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Associate's in Hotel & Restaurant Management: Degree Overview

Associate's (AAS) degree programs in hotel and restaurant management can give students the educational foundation necessary for entry-level management in a number of hospitality-related establishments. An internship may be required of students in order to complete the program.

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Essential Information

While Associate of Occupational Studies in Hotel and Restaurant Management programs are not readily available, students will find several schools that offer an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in this area. The restaurant portion of the program may teach students about meal preparation, sanitation, safety, menu planning and catering, while hotel management studies could be focused on guest service, finances, human resources and event planning. Schools may also offer internships to students and prepare them for industry certifications. Some professionals in this field could choose to pursue voluntary certification for career advancement or enhancement purposes. Submitting standardized test scores may be required for entry into the program. Online programs are available in some schools.


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Associate's Degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management

Programs may teach students through a combination of courses, guest speakers, internships and field trips. Students could learn business abilities related to their chosen field while being instructed on effective hospitality skills. Program coursework may include:

  • Cost control
  • Accounting
  • Nutrition
  • Tourism services
  • Social psychology
  • Spanish
  • Sociology
  • Composition
  • Table service
  • Financial information systems

Popular Career Options

Individuals who have an associate's degree could have several career options in the hospitality industry. Certain programs even offer students the opportunity to manage the school's on-campus fine dining restaurant. Career options may include:

  • Restaurant supervisor
  • Banquet manager
  • Hotel supervisor
  • Guest services manager

Career and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that food service management jobs are expected to increase by 5% from 2014-2024, while jobs in lodging management are predicted to increase 8% during that same decade (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reports that the median salary for food service managers was $48,690 in May 2015; the median salary for lodging managers was $49,720.

Continuing Education and Certification Information

Select AAS programs have transfer agreements with other institutions that allow students to transfer to bachelor's degree programs in hotel, restaurant or hospitality management. A bachelor's degree or higher may be preferred for managers of upscale hospitality organizations.

Graduates of associate degree programs may find that certification affords them more career advancement opportunities. Job experience, additional courses and examinations are required for certification, which can be obtained through individual hotel associations. Restaurant managers may also seek voluntary certification as Food Service Management Professionals through the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.

Students who earn an associate's degree in hotel and restaurant management will study courses such as cost control, nutrition, and table service. Voluntary certification is available for graduates through various professional organizations.

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