Associate's Degree in Tourism

Earning an associate's degree in hospitality and tourism can prepare you for a career in this field. Keep reading to learn more about programs that lead to this degree, including typical coursework, and see employment outlook information. Schools offering Travel & Tourism degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Is an Associate's Degree in Tourism Right for Me?

Associate's degrees in tourism and hospitality management can provide you with the professional skills needed to work in the tourism industry. These degrees are offered in various formats, including Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Science and Associate of Applied Business. A program will prepare you for a variety of professional settings, including working for or with the following types of businesses:

  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Casinos
  • Cruise lines
  • State travel offices
  • Travel and tour agencies

Throughout the program, you may learn about the hospitality and tourism industries through a variety of methods, including taking classes, going on trips, meeting local contacts and participating in internships. The goal of the program is to teach you effective management skills and to prepare you to become a potential small business owner. The whole program generally takes two years to complete.

Learning Methods Courses, internships, field trips
Common Courses Accounting, event planning, management, hospitality law, speech
Learning Environments Traditional classroom and distance learning degree options are available
Mean Salary (2018) $62,270* (for all lodging managers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Classes Will I Take?

Through an associate's degree program, you'll be required to take few electives en route to obtaining an associate's degree. Most of your classes will focus on business and legal issues specific to the hospitality industry. Sample course topics are:

  • Hospitality and lodging management
  • Event planning
  • Hospitality law

Other required classes will encompass a broader understanding of business practices. These classes may cover subjects such as:

  • Computer skills
  • Accounting
  • Speech
  • Small business management

Can I Earn it Online?

While many schools only offer the programs in on-campus settings, other schools do offer distance learning options for obtaining the degree. This option may better suit you if you have a schedule that doesn't allow you to be regularly present in a classroom setting during the daytime. Online programs are similar to campus-based programs in that they regularly take two years to complete and require similar classes. You should keep in mind that, depending on the school, you may still be required to complete an internship or other in-person commitment for completion of the online degree program.

What Can I Do With the Degree?

Earning an associate's degree in tourism and hospitality management provides you with a wide variety of career options. You'll not only have an enhanced chance of obtaining a job with a hotel or travel agency, but you'll also be more prepared if you choose to become a small business owner in the tourism or hospitality industries, perhaps by opening your own restaurant or resort. One sample job you could obtain would be a lodging manager. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), lodging managers earned an average salary of $62,270 as of May 2018 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also predicted that employment opportunities in this industry will grow by four percent between 2016 and 2026.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Florida Tech

    Florida Tech responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Florida Tech :

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Post University

    Post University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Post University:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Westmoreland County Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Pennsylvania: Youngwood
  • Waubonsee Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Illinois: Sugar Grove
  • University of Northwestern Ohio

    Campus Locations:

    • Ohio: Lima
  • Sullivan County Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • New York: Loch Sheldrake
  • Rochester Institute of Technology

    Campus Locations:

    • New York: Rochester
  • Stevens Institute of Business & Arts

    Campus Locations:

    • Missouri: Saint Louis