What Are the Education Requirements for a Hotel Management Career?

The requirements for a career as a hotel manager usually include a bachelor's degree and significant work experience. In some cases, a high school diploma or associate degree may be enough. Read on to find out more about educational programs for hotel managers, as well as the economic outlook for this occupation. Schools offering Hotel & Restaurant Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Description

With an education and training in hotel management, you'd be prepared for a career as a lodging manager. Your work setting is dependent upon your employer, since hotel management skills could carry over to other lodging institutions like boardinghouses or hostels. You might work in an assistant manager role, in a head manager role or with a team of managers, depending on the size of the establishment at which you work.

The overall operations of the hotel are in your hands. You need to make sure that your employers are drawing a profit from the establishment. This means that you have to actively advertise and try to attract customers. Additionally, you'll perform bookkeeping duties, which can include purchasing supplies and keeping track of the income your hotel generates.

You're also in charge of overseeing your team of workers. You'll write the work schedules and monitor employee performance. If any customers have complaints or questions, you'll answer them to ensure that they're handled properly.

Educational Programs

For hotel management careers, it's recommended that you acquire a bachelor's degree, although a high school diploma or associate degree can suffice in some cases. Majors in hotel management and hospitality management are the most common. You can expect to take both general business courses and specialized hospitality courses. Capstone courses are also common.

Hospitality Courses

A hotel or hospitality management bachelor's degree program may include the following major courses:

  • Hospitality law
  • Hospitality financial management
  • Hotel and restaurant sales and marketing
  • Customer service
  • Facilities and room division management
  • Hotel operations
  • Restaurant and beverage management

Business Courses

Another area covered in a hotel or hospitality management bachelor's program is general business. Some example courses you might take include:

  • Management principles
  • Business computing
  • Human resources management
  • Business communication
  • Economics
  • Finance and accounting
  • Strategic management


Significant work experience is usually required for a position as a hotel manager. You'll find many hotel management programs have internship or work opportunities. If offered, you'll want to participate in such an internship program in order to gain some firsthand experience.

Job Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that lodging managers are expected to see little or no change in employment over the 2012-2022 decade (www.bls.gov). Only a growth of one percent is projected during that period. Despite an increase in tourism and travel, lodging businesses are looking to cut expenses and streamline operations. As a result, you'll find that hotels are increasingly using only one manager per location. Your best chances for employment are with full-service hotels like casinos and resorts. In addition, the BLS notes that bachelor's degree holders might find more opportunities.

The BLS noted that lodging managers had a median annual income of $46,810 in May 2012. The top ten percent of earners made $89,530 or more annually, while the bottom ten percent of earners made $29,290 or less annually. Most of the employment was in the traveler accommodation industry, and workers in that area earned an average of $53,780 in May 2012.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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