What Can I Do with a Degree in Hospitality Management?

Many hotel, restaurant and entertainment venues rely on managers who understand how to run a business in a way that pleases both customers and the bottom line. Keep reading to find out what you can do with a degree in hospitality management. Schools offering Hospitality Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Hospitality Management Degree Program Overview

Hospitality management degree programs prepare you for a variety of positions within the vacation and tourism service industries. Though some positions in this field are available to those with related experience, employers may prefer to hire those with a degree. Hospitality management degree programs are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels and typically include instruction in the management principles of food service and lodging. Additional courses may cover special event planning, hospitality marketing, accounting, business law and foodservice management. Possible career options for graduates include hotel manager, restaurant manager, concierge and event planner.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Lodging Managers Food Service Managers Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 4% 9% 11%
Required Education Bachelor's degree, computer training High school diploma or equivalent; some postsecondary education or experience Bachelor's degree, relevant experience
Work Environment Hotels, motels, RV camps, inns, hostels All types of restaurants, hotels, catering companies, cafeterias Offices, on-site at events, frequent travel
Similar Occupations Gaming service occupations, human resources managers Cooks, chefs, bartenders Administrative service managers, travel agents

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Hotel, Motel or Lodging Manager

Lodging managers work primarily at hotels, motels and resorts, but can also be responsible for smaller venues, such as RV parks and boarding houses. In larger hotels, you may start as part of a management team and are responsible for a certain department, such as housekeeping, desk services, food services or event services. In smaller hotels or motels, you might be in charge of the entire operation, which can include taking care of everything from registering customers, helping with housekeeping services and taking care of check-out services. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), lodging managers earned a mean annual salary of $62,270 as of May 2018 (www.bls.gov).

Restaurant Manager

The BLS reports that many food service organizations prefer to hire managers who have a degree in a relevant field, such as hospitality management. Restaurant managers are responsible for the day-to-day tasks that keep their establishments running, including hiring and scheduling employees, ordering food and equipment, overseeing inventory and managing employees. They also monitor satisfaction levels of their customers, making sure their food arrives timely and tastes good. Some restaurant managers are also responsible for accounting and payroll systems. In 2018, the average salary for a food service manager, including restaurant managers, was $58,960, per the BLS.


A concierge can work at a hotel or at a private corporation. Either way, a concierge's job description is the same: to make accommodations for his or her clients in order to make their lives easier. At a hotel, you help guests with a variety of needs, including providing transportation services; recommending and making restaurant reservations; and getting tickets to concerts, shows and sporting events.

A corporate concierge performs many of the same functions for individuals or businesses. As a corporate concierge, you might be asked to plan events, reserve airline tickets or provide any number of other services. In this profession, you must be knowledgeable about your community and develop relationships with a number of local vendors. In 2018, concierges earned an average salary of $33,550 according to the BLS.

Event or Convention Planner

Event or convention planners work for convention centers, large hotels, chambers of commerce, businesses or organizations. Your job duties often include selecting the venue, contacting potential attendees, ordering food and beverages, managing budgets and arranging entertainment. You might also be needed at the venue during the event to coordinate services and assist attendees. The BLS reported that the average wage for meeting, convention, and event planners in 2018 was $53,730.

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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