offer management trainee programs for new college graduates and employees with extensive experience. These programs may begin as an internship where the candidate is acquamated into the office and industry. As the candidate becomes more experience and shows management potential, the candidate is promoted to assistant manager or full manager for his or her respective branch office.
No certifications are required, however a high school diploma, GED or equivalent is usually required by employers.
There are no professional assocations for Counter and Rental clerks. However, individual office and rental branches may become members of the local Chamber of Commerce in order to help draw customers and interest for rental vehicles.