Inside Hospitality Careers

Insider tips you need to know to choose and succeed in the right career

Hospitality Careers

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CareerReported Satisfaction
Food And Restaurant Manager
Hotel Manager
Travel Agent

Career Background

  Hospitality Salaries

Surprising and Helpful Information

Detailed info from people on the job

Examples of likes and dislikes:


"seeing the look on people's faces when they pick up their vacation documents and, later, hearing about their trip when they return. It gives me great satisfaction to see their responses."


"having to close the door and ask the last customer to leave. But it's not much fun either when profits are down and hours have to be cut."

Career Overview

Hospitality is a broad service industry that includes hotels and resorts, restaurants, airlines, cruises, theme parks and attractions, event planning, and other leisure and recreation activities within the tourism field. Any time a person eats in a restaurant or travels, for example, they are receiving service from individuals working in hospitality. This vast industry creates a wide array of career opportunities for individuals who enjoy working with people and are interested in a food, travel, and tourism career. Jobs in this field include those working directly with clients such as waitresses, concierges, and travel agents, or those working behind the scenes in planning and preparatory positions such as chefs, event planning, or hotel housekeeping.

Career Skills

Excellent customer service skills and the desire to cater to people are essential for anyone interested in working in this field. The hospitality industry is competitive and demanding, with ambitious employees needed that are able to meet customer requests in a timely manner. Business skills have also become increasingly important for management professionals. Additional skills vary depending on the job, such as culinary skills required to be a chef, or strong computer skills for a travel agent.


Educational requirements vary greatly depending upon the specific job. Many occupations only require a high school diploma, such as housekeeping or waitressing, with most jobs requiring a combination of hands-on-experience and some form of higher education. A bachelorís or masterís degree has become increasingly important for individuals interested in a management position. Many vocational schools, community colleges, and public and private colleges and universities offer certificate and degree programs focusing on a segment of the industry such as culinary, hospitality management, and travel and tourism. These programs provide a wide variety of options, from more skills-oriented certificates to graduate degree programs.

Career Options

A wide variety of career options exist in the hospitality industry, with many individuals starting at low-level positions and moving to higher level jobs through on-the-job training and experience. The following are some examples of hospitality careers:

  • Event planners organize all aspects of an event for a client, from the planning stages to ensuring everything runs smoothly on the day of the event. Event planners can work for an event planning firm, a corporation, or may own their own business. Areas that a planner might focus include conference and convention planning, fund-raising events for non-profit organizations, and wedding planning.
  • Chefs work in restaurants, hotels, cafeterias, and other places that serve food. Individual duties vary depending on the establishment, but may include creating a menu, working with food vendors, food preparation and cooking, maintaining cleanliness and safety in the kitchen, managing kitchen employees, and customer relations.
  • Restaurant managers have many responsibilities to ensure that a restaurant runs efficiently. Depending on the facility, