Hospitality Jobs Abroad

This article discusses hospitality jobs overseas with job descriptions and what you need to get hired. Most of these positions are entry-level, but with additional education and experience you may land more advanced positions and earn a higher wage.

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Hospitality Career Options Abroad

There are many benefits to working abroad in the hospitality industry. You can learn about the local culture, pick up a foreign language, meet people from around the world, fund your travels while exploring the world, receive free room and board in many cases, and learn skills you can use in your career when you return home. Please note that the salary and job growth data in the table below are for U.S. positions. Every country differs in terms of salary and benefits, so make sure you know exactly how, when and for what you will be compensated before you go.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Recreation Workers $23,870 9-13%
Waiters & Waitresses $19,990 2-4%
Hotel, Motel, & Resort Desk Clerks $22,070 9-13%
Cooks, Restaurant $24,140 14%+
Maids & Housekeeping Cleaners $21,820 5-8%

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Information for Hospitality Jobs Abroad

Recreation Workers

Recreation workers, also known as activities directors and recreation coordinators, organize, promote, lead and coordinate fun activities for people and groups, from sports and games to tours, arts and crafts, hobbies, hiking excursions and camping trips. They also tailor recreation activities to individual and group needs and wishes. Many hotels and resorts in foreign countries employ these professionals, as do recreation facilities and governments, including national, state and provincial parks. To become a recreation worker, some positions require a bachelor's degree, but for many jobs all you need is a high school diploma, on-the-job training and expertise in sports, games, music, drama, arts and crafts or a hobby.

Waiters & Waitresses

Waiters and waitresses, also known as servers, take customers' food and drink orders, serve meals and beverages, check to make sure guests are happy, write up checks and take payment from customers. They work in restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs, cocktail lounges, resorts, cruise ships, resorts and hotels. There are jobs in this field all over the world, and working as a waiter or waitress allows you to meet and interact with locals and travelers from many different countries. To become a waiter or waitress, no formal education is required for most positions, but you must have excellent communication and customer service skills.

Hotel, Motel, & Resort Desk Clerks

Another way to work and earn money (and possibly free accommodations) while living or traveling overseas is to work as a desk clerk at a hotel, motel, hostel or resort. These customer service professionals ensure guests have an excellent experience while staying in lodgings, by greeting patrons and helping them with any needs or desires they may have and communicating any problems to housekeeping and maintenance staff members. They register guests, assign rooms, distribute room keys or cards, keep records of patrons' accounts and charges, answer phones and emails, help travelers make and confirm reservations, and take payment from patrons upon checkout. To become a hotel, motel or resort desk clerk, you need a high school diploma, computer skills, excellent phone and customer service skills and on-the-job training.

Restaurant Cooks

Restaurant cooks prepare, cook and season dishes such as meat, seafood, vegetables, poultry, soups, appetizers and desserts. They may work as prep cooks, line cooks, grill cooks or fry cooks, keeping track of supplies, ordering food and equipment, making sure that foods are stored and cooked at the right temperature for safety and keeping all surfaces and equipment clean and sanitary. They may use recipes or their own knowledge of how dishes are prepared. Working in a restaurant overseas you can learn new cuisines and dishes and gain valuable experience for your career back home. To become a cook in a restaurant you need a high school diploma, and for more advanced and higher paying positions, a culinary arts certificate or degree is usually necessary.

Maids & Housekeeping Cleaners

Another way to work in the hospitality industry overseas is to become a maid or housekeeping cleaner. These workers clean, vacuum and disinfect rooms, bathrooms, lobbies, hallways, stairways, elevators, restaurants and outside areas at resorts, hotels and motels. They replenish linens and toiletries, make beds and empty wastebaskets in guest rooms and common areas. A high school diploma isn't always required. You may need some previous experience, but for many positions you can learn on the job.

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