You know that person who first greets you as you arrive at a hotel? That person has the power to enhance the entire feel of your vacation. A warm smile and hearty greeting and you start your stay away on a happy note. Having the ability to make guests feel good about their trips is just one of the many rewards of a career in hospitality management.
What is Hospitality Management?
Hospitality management is the field of overseeing the administration of a hotel or resort. According to Johnson & Wales professor and online instructor Jane Boyland, the roll of a hospitality manager has two fronts: "A hospitality manager's main role is to deliver an experience that meets or exceeds guest expectations, while at the same time ensuring the financial success of the business."
Day-to-day operations include overseeing the hotel's front desk operations; the restaurant, bar and room service, if applicable; public facilities like the pool and gym; housekeeping; group conference rooms and sales; reservations and general maintenance of the property. You can see that you won't likely be bored in a hospitality management position. Boyland added that in order for a hospitality manager to be effective they must be great at "balancing people and customer service skills with the analytical skills necessary to perform the main role effectively."
Hospitality managers rarely work a 9-to-5 job. Since resorts and hotels are hosting guests 24/7, there needs to be someone available to guests round the clock. However, don't be scared. These responsibilities are usually shared by a general manager and several assistant managers, depending on the size of the property.
Careers in Hospitality Management
Careers in hospitality management vary widely. They can include being a hotel or resort manager (or assistant manager), a hotel restaurant manager, a hotel event coordinator or a hotel catering manager. Hotel managers oversee the operations of every aspect of the hotel or resort, as we outlined above. The hotel restaurant manager makes sure that restaurant guests are pleased with their meals, that the restaurant is well-staffed and that the restaurant is making a profit. Event coordinators plan business meetings and special events like weddings or charity functions. Catering managers make sure that all of the hotel's food and beverage service, outside of the restaurant, is impeccable and profitable. This includes food and beverage for business meetings and weddings as well as room service.
A hotel management degree will also qualify you for certain jobs aboard a cruise liner, such as the purser or assistant purser, the staff that oversees the accommodations functions of a cruise ship. Or it can prepare you for a position as a cruise director or assistant, the people who organize and manage the myriad of activities offered on a cruise ship.
What Salary You Can Expect to Make With a Career in Hospitality Management
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average hotel manager in the United States can expect to earn around $54,430 per year or $26.17 per hour. The BLS lists the average salary for a hotel event planner as $50,600 and the average salary for a hotel restaurant manager as $55,320. However, those figures can vary dramatically depending on the hotel you work for, the size of the property or the restaurant, your experience, the region of the country in which you work and your job responsibilities.
Hospitality managers often qualify for travel perks, such as free stays at other hotels affiliated with the property where you work and discounts on other travel products, such as cruises and tour packages.
Education Required For a Career in Hospitality Management
The quickest path to a successful career in hospitality management is to earn a bachelor's degree in this field. Although it is possible to become a hotel manager with a high school diploma by working your way up the ranks, that particular career path can take years, even a decade or more. A two-year hospitality management degree is offered by a number of in-person and online colleges and universities. Curriculum varies, but courses for a hospitality degree usually include marketing, public relations, management, accounting and finance.
To apply to a hospitality management degree program, a candidate typically needs to have a high school degree or equivalent with an acceptable GPA, letters of recommendation and SAT or ACT test scores. Some schools, such as Johnson and Wales University Online Education, require that you have at least two years' previous college or post-high-school work experience.
A career in hospitality management can be exciting and dynamic. It can introduce you to a variety of people and places. If you’re interested in a career in hospitality management, earn your bachelor’s degree in hospitality management online from JWU. For more information, complete the Request Info form, call 855-JWU-1881, or email [email protected].