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Pamela McBride

Career Insight: Hospitality Management

Hospitality management careers are exciting, fast-paced and have a variety of paths. Many hospitality management jobs involve traveling, anticipating customer needs, entertainment, as well as juggling every detail of an event, the customer experience and facility operations. Few of these jobs are 8 – 5; the hours are long and the work week is rarely limited to weekdays. However, hospitality managers enjoy many employee benefits during time off, like travel, lodging and meals at extremely discounted prices.

One area in this industry that is expanding is meeting, convention and event planning.

“Applicants for our scholarship program for event services has grown from a handful a few years ago to a huge number every year,” said Julie Pingston, President of the Event Service Professional Association.

“A bachelor’s degree in hospitality management is becoming required for jobs more and more, but people can also transfer in from other fields,” she said. With that, the pay has also risen. Larger organizations have more positions that offer opportunities to grow from [frontline management] to middle management and even executive level,” she said.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for meeting, convention and event planners was $46,840in 2015 and the job outlook for the following 10 years is 10%, which is faster than the average growth rate of all other occupations. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/meeting-convention-and-event-planners.htm

These professionals usually work onsite at hotels and convention centers to coordinate all aspects of professional meeting and events, such as choosing meeting locations, arranging transportation and planning activities.

“What makes this so attractive to me is that every event has something unique about it I can solve. One day I may find a player piano for the venue, on another day I might resolve a very complicated parking situation and on another day I might have to create the perfect menu at the right price,” Pingston said.

Other careers in hospitality management include:

Lodging Managers. For a median annual pay of $45,810, they ensure that guests have a pleasant experience at hotels, resorts, boarding houses and other lodging establishments while running the establishment efficiently and profitably. About 39 percent of them were self-employed in 2012 and there will be little or no change (1 percent) in employment in through 2022. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/lodging-managers.htm

Food Service Managers manage the daily operations of restaurants, hotel, schools, etc. This includes, inventory, preparation, safety compliance, budget and customer service. The median annual salary in 2012 was $47,960 and about 40 percent of them were self-employed. The job outlook, at 2 percent, will barely change. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/food-service-managers.htm

Travel and Tourism Managers hold jobs like travel agents, cruise directors and tour managers. They oversee all aspects of travel such as, booking trips, entertainment, staff, budget, sales, etc., for an annual pay between $32,000 and $124,616, according to hcareers.com. http://www.hcareers.com/us/resourcecenter/tabid/306/articleid/573/default.aspx

Casino Managers, the most lucrative in the industry, manage all operations of casinos, including customer relations, facility management, entertainment, security, etc. in states where gambling is legal. The annual salary, according to hcareers.com is $124,618 and up. Most of these managers work their way their way up through the ranks into management. http://www.hcareers.com/us/resourcecenter/tabid/306/articleid/573/default.aspxThinking of pursuing a degree in hospitality management? Bryant & Stratton College has several hospitality programs to get you started. Want more information? Click here to learn about a degree in hospitality.


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