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Hospitality Management Careers: Entry-Level Positions

Hospitality Management Careers

Do you have a passion for bringing enjoyment to people’s lives? Do you excel at providing excellent customer service with the warmth and friendliness necessary to make everyone feel at ease? If so, hospitality management careers rank among the best options for you. With new developments at all employment stages, hospitality management careers are fulfilling. Using your knowledge and leadership abilities, you will help shape the industry while also putting smiles on people’s faces.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for graduates in hospitality management roles, such as lodging managers, event planners, etc., is expected to rise by 18% over the next ten years. Numerous career options are available for practitioners due to the transferrable skills acquired in this field.

In this article, we will explore jobs in hospitality management, graduate degree programs, and the various hospitality management salaries for different roles in this sector.

What is Hospitality Management?

Hospitality is a sector or industry involving commercial, operational, and administrative areas that integrate into various disciplines that prioritize service. Therefore, hospitality management applies strategic innovation and financial techniques, coupled with an unending passion for service to the modern business of making customers or guests feel comfortable.

Key Areas of Hospitality:

  • Guest Relations
  • Food and Beverage
  • Tourism Management
  • Event Planning
  • Entertainment and Leisure Industries

General Overview: Hospitality Management Education

Before discussing hospitality management careers, we will explore critical areas of emphasis in different hospitality-based academic programs provided at associate to doctorate levels.

Associate Degree

At the associate level, a hospitality management degree teaches students to manage restaurants, hotels, and resorts effectively. In this program, candidates will learn about hospitality theories and practices, practical communication skills, and the use of computer systems in day-to-day operations.

Typical coursework in a hospitality management degree program includes facilities management, resort management, lodging operations, marketing, events planning, beverage and food management, etc.

Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s program in hospitality management covers coursework in travel and tourism, destination services management, meeting and convention planning, and fundamentals of buying. In addition, the curriculum sometimes integrates classes in business and liberal arts. During these programs, students will learn about leadership concepts, data analytics, and revenue management.

Master’s Degree

At the master’s level, students will learn practical techniques for working in various hospitality settings. The curriculum will vary based on the concentration areas chosen by respective applicants. In this program, graduates will take advanced courses in finance, customer service, marketing, etc. Before completing their curriculum, candidates can choose their area of specialization, which may include areas such as lodging, events, and tourism management.

Doctorate Degree

A Ph.D. degree in hospitality management exposes graduates to crucial topics. Via this program, doctoral students will take courses in statistics, management research, and more. Candidates will acquire logical and analytical abilities during this program.

Entry-Level Hospitality Management Careers

In most hospitality management degree programs, students will take courses emphasizing diverse aspects ranging from event planning and tourism to management and sales methodologies. Each course exposes candidates to various areas that will be helpful in their respective careers.

In the list below, we will highlight entry-level hospitality management jobs in different industries, such as:

  • Entertainment and leisure
  • Food and beverages
  • Event management

1. Flight Attendant

Annual Salary: $61,640 in May 2021
Projected Growth: 21%
Source: BLS

Flight attendants must have a minimum of high school education. Some airlines, however, often favor hiring candidates that have taken a few college courses. Foreign language proficiency may be necessary for those who operate on international flights. Before embarking on their career as flight attendants, they need to have between one to two years of experience working in the hospitality industry. This experience may involve providing customer service in resorts, restaurants, or hotels.

Duties and Responsibilities of Flight Attendants:

  • Provide guidance and assistance to ensure the comfort and safety of passengers
  • Check tickets, welcome passengers, and provide seating assistance
  • Prepare and deliver passengers’ food and beverages
  • Provide information on flights, current routes, and arrival times to travelers

2. Spa Director

Annual Salary: $61,002 in July 2022
Source: PayScale

Where you live can affect the qualifications needed to become a spa director. Most management roles, however, require applicants to hold a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management, business administration, or certificates in a relevant field. In addition, most recruiters expect applicants to be well-versed or have extensive experience in retail sales and customer service. Also, they must be able to resolve disputes amicably, communicate effectively, and inspire a team.

Duties and Responsibilities of Spa Directors:

  • Educate all new employees about the use of POS terminals, computer systems, and vital operational processes
  • Boost the profitability of the spa, implement budgeting controls and inventory techniques, and make pay structure changes
  • Plan the logistics for facility activities and meetings, including making personalized itineraries for various group meetings
  • Effectively oversee the many services available, such as tanning, hair, massages, and facials
  • Train employees, coordinate scheduling, process payroll, and provide quality customer support to strengthen client relationships further and boost revenue

3. Food Service Manager

Annual Salary: $59,440 in May 2021
Projected Growth: 10%
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Food service managers must earn a bachelor’s degree in a hospitality-related academic program. Aside from obtaining a college degree, they must have a prior work experience in the food service sector and be effective problem-solvers driven by their own goals. They must have outstanding communication skills and be capable of inspiring and guiding employees.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities of Food Service Managers:

  • Control meal preparation
  • Oversee employee hiring, supervision, and termination
  • Ensure staff adherence to health and food safety regulations
  • Place purchase orders for supplies and food
  • Examine goods, tools, and operating environments

Note: Hospitality management jobs salary in the food & beverages sector varies based on years of working experience.

