Hospitality applies to almost any company that works to meet the needs of customers. The sheer broadness of the industry leaves professionals with a number of options when it comes to exploring potential career paths.
Careers in hospitality can include but are not limited to:
Hospitality career requirements can vary depending on the job, location or employer, however, at least a bachelor’s degree and previous work experience is typically a requirement for managerial positions. Those unsure about pursuing a hospitality degree can also look into certificate programs, which provide in-demand skills and credentials to prepare professionals for success in hospitality-related fields.
While the hospitality field does provide opportunities for a number of potential career paths, it is a highly competitive industry. Therefore, it is generally recommended that hospitality career seekers hone their interpersonal skills, as well as develop a strong business foundation.
Here are a few hospitality careers in the industry today, along with their salary information, projected job outlook and degree and certification requirements.
Food service managers are in charge of overseeing and directing the daily operations of a restaurant. The five integral components that go into daily operation are the kitchen, staff members, guests, the dining room and administration.
In the kitchen, the manager is responsible for maintaining the consistency and quality of food preparation and presentation, along with monitoring standards of health, safety and sanitation. In the dining room, managers oversee decor, cleanliness and service, which may also involve training staff members.
Service managers are generally responsible for supervising and scheduling staff members, along with other HR management activities such as interviewing, promoting, motivating and retaining staff. The administrative tasks involve cash-outs, preparing bank deposits, purchasing inventory and other supply management activities.
According to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average yearly salary for a food service manager was $48,690 in 2015. The lowest 10% earned less than $28,780, while the highest 10% of employees earned more than $83,010.
In addition, the BLS noted the employment of food service managers is expected to grow 5% from 2014 to 2024, which is close to the national average growth for all other occupations. According to the BLS, professionals with several years of work experience in the food service industry and a degree in hospitality, restaurant or food service management are projected to have the highest opportunity for jobs.
Lodging managers typically work in a fast-paced environment with the customer experience as their main focus, along with responsibilities such as directing, planning and coordinating lodging activities. During an average work day, a lodge manager is accountable for overseeing guest services and rooms, welcoming guests and checking them in, inspecting all areas of the hotel for cleanliness and managing housekeeping and food quality.
Lodging managers can also be responsible for tracking the financial aspects that come with running a hotel. This can include establishing room rates, monitoring budgets and approving expenses. The lodging manager is also typically in charge of interviewing, hiring and training staff. Alternate job titles for a lodging manager can include:
In most cases, lodging managers are required to have a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management, or business administration with a concentration in hospitality management, as well as previous working experience in the industry. However, some employers may simply require some kind of professional certificate in hospitality management.
According to the BLS, the average annual salary for lodging managers was $49,720 in 2015. Employment of lodging managers is estimated to increase 8% through 2024, about as fast as the national average for all other occupations.
Also known as gaming managers, casino general managers are responsible for a variety of tasks associated with keeping a casino welcoming and profitable. The primary duties of the casino general manager can include customer interaction, making sure all employees and the casino as a whole comply with government regulations and creating and approving employees’ work schedules. Casino general managers generally spend most of their time monitoring the activity on the casino floor, ensuring customers are comfortable and occasionally handling customer complaints.
Working in a casino is typically fast-paced, which may be enticing for some people or stressful for others. Casinos operate seven days a week and are usually open relatively late. Most casino managers should expect to work long hours, including nights, holidays and weekends, depending on the frequency of customers.
Prospective casino managers generally start their careers in entry-level or middle manager roles, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Education requirements can vary based on location, career and employer, but in most cases, an associate’s or bachelor’s degree is recommended. Additionally, most states’ gaming commission or regulatory board require casino general managers to obtain a gaming license before they can be hired.
According to the BLS, the average annual salary of a casino general manager was $68,380 in 2015, with the lowest 10% of employees earning at least $43,130 and the highest 10% earning more than $122,350 a year.