The hospitality field can be boiled down to two components: room and board. With proper training and some appropriate work experience, you may find yourself in demand as a hotel general manager or restaurant manager. The field is growing at about an average rate and opportunities are best for individuals who have some business acumen as well as industry-specific abilities.
A bachelor's degree or less is usually the educational requirement for hotel, casino, resort and restaurant managers. Hospitality management degree programs include a strong core of business courses, including accounting, economics, marketing and human resource management. Additionally, students take a range of industry-specific courses in restaurant and bar management, food service safety, tourism, resort management and hospitality ethics. Most degree programs require an internship or field study in a partnership with hotels, casinos, restaurants and resorts.
|Career||Hotel General Managers||Restaurant Managers|
|Education Requirements||Bachelor's degree required by most full-service hotels||Bachelor's degree not required, some post-secondary education preferred|
|Other Requirements||Relevant work experience||Relevant work experience|
|Job Growth (2018-2028)*||1% for all lodging managers||11% for all food service managers|
|Median Annual Salary (2018)*||$53,390 for all lodging managers||$54,240 for all food service managers|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Graduates of hospitality management degree programs can find work as hotel general managers and restaurant managers, or in a wide variety of other hospitality industry careers. Managers in the hospitality industry use their skills in business, human resources and customer service to coordinate staff members and give guests an excellent experience. Below are descriptions of career options for hospitality management majors.
Hotel General Managers
Hotel general managers work to ensure customer satisfaction for hotel guests by overseeing the provision of amenities such as concierge services, wireless Internet and cable television, conference rooms and more. They manage hotel staff, direct financial activities and oversee the smooth operation of all day-to-day services offered to promote positive guest experiences and maintain profitability.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook for all lodging managers is slower than average, with 1% growth expected from 2018-2028. Applicants with a bachelor's degree in hospitality management, however, have the advantage for hotel management positions, particularly luxury hotels, the BLS reported. As of May 2018, the median salary for all lodging managers is $53,390 per year, according to the BLS.
Restaurant managers oversee the general operations and perform administrative duties for stand-alone restaurants or for those housed in hotels, casinos or other establishments. They seek to provide a high-quality dining experience for guests in terms of menu options, price, presentation and speed, while maintaining profitability for the restaurant. As administrators and human resource managers, they coordinate work schedules, set budgets, maintain financial records, order food and monitor the workflow of servers and kitchen staff. Restaurant managers report to restaurant owners or investors, implement their policies and make suggestions regarding plans and objectives.
The BLS noted that with much faster than average job growth projections for all food service managers of 11% from 2018-2028, those who hold a degree in hospitality or food service management should have a competitive advantage over other job applicants for management positions. May 2018 BLS median wage estimates for all food service managers were $54,240 per year.
Industry experience plays a bit part in moving up the employment ladder in the field of hospitality management. However, formal postsecondary degrees may be preferred and in some cases required, to secure a management position. Degree programs often require the completion of an internship.