4. Lodging Manager

Annual Salary: $59,430 in May 2021
Projected Growth: 18%
Source: BLS

Lodging managers can enter this hospitality management career by obtaining a certificate or associate’s degree in hotel management. But lately, most managerial positions in this field are given to candidates with bachelor’s degrees in hotel or hospitality management. To function effectively, they are required to have proven years of hotel-related experience. They must have strong communication and management skills.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities of Lodging Managers:

  • Keep records of the revenue generated by the hotel or other accommodation
  • Establish occupancy rates and budgets, approve purchases, and allocate money to different departments
  • Oversee an organization’s guest services, interior decoration, and maintenance
  • Make judgments about hiring, conduct interviews with candidates, and train new hires
  • Check the hygienic conditions and appearance of guest rooms and surrounding areas
  • Manage order inventory and employee payroll, keep track of occupants, and provide regular updates to stakeholders

5. Sports Facility Manager

Annual Salary: $57,000 in August 2022
Source: PayScale

Sports facility managers typically obtain sports or leisure-based qualifications at the bachelor’s or master’s level. Practitioners in this industry must have at least two to three years of management and leadership experience coupled with the skills to motivate team members. They must also have an in-depth understanding of financial projections, budgets, and allocations.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities of Sports Facility Manager:

  • Oversee the daily operations of the cleaning crews and all sporting facilities, including the buildings and grounds
  • Engage in the planning and redesign of sporting facilities as well as the purchasing, leasing, and selling of facilities

6. Tour Guide

Annual Salary: $56,000 in May 2021
Source: PayScale

Tour guides have no specific educational prerequisites, even though many specialists in this field possess a minimum high school degree. To assume a top role, employers often consider candidates that have earned a bachelor’s degree in history, hospitality management, or related fields. To advance in this career, students can further enroll in certification programs offered by the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations. In addition, they must have in-depth knowledge or experience about various locations and be able to respond to inquiries that are unique to their tour.

Duties and Responsibilities of Tour Guide:

  • Enlighten clients in an engaging way about their respective destinations
  • Guarantee the group’s welfare and maintain the unity of tour groups
  • Obtain and maintain the required equipment for every tour
  • Educate clients regarding the tour’s schedule
  • Determine routes based on the duration of each tour and weather reports

7. Chef or Head Cook

Annual Salary: $50,160 in May 2021
Projected Growth: 15%
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Chefs and head cooks must obtain a high school degree and graduate qualification in a culinary training program at a four-year technical college or university. Employers require them to be well-versed in various culinary methods, ingredients, and flavor combinations to produce sumptuous meals. Also, they must have experience crafting menus with fresh or seasoned culinary delights to guarantee the quality and uniqueness of the dishes. This hospitality management career has a lot of projected growth potential over the next few years according to BLS.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities of Chefs and Head Cooks:

  • Ensure the highest standards of food flavor and quality
  • Eliminate waste and manage spending
  • Keep track of stock and place orders for raw materials
  • Keep the kitchen clean and sanitary
  • Control and supervise the process of food preparation and related operations
  • Arrange the staff’s schedule of duties
  • Hire, train, and nurture employees

8. Convention, Meeting, and Event Planner

Annual Salary: $49,470 in May 2021
Projected Growth: 18%
Source: BLS

Convention, meeting, and event planners must earn a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management or event management to assume higher roles than candidates with diplomas or low-level qualifications. They must have experience organizing professional and social events, such as business conventions and educational conferences. In addition, they must know about setting up audiovisual equipment and planning logistics.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities of Conventions/Meetings & Event Planners:

  • Organize the accommodation, transportation, and catering for the event
  • Coordinate with the conference venue and related services, like catering and translators
  • Negotiate with vendors and oversee activities with venue workers
  • Keep an eye on the event’s progress to ensure attendees and clients are happy
  • Inspect and verify that venues suit the needs of the client

9. Travel Agent

Annual Salary: $43,810 in May 2021
Projected Growth: 20%
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Individuals must possess at least a high school diploma to work as travel agents. However, most businesses prefer to accept applicants with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management or those that have taken courses directly linked to the travel sector. They must have experience arranging excursions and vacations for individuals and organizations, giving recommendations on locations, making travel arrangements for customers, and designing itineraries.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities of Travel Agents:

  • Work with customers to ascertain their travel requirements.
  • Help clients choose suitable means of transportation, schedules, prices, and accommodations.
  • Make reservations for travelers’ lodging and transportation.
  • Assist clients with budgeting plans for planned trips.
  • Attending travel seminars to gain knowledge of the current trends in the travel industry.
  • Make trip arrangements, taking into account lodging, airlines, and transportation.

