Hospitality is a great industry to work in for anyone who craves excitement, adventure, and variety. Plus, you get to work with people who are enjoying themselves and help them make the most of their restaurant, cruise, hotel, or other vacation experience. With a degree in hospitality, there are a myriad of career paths you can choose. We’ll outline ten of the most exciting to give you an idea of the places you can go with this type of degree.
1. CRUISE SHIP DIRECTOR
A cruise ship director is the person who plans and organizes all the activities on board the ship. They are also charged with scheduling the entertainment and making sure it goes smoothly. The cruise director is a senior officer of the ship and one of the most visible crew members. On larger ships, the cruise director may have one or more assistants reporting to them.
A bachelor’s degree is generally required for this position, and a degree in hospitality management will give you an advantage over applicants without it. Johnson & Wales University offers both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in hospitality management.
A cruise ship director generally works at least a part of each day. According to ZipRecruiter, the average cruise director’s salary is $88,119. This varies quite a bit depending on the size of the ship and the director’s responsibilities. In addition to salary, a cruise director receives housing and meals while on the ship.
2. TOUR GUIDE
Another exciting career you can pursue with a hospitality management degree is that of a tour guide. Tour guides lead single-day or multi-day tours and are responsible for the safety of tour guests as well as the smooth execution of the tour. They also offer advice on restaurants, shopping, “off-the-tour” sightseeing, and advice on the local area such as the nearest bank or pharmacy. Guides may also lead adventure trips, such as hiking, rafting, or fishing expeditions. In addition, guides for overnight trips generally also get free lodging and a stipend for meals when on the tour.
A sommelier handles the wine program at a fine dining restaurant, cruise ship, or winery. These professionals generally have a hospitality management degree plus at least some coursework towards a master sommelier accreditation. This wine expert sets up the “wine menu” for a restaurant or other establishment, orders wine and keeps it in stock, and helps customers choose the wine that best suits their meal and their taste. Sometimes, but not always, the sommelier also serves the wine.
The salary for a sommelier varies quite a bit, depending on location, experience, and geographic location. According to Salary.com, the median salary for a sommelier in the US is $62,902.
4. CASINO HOST
A casino host is charged with encouraging VIP guests to visit their casino and helping them have a successful visit once they arrive. This hospitality job involves making travel arrangements for VIP guests, making sure they are pampered while they are at the facility, offering them complimentary meals and other perks for their patronage at the casino, and encouraging guests to stay at the casino and gamble rather than venturing out to other casinos or activities.
Casino hosts are generally paid a generous salary plus a bonus for increasing the amount guests spend at the casino. They also occasionally receive tips from VIP clients who are pleased with their services.
5. EVENT MANAGER
As the name implies, an event manager helps party venues, hotels, convention centers, and other businesses book and host successful events. According to the BLS, career opportunities for event managers are growing fast, expected to rise 18 percent between 2020 and 2030.
Johnson & Wales University offers a degree in event management that uniquely prepares students for careers in this field.
6. WEDDING PLANNER
A subset of event planners, wedding planners help brides and engaged couples plan their nuptials. Wedding planners work for resorts, party venues, and hotels. They can also work for themselves and set up their own wedding planning business. Wedding planners coordinate flowers, music, food, the officiant, and other wedding details.
7. HOTEL MANAGER
Hotel managers make sure the property is running smoothly, guests are happy and safe, and the hotel is making a profit. This is a challenging job since hotels operate 24 hours a day and you never know what each day will bring. Managers usually work during the day and are on call in the event of an emergency after hours. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for a hotel manager is $59,430.
Earning a degree in hospitality management from Johnson & Wales University is a great way to prepare for a career as a hotel manager — especially with the opportunity to customize your program with specializations in Food and Beverage, Hotels and Resorts, and Sustainable Tourism.
8. ACTIVITY DIRECTOR
An activity director is similar to a cruise director, except that they work for a land-based company. Activity directors work for parks, schools, nursing homes, and churches. They plan and execute a daily, monthly, and yearly schedule of games, art projects, field trips, and other events for attendees of the facility.
According to Glassdoor.com, the median annual salary for an activity director is $45,592 (including bonus or commission).
9. TRAVEL AGENT
A travel agent is another career you can pursue with a degree in hospitality management. Travel agents help vacationers and business travelers make their travel arrangements. This can involve making hotel and air transportation reservations as well as planning detailed day-to-day travel itineraries, complete with restaurant reservations, sightseeing tours, and spa appointments.
Pay rates for travel agents span a broad range and, depending on the size of the travel company, the agent’s responsibilities and where they work. According to the BLS, the median annual pay for a travel agent is $43,810. Having a degree in hospitality makes it easier to get a promotion to a travel agency manager or a travel department manager in a corporation.
10. THEME PARK MANAGER
A theme park manager, as the name implies, handles the operations at an amusement or other theme park. This can be a large park, like SeaWorld or Universal Studios, or a smaller, local park. This position involves a lot of responsibility, and the manager generally has staff help them with the park management. A theme park manager gets involved with the enjoyment and safety of the guests, the functionality of the rides and concessions, and the profitability of the park. They also participate in the marketing of the park and the planning of special events.
According to Salary.com, the average Amusement Park Manager salary in the United States is $70,467, but the salary range typically falls between $57,433 and $95,526. The salary varies widely depending on the size of the park, the scope of the job, and the park’s location.
EARNING A HOSPITALITY DEGREE AT JOHNSON & WALES UNIVERSITY
Johnson & Wales University offers a variety of bachelor’s degrees designed especially for the hospitality industry. These degree programs include hospitality and resort management, event management, hospitality management and tourism and hospitality management. Each of these degree programs prepares students to lead teams in the dynamic and exciting hospitality industry. They feature courses in management strategies, business planning, and marketing as they apply to the restaurant and hotel industries. These degree programs are offered online.
Johnson & Wales University has been a leader in hospitality education for more than 50 years. We offer numerous hospitality degree programs to help you reach your career goals. For more information about earning your degree, complete the Request Info form, call 855-JWU-1881, or email [email protected].