Hospitality Careers Overview
Hospitality careers are for those who enjoy playing the host. Food service and lodging managers are responsible for making sure guests at restaurants and hotels have a satisfying experience with their meal or their accommodations. Both types of hospitality careers are responsible for managing the daily operations of the establishment including overseeing staff, reviewing budgets and ensuring guests’ comfort and satisfaction. The hours can be long; hotels are essentially 24-hour businesses and restaurants are often open long hours and on weekends, so don’t plan on a nine to five, 40-hour work week.
Hospitality jobs typically require at least a high school diploma and extensive on-the-job experience. Larger restaurants and hotels may require their managers to have a bachelor’s degree in business management, and some restaurants may prefer that their managers have postsecondary training in the culinary field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a bachelor’s degree in restaurant and hospitality management is now offered by many universities.
Hospitality Job Market
Although population growth is expected to increase the demand for food and lodging services, companies are consolidating supervisor and managerial positions, streamlining hospitality jobs to keep budgets under control. That’s why hospitality careers are projected to see slow growth in comparison to other jobs over the next 10 years. Food service managers are expected to only go up two percent, from 321,400 in 2012 to 326,500 by 2022, and the 50,400 lodging manager jobs reported in 2012 may only see a one percent increase to 51,100 by 2022.
Salaries in the hospitality industry are fairly good, right in the neighborhood of the upper $40,000 range. Lodging managers average $46,810 annually for their full-time work. Food service managers make just a bit more with a $47,960 median annual salary, although the BLS notes that special food services managers earn $54,210 on the average.