10. Bartender

Annual Salary: $30,000 to $40,000 in May 2021
Projected Growth: 18%
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Formal education is unnecessary for a bartender job role since employees obtain their qualifications via specialized education and on-the-job training. However, most employers favor employees who have earned at least a diploma or bachelor’s degree in a hospitality-related field. Also, high-end bars typically hire staff who have either attended bartending school or had extensive working experience in the hospitality industry. They must be knowledgeable of local and state regulations governing the selling of alcoholic beverages.

Duties and Responsibilities of Bartenders:

  • Process customer payments
  • Clean bar utensils and glasses
  • Blend both traditional and modern cocktails
  • Provide advice based on the tastes and preferences of the customer
  • Develop relationships with frequent clients and create a welcoming environment
  • Verify each customer’s identity and age requirements

11. Public Relations Specialist

Annual Salary: $62,800 in May 2021
Projected Growth: 8%
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Public relations specialists must hold a bachelor’s degree in a field related to communications, hospitality, marketing, or business. Candidates must have exceptional speaking and writing skills. They must also possess at least two years of public relations experience, focusing on strategic communications skills and the capacity to recognize and pitch story concepts.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities of Public Relations Specialists:

  • Create public relations strategy and plans
  • Write press releases, speeches, and other PR-related initiatives
  • Amplify the brand’s voice and presence across all platforms
  • Assist with the execution of marketing strategies
  • Organize and manage events, expos, conferences, etc.

Note: Among the hospitality management degree jobs, the PR specialist’s career ranks among the highest paying.

Licensing and Certifications

Hospitality management certifications raise the status of any resume. Therefore, obtaining a hospitality license can make candidates more desirable and increase their chances of getting promotions or moving into a different sector.

While credentials honor those who have worked in the field for a considerable time, certifications are also available for entry-level beginners who want to advance in their hospitality management careers. A few of them are:

  • Certified Speaking Professional (CSP): This certification attests to a person’s proficiency in oral and written communication and public speaking. Although it only lasts five years, you can extend it by taking more public speaking classes.
  • Digital Event Strategist (DES): Digital Event Strategist certification is for hospitality industry practitioners interested in the most effective techniques for organizing, implementing, and evaluating digital engagement activities.
  • Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM): Hospitality management professionals obtain the CEM license to show their expertise in planning and running a facility’s events or exhibitions. Via this certification program, students will learn core topics like event marketing, meeting management, consumer show management, and exhibition methodologies.
  • Certified Hospitality Sales Professional (CHSP): Hospitality management professionals can obtain this certification to gain sales and revenue-generating experience. The certificate elaborates on current sales trends and approaches and demonstrates a person’s experience in revenue and marketing.
  • Collegiate Conference and Events Professional (CCEP): With the CCEP certification, professionals can demonstrate their proficiency in collegiate leadership foundations, event planning, and conference management.
  • Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP): This CSEP certification verifies a special events planner’s level of expertise. The qualification refines and assesses a person’s abilities and expertise in unique event management practices and standards. Also, the validity of this certification is five years, and the recertification procedure calls for ongoing education, professional experience, and involvement in the CSEP society.

Professional Organizations and Resources

Some of the professional associations available to graduates pursuing hospitality management careers are:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a career in hospitality management?

A career in hospitality management paves the way for specialists to explore different facets of the travel and tourism industry, food and beverages, as well as the technology, real estate, and financial services field within the hospitality sector. The jobs in this field involve managing, planning, support services like travel assistance, etc.

What are five careers in the hospitality industry?

Some of the careers in hospitality management include:

  • Travel agents
  • Event planners
  • Hotel general managers
  • Tour guides
  • Holiday counselors

Where can I get hospitality management career information?

You can get detailed hospitality management career information at

What is the average hospitality management job salary?

For hospitality management careers, the average wage is $55,000 per annum.

Is hospitality management a good career?

With a degree in hospitality management, your employment options are virtually endless. In reality, the hospitality industry is among the sectors with the most substantial job growth globally. The future looks bright for this job field.

What is the highest paying job in hospitality?

Depending on your chosen field, the highest-paying hospitality management jobs include administrative and leadership positions such as event manager, travel manager, and hotel operations manager.

Are entry-level hospitality management jobs hard to find?

No, they are not challenging to get.

What is hospitality management?

Hospitality management encompasses the management of the day-to-day operational, administrative, and business functions of companies, including hotels, resorts, eateries, caterers, retail chains, amusement parks, casinos, and numerous other connected businesses.

What is hospitality management definition?

Hospitality management relates to the systematic application of management principles and leadership in the managing, tourism, and accommodation of people from different cultural backgrounds.

Are jobs in hospitality management worth it?

Hospitality management jobs are worth it due to the reasonable wages and availability of careers in this sector.

What can you do with a hospitality management degree?

Hospitality management degree jobs include tour operator, event organizer, guest service agent, and hotel administration executive.

Wrapping Up!

Hospitality management careers will enable students to explore places all over the globe. A qualification in this field makes it possible for graduates to immerse themselves in this sector and gain knowledge in technology and financial services within the hospitality field.

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