Travel Industry Career Options that Pay Well
Although it may depend on your definition of 'well', there are several careers in the travel industry that have salaries well above the national median rate for all occupations, which the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) calculated to be $37,040 in 2016. These careers span different areas in the industry and range in job duties from planning events to flying airplanes. Explore below a few of the available travel industry jobs that pay well.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2016-2026)*|
|Airline and Commercial Pilots||$105,720||4%|
|Meeting, Convention and Event Planners||$47,350||10%|
|Interpreters and Translators||$46,120||17%|
|Writers and Authors||$61,240||8%|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Career Information for Travel Industry Jobs that Pay Well
Most travelers need a place to stay throughout their travels and lodging managers oversee these establishments. The BLS reported that in 2016 these professionals had a median salary of $51,840 as they worked to ensure that the guests at their establishments had everything they needed during their stay. These managers coordinate the front desk, make sure that rooms and common areas are clean and welcoming, set room rates, hire and train staff members and address guests' questions or concerns. Depending on the establishment, lodging managers may have a high school diploma and work experience or a certificate, associate's or bachelor's degree in the field.
Airline and Commercial Pilots
Airline and commercial pilots have one of the highest median salaries in the industry at $105,720 (per the BLS for 2016). These pilots may fly travelers and tourists to various locations and some may provide aerial tours and charter flights. In general, pilots make sure the aircraft is in good condition and has all the necessary supplies before navigating the plane to its destination, all while maintaining contact with air traffic control. All pilots need a license, but commercial pilots only need a high school diploma while airline pilots need a bachelor's degree and an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Meeting, Convention and Event Planners
The BLS reported that in 2016 meeting, convention and event planners made a median salary of $47,350 managing the details of various kinds of events for their clients. Some of these event planners may work for hotels and other facilities that host large events for out-of-town guests and travelers and plan any necessary transportation for the event. They also work with vendors to provide the necessary food services and entertainment, approve payments, coordinate the activities of the event the day of and ensure that their client is satisfied with the event. These planners may have experience in the field and need a bachelor's degree.
Interpreters and Translators
Interpreters and translators can be very useful for tourists in foreign countries who do not know how to speak the local language. According to the BLS, these professionals made a median salary of $46,120 in 2016 converting spoken, written and/or signed languages. Interpreters and translators must carefully relay the same meaning and tone of the original message clearly and accurately in another language. They must be fluent in at least two languages and hold a bachelor's degree.
Writers and Authors
Although they can write about many subjects, some writers may focus on travel writing and write about a wide range of topics, such as local attractions, culture or history of different locations. The BLS reported that writers and authors had a median salary of $61,240 in 2016 as they wrote content for books, articles, blogs and other media. Typically writers and authors conduct some research for their work and submit various drafts of their content to an editor prior to publication. Most of these professionals need a college degree and some experience in the field that is usually earned through an internship.