Hospitality Administration Degree Program Information

Individuals interested in this field can get training through associate's and bachelor's degree programs. These programs require general education courses, but also call for general business training through classes in human resources, accounting and management.

Essential Information

Hospitality administrators manage hotels, restaurants, resorts and other businesses that receive and entertain guests. Hospitality administration students get an overview of topics specific to the industry, such as hospitality law, and may take a general program or choose to focus on food service or hotel management. Most programs call for an internship or practicum. Students can choose from 2-year associate's degree or 4-year bachelor's degree programs; all applicants need a high school diploma or its equivalent.


Hospitality Administration Associate's Degree

Associate's degree programs in this field often offer two concentrations, food service and hotel management. Students learn to develop and monitor safe food production techniques as well apply business concepts like marketing, efficiency and customer service to the hospitality industry. Graduates are prepared for administrative positions at hotels, restaurants, clubs, resorts and other traveling and tourist locals.

Associate-level hospitality programs focus on providing students with a broad spectrum of food preparation and business administration classes. Some programs offer practicum opportunities tailored to a student's person interests. Graduates are qualified to receive a food handler's permit or equivalent certification based on the state's certification requirements. Some common classes are listed below.

  • Food nutrition, sanitation and safety
  • Supervision and management practices
  • Finances and supply
  • Hospitality law
  • Hospitality marketing

Hospitality Administration Bachelor's Degree

Students in a hospitality administration bachelor's degree program receive business training, preparing them for entry-level managerial positions. Graduates are prepared to join management staff at hotels, airlines, restaurants, resorts and other visitor oriented businesses. An associate's degree is not required to enroll in a bachelor's program.

Most bachelor's degree applicants already have experience in the hospitality industry, working as cashiers, desk clerks or in the kitchen. Bachelor's degree training focuses more on the managerial aspects of the hospitality industry, though students can take classes focusing on specific areas in law, environment or marketing. Usual classes students take include:

  • Business statistics
  • Management strategies
  • Financial management
  • Managing food production
  • Marketing and tourism

Popular Career Options

Graduates are prepared to enter a variety of position in the hospitality industry. They can manage a restaurant, provide catering, market services, purchase supplies or help visitors by designing leisure activities and resolving concerns. Some common job titles are listed below.

  • Restaurant manager
  • Purchasing clerk
  • Caterer
  • Event manager
  • Business owner

Salary and Career Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), lodging managers are expected to see an average job growth of 8% for the decade 2014-2024. The same source indicated that these managers made a median annual salary of $49,720 in 2015.

Individuals interested in a career in hospitality management can get the formal training needed through an associate's or bachelor's degree program where they'll be exposed to topics in business, management, marketing, nutrition and hospitality law. Upon graduation, individuals can pursue numerous career paths within the industry, ranging from from the entry-level to management positions.


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