5 Career Options in Hospitality Management

5 Hospitality Degrees Open Many Doors

  • Food and Beverage Management
  • Wedding Coordinator
  • Amusement Park Managers
  • Flight Attendants
  • Cruise Ship Jobs

The hospitality industry encompasses far more than running a hotel or managing a restaurant. Although these are still some of the most prevalent careers in hospitality management careers, other jobs are great fits for people with degrees in hospitality, tourism and events management. Here are five, including some of the staples.

1. Food and Beverage Management

Many people advocate starting at the bottom of this career and working up. The thinking is that managers will learn every facet of the job that way. Careers managing larger or more elite establishments or restaurants at spas or resorts however, are now demanding applicants with degrees in hospitality including courses in food preparation and management, business and budgeting, human resource training and other skills contained in a hospitality degree. Median salaries for these managers is $54,240.

2. Wedding Coordinator

Among hospitality management careers, events managers are popular choices. A wedding coordinator is an events manager, but with a twist. According to an article in Forbes, one of the biggest customer groups for wedding coordinators is millennials. They, the article asserts, are different than previous clientele. For one thing, they are more likely to want an up-scale, but very personal event. Planners of these weddings will deal with more exotic and unusual locations, varied and personal menus and other highly-customized components of the wedding. Additionally, because millennials marry later, the coordinators will work with them instead of their parents. This means presenting a truly professional and capable image. Employers prefer coordinators with degrees, and self-employed wedding coordinators will attract more clientele when they can add a degree to their resumes. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, wedding coordinators earn a median salary of $58,850.

3. Amusement Park Managers

Another shift in culture is creating opportunities at amusement parks. They are becoming less of a “parking lot with food stands and rides” and more of a themed destination that includes upscale restaurants in addition to fast food and often hotels and transportation services. Managers oversee everything from ticket sales to restaurants and entertainment like evening concerts. They are concerned with overall visitor experiences including gift-shop operations and ride safety. A hospitality degree is an asset in applying for this career because many of the skills needed are taught in hospitalist/tourism courses. The BLS lists the median salary for these managers as $92,720.

4. Flight Attendants

This is another career that was once open to on-the-job training, but because of larger planes and more discerning passengers, it has now become a good option for hospitality majors. The reason for this is that the attendants deal with meal service, with other aspects of customer service such as making certain passengers are comfortable, with managing passenger behaviors. Flight attendants are also certified by the Federal Aviation Administration. The median salary, according to the BLS is $56,000.

Related Resource: 15 Best Deals on MBA and Hospitality Management Online Programs

5. Cruise Ship Jobs

This category is necessarily non-specific. That is because cruise ships are a bit like luxury hotels or resorts and there are many hospitality opportunities. Cruise ships serve gourmet meals and hire food service managers to run their restaurants and dining rooms. Additionally, they employ cruise directors who handle everything from on-board entertainment and recreation to amenities at destinations, so they function a little like travel agents. There are receptionists and housekeeping managers as well as other hospitality professionals. Another perk of a career aboard a cruise ship is the opportunity for travel. Salaries vary by position and by cruise line. The posted salary for a cruise director on Royal Caribbean Lines, however, was $132,425.

These are merely examples of careers within the hospitality arena. There are many more hospitality management careers for which a hospitality degree is excellent preparation.