Careers in Hotel Management

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue in hotel management. Read on to learn more about career options along with salary and job growth information. Schools offering Hotel & Restaurant Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is a Hotel Manager?

Careers in hotel management combine culinary, financial and general management tasks with customer service. Depending on your interests, you may work as a general hotel manager or as a food service manager. General hotel managers are in charge of day-to-day operations of a hotel, including managing the staff and making sure guests are satisfied. As a food service manager at a hotel, you would be typically manage the hotel restaurant, oversee room service, and work with chefs.

Read the following table to learn more about available job titles, common education requirements and salary projections.

General Hotel Manager Food Service Manager
Degree Required Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Accounting,
General management,
Hotel management
Culinary arts,
Hotel management
Key Skills Managerial prowess, organization, finance Culinary skill, managerial prowess, food safety
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 8% (for lodging managers) 5%
Average Salary (2015)* $57,810 (for lodging managers) $53,640

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Can I Do in Hotel Management?

Efficient hotel management requires the coordination of several business departments and staff members. Small operations may employ a general manager, while large facilities require several layers of management. As a result, you may be able to select from multiple careers in hotel management.

General hotel managers handle every aspect of managing a facility, from front desk operations to housekeeping tasks. If you work as a general manager, you can expect to assist guests with resolving concerns, coordinate security tasks, create and maintain a housekeeping schedule and manage budgeting and room rate duties.

Larger facilities that offer full-service amenities, such as an on-site restaurant, require specialized managers. You can pursue a career in food service management if you enjoy the culinary arts and oversee hotel dining services. In this position, you can expect to monitor food safety and nutrition, order supplies and products, and resolve customer complaints. You will also perform basic human resources duties, such as interviewing and hiring new employees.

What Education Will I Need?

The level of education required depends on the position you pursue. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that lodging management opportunities at large hotels typically require a bachelor's degree (www.bls.gov). For example, a career in hotel finance requires at least a bachelor's degree in accounting, or a related discipline. Some hotels may only require an associate's degree or a certificate in addition to relevant work experience.

Many colleges and universities offer programs in hotel management or culinary arts. Bachelor's degree programs offer a foundation in hotel accounting, operations, nutrition and business management. Culinary arts programs offer courses in nutrition and dietetics, food safety and sanitation, pastry arts and cooking techniques.

What Can I Expect to Earn?

The BLS reports that lodging managers earned an average annual salary of $57,810 as of 2015 (www.bls.gov). Most employees in the occupation earned between $28,300 and $94,330 during the same year. Food service managers earned $53,640 per year with most earning between $28,780 and $83,010.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

With a bachelor's degree, you could also pursue a career as a human resources manager. These professionals must have many of the same organizational and detail-oriented skills as a hotel manager, though they apply them to different types of companies and organizations in staff oversight. If you are interested in the service industry, with a high school diploma or associate's degree you could also become a gaming services manager, which involves managing casinos and gambling establishments, or you could find another job in the food industry. For individuals who have a talent for cooking, a career as a chef may be of interest.

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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