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What Is the Employment Outlook for a Career in Hospitality?

The hospitality industry brings in trillions of dollars in revenue on a global basis. Individuals interested in the hospitality industry can pursue numerous career opportunities, including those available through a bachelor's degree program.

Overview of Hospitality Careers

Career opportunities in this sector include those in lodging, casinos, resorts, travel agencies, and food service businesses. The employment outlook for a career in hospitality varies according to the industry and type of career. Training requirements for a career in the hospitality sector depend upon the position.

Important Facts about this Occupation

Food Preparation WorkersMassage TherapistsLodging Managers
Median Pay (2018) $23,730$41,420$53,390
Required Education No formal education needed Vary by state; typically 500+ hours of study in a postsecondary program High school diploma + experience; bachelor's degree may be required by larger hotels
Licensing/Certification None needed License needed in most states Certification available, voluntary
Training Short on-the-job training Hands-on practice as part of postsecondary program Relevant work experience in a hotel

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Prospects

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) reports that employment for careers related to leisure and hospitality is expected to grow slowly between 2016 and 2026. Some low-wage entry-level positions, such as housekeeping, maintenance, and clerical jobs, may require at least a high school diploma. Job prospects are better for people with the specialized training, skills, and abilities acquired through training programs offered by accredited vocational schools, colleges, or universities. Occupations requiring bachelor's and master's degree programs in hospitality and business in the hospitality industry are expected to experience the most growth between 2016-2026.

Training

A bachelor's degree is usually needed to qualify for professional level career positions that require a higher skill level. Competing for management and consulting jobs requires an advanced understanding of the fundamentals of the applicable principles and concepts as well as a high degree of analytical skills. Some candidates must have a master's degree or a combination of a bachelor's degree and experience. There are many types of jobs and career paths available in the hospitality industry, including:

  • Lodging: Hotel manager, resort manager, front desk staff, housekeeping and janitors
  • Event and Meetings: Meeting and convention planners
  • Recreation: Activity coordinators and massage therapists
  • Food Service: Management, head cooks, cooks, wait staff, and dishwashers
  • Financial: Accountants and auditors
  • Casinos: Gaming managers and supervisors
  • Transportation: Rental car staff, shuttle, and bus drivers
  • Marketing: Sales professionals
  • Consulting: Real estate, resort, financial, and information technology consultants