Associate's Degree in Hospitality Management

Associate's programs in hospitality management provide instruction in business skills related to travel, tourism, hotels and restaurants. Programs typically take two years to complete.

Essential Information

Associate's degrees in hospitality management are often divided into two degree programs: Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality Management and Associate of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management. Hospitality and tourism management programs may allow students to specialize. Although many entry-level management positions in the hospitality industry do not require a degree, post-secondary education is helpful for career advancement. A high school diploma or equivalent is required before entry to this program.

Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality Management

Hospitality management degree programs include the study of theoretical and practical management skills, hospitality business law and food and beverage management. Students also develop skills in marketing, purchasing, budgeting and cost control. A.A.S. degrees in hospitality management typically require 64-66 hours of coursework, although some programs may require as many as 96 credit hours. At most schools, roughly one-third of credit hours are devoted to general education credits.

  • Food safety and sanitation
  • Hotel management
  • Restaurant management
  • Hotel and restaurant marketing
  • Hospitality accounting
  • Food production analysis

Associate of Science in Hospitality & Tourism Management

Like hospitality management, hospitality and tourism management degree programs develop skills in the areas of marketing, purchasing, budgeting and cost control. Hospitality and tourism management programs are differentiated by additional emphasis on tourism skills and travel planning skills. Some programs even offer emphasis in international hospitality and tourism.

A.S. degrees in hospitality and tourism management require a minimum of 60 hours of coursework, though some programs may require over 90 credit hours. Hospitality and tourism management associate of science degrees require completion of general education requirements.

  • Principles of management
  • Cruises
  • Airline computer training
  • Event planning
  • Hotel operations
  • Travel sales

Popular Career Options

Students who hold such degrees may qualify to pursue jobs in hotels, restaurants, resorts and government tourist offices. Popular career options include:

  • Management trainee
  • Dining room supervisor
  • Assistant food and beverage manager
  • Guest services manager
  • Banquet sales coordinator

Continuing Education Information

Many hospitality management associate degree programs can act as a stepping-stone to bachelor's and master's degree programs in hospitality management. Graduates with B.A.A. or M.S. degrees in hospitality management are highly sought within the field because of their technical familiarity, and many rise to the highest levels of management within hospitality organizations.

Salary Information and Employment Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has tracked a rise in travel and tourism since 2001; however, job opportunities for managers will be limited. The BLS predicts 8% growth in employment for lodging managers from 2014-2024. In May 2015, the median annual wage for lodging managers was $49,720.

There are two different associate's degrees in hospitality management that students can choose from that cover courses on hotel management, restaurant management, and hospitality fundamentals. Upon completion of schooling, graduates may pursue entry-level hospitality work, or they can enroll in bachelor's programs.

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