Students pursuing an associate's degree in hotel and restaurant management usually spend two years on hospitality-related coursework and, in many cases, an internship in their field of interest. That way, upon graduation, they have the leadership skills and industry knowledge they need for success as a hotel or restaurant manager. To gain admission, students usually only need a high school diploma or the equivalent.
Associates Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management
Associate's degree programs in hotel and restaurant management typically include general education and business coursework. Students will study employee management, sales and marketing, inventory, and customer satisfaction. Program offerings are typically flexible, with classes during the day, evening or weekend, which makes these programs ideal for students with other obligations. Some common courses include:
- Financial accounting
- Commercial food preparation
- Front office methodology
- Economic principles
Popular Career Options
An associate degree in hotel and restaurant management can qualify graduates for entry-level management positions. Some options include:
- Food service manager
- Executive housekeeper
- Sales and marketing coordinator
- Human resources manager
Employee Outlook and Salary Info
The BLS projected 8% job growth for lodging managers from 2014 to 2024, while food service managers were expected to see an increase of 5% in job opportunities. For 2015, a median salary of $49,720 was reported for lodging managers, and food service managers earned a median income of $48,690, according to the BLS.
Continuing Education Information
Food service managers can pursue voluntary certification through the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, which offers the Food Service Management Professional certification. Applicants need to have field experience and specialized training before sitting for an exam.
Graduates of associate's degree programs may also consider applying to a bachelor's degree program in order to prepare for mid- or high-level positions in the industry. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that a bachelor's or master's degree is preferred for management positions at full-service hotels.
In summary, associate's degree programs in hotel and restaurant management provide students with the direct industry knowledge and hands-on experience that they will need for a successful career in the field or admission into a higher level educational program.