What Is Hospitality Management?

Hospitality management involves the direct application of sound management concepts and practices in the areas of food, lodging and other hospitality-related businesses. Graduating from a bachelor's degree program in hospitality management can prepare you to enter a career in this field. Continue reading for more information about how to become a hospitality manager. Schools offering Hospitality Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Hospitality Management

According to the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), the travel and tourism industry is one of the top ten largest industries in the country. The lodging industry had sales of $163 billion in 2013.

The hospitality and tourism industry is composed of many interrelated sectors, including lodging, food services, recreation, rental cars, contract services, gaming services, private clubs and meeting planning. Most hospitality managers specialize in a particular function, such as information systems, human resources, guest services or food services. However, it is important for top-level managers and executives to have a comprehensive understanding of the various divisions and how they come together.

Important Facts About Hospitality Management

Food Service Managers Lodging Managers Meeting/Convention/Event Planners
Key Skills Leadership, organizational, and problem-solving skills Customer-service, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills Composure, negotiation, and organizational skills
Median Salary (2014) $48,560 $47,680 $46,490
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 5% growth 8% growth 10% growth
Professional Certification The Food Protection Managers Certification is available, though not required The Certified Hospitality and Tourism Management Professional certification is available The Certified Meeting Professional and Certified Government Meeting Professional certifications are available

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Typically, a bachelor's degree in business or hospitality management is required for management jobs. Several major universities offer hospitality management majors, and programs may even offer specializations in lodging, food and beverage, tourism, events, casinos and clubs. Coursework may cover customer service, cost control, property management, catering, labor relations and international hospitality.

Hospitality management degree programs often provide opportunities for students to gain practical experience through internships or study abroad programs. Schools may also host guest speakers and professional meetings, and some schools have a hospitality student club.

Career Information

There are various job titles for hospitality managers, including guest services manager, front office manager, food and beverage manager, room division manager and general manager. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides comprehensive career information for popular job fields, including three jobs within the hospitality management field: lodging manager, food service manager and meeting planner.

Lodging managers and food service managers can obtain employment with a high school diploma and several years of job experience. However, a certificate or associate's degree may be required for some jobs, and individuals who would like to manage well-known and upscale hotels and restaurants often need a bachelor's degree.

The standard education to become an meeting, event or convention planner is a bachelor's degree in hospitality management, public relations or communications.

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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