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What's the Salary of a Graduate with a Degree in Hospitality Management?

Hospitality professionals are typically responsible for the day-to-day business operations of hotels and resorts, restaurants, amusement parks, travel agencies and other tourist attractions. Read on to learn about the salaries for careers you can pursue with a degree in hospitality management.

Career Options

Hospitality management degree programs prepare you for a wide variety of careers in the travel, tourism, lodging and food service industries. A bachelor's degree program in hospitality management prepares you for the majority of career opportunities within the industry. Although it is not required for most jobs within the industry, master's degree programs are also available. A graduate degree in the field may allow you to advance into leadership positions and climb the management ladder more rapidly. Here are just a few examples of the careers and salaries that await your expertise.

Important Facts About Hospitality Management

Key Skills Conflict resolution, efficiency under pressure, interactive skill
Work Environment Varies depending on the career of choice, but involves proper delegation
Similar Occupations Human Resource Manager, Sales Manager, Real Estate Manager
Job Outlook (2019-2029) 12% decline (Lodging Managers)

Source: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

Restaurant Manager

As a restaurant manager, you participate in the decision-making process for determining menu items and setting menu prices. Other duties include estimating food and beverage consumption, controlling food costs and creating budgets. You may also be responsible for hiring, motivating and training restaurant staff. Management positions typically require you to have at least a 4-year degree related to food service or hospitality management; some employers may look for candidates who also have a master's degree in hospitality management.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that food service managers earned an average annual salary of $61,000 as of May 2020 (www.bls.gov). Those working for restaurants and other eating places were paid an average wage of $57,820. While California had the highest employment level and paid an average wage of $63,010, New Jersey offered the highest average wage of $87,730. In addition, PayScale.com reported a median salary of $47,000 for restaurant managers as of March 2021, with most managers earning between $34,000 and $60,000.

Lodging Manager

Many upscale or chain hotel companies prefer management candidates with bachelor's or master's degrees in hotel or hospitality management, according to the BLS. Lodging managers are responsible for the day-to-day operations of hotels, motels and major resorts. They ensure establishments and departments are run efficiently and profitably.

The BLS reports that, as of May 2020, you can expect to earn a median annual income of $56,670 as a lodging manager. The average wage for the traveler accommodation industry was $63,840. California had the highest employment level of these workers and paid an average wage of $76,520. On the other hand, the District of Columbia offered the highest average salary of $116,140.

Meeting, Convention and Event Planners

If you decide to pursue a career as a meeting, convention and event planner, you will oversee the planning, coordination and execution of events ranging from small gatherings to large extravagant events. Responsibilities include securing site locations, creating agendas, managing registrations and overseeing catering. The BLS notes that graduates of a hospitality management program may start with more responsibilities than those with other academic backgrounds. Potential employers include hotels and resorts with convention facilities.

As of May 2020, the BLS reported that these planners earned an average annual salary of $55,890, and the traveler accommodation industry paid an average wage of $51,890. Business, professional, labor, political and similar organizations also employed many of these professionals and paid an average wage of $60,620. California and New York had high employment levels and paid average wages of $61,950 and $69,550, respectively. New Jersey also had the highest pay of any state.

Spa Manager

Since spas vary in size from small privately-owned establishments to large health and wellness clubs located in resorts and hotels, your responsibilities and compensation as a spa manager may vary. Job responsibilities are typically business-related and may include training and supervising of staff, recordkeeping, providing customer service and managing promotions. According to PayScale.com as of March 2021, spa managers earned an annual income between $32,000 and $60,000. The median income at that time was $44,000.

Casino Manager

As a casino manager, you establish operational standards and manage the daily operations of running a casino. This career requires solid supervisory abilities, communication and people skills. The BLS states that you'll have the best opportunities in this field if you have a degree in a gaming or hospitality-related field.

Gaming managers earned an average salary of $85,440 as of May 2020, as noted by the BLS. The gambling industry had the highest concentration of employment and paid an average wage of $80,910, while the traveler accommodation industry had an average wage of $91,090. California and Nevada both had high employment levels and paid average wages of $93,030 and $100,130, respectively.