If you're considering a career in hospitality management, the future might seem a little hazy. In 2010, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its most recent comprehensive study, the national economy added about 51,400 hospitality jobs. This represented a growth rate of about 8 percent during the year. While the increase was modest, these numbers are actually quite impressive when considered in context.
Jobs across a wide range of industries were dwindling in availability at that time, even though the economic downturn had officially ended. And as many industries lost positions, hospitality picked them up, though not exactly at lightning speed. Growth has continued steadily, and it's generally believed that the hospitality industry has turned a corner and will continue to expand at a pace that reflects the national picture in hotel, restaurant and travel-related consumer spending.
Should You Enter the Hospitality Field?
If you're considering a career in hospitality management, these predictions are encouraging. They mean your possible employers no longer have any dark clouds hanging over their heads. Once again, people are slowly opening their wallets for expenses related to travel and lodging, and employers are responding by gradually adding staff and expanding their payrolls. Most experts believe this slow but steady growth will continue through 2020.
Right now, hospitality managers are commanding an average salary of about 47,000 dollars per year, or roughly 23 dollars per hour (calculate what your salary should be). Most full time employers offer benefits, including access to group health insurance plans, and some may offer pensions or 401K retirement options.
At the entry level, the hospitality field usually requires at least a high school diploma. Many entry level candidates work their way up to management level within the same company, but for those who apply from outside the organization, management positions in hospitality typically require at least a few years of higher education.
Large, high-end or full service hotels usually require a Bachelor's degree, while smaller establishments that provide minimal services may expect an Associate's degree. In both cases, areas of study should focus on business, hospitality management or hotel and restaurant management.
Competing for a Position in Hospitality Management
Experts are encouraged by the fact that employers will be adding hospitality positions in the years ahead. But for a long time, this growth will not outpace the available candidates on the job market. The best positions will be hard to come by, and competition for these positions will be tight. If you plan to make a go of it in this field, start with a visit to LiveCareer for more industry news and general job search advice. Then show employers that you possess the following talents and abilities:
- You can do more with less. You know how to cut budgets while adding value, and you factor the bottom line into every decision you make.
- You have more than one skill. And you're willing, not just able, to apply your skills when necessary. If you're a team player who wears more than one hat, and you're willing to get your hands dirty and take on unconventional tasks, you'll appeal to cautious employers trying to get the most for their money.
- You have an extensive network of contacts both inside and outside the industry. If you make positive connections everywhere you go, then you'll vastly increase your chances of getting hired. And when you land a position, your connections will help you provide value to your employers.
- You have a high degree of emotional intelligence. Hospitality management is a very social line of work, and success in this field requires empathy and the ability to anticipate the needs of other people. If you have these qualities, let them shine.
Start Your Search
When you're ready to search for hospitality positions and submit applications, turn to LiveCareer first. We offer the resume guidance, job search tips and job postings you need to take your career planning to the next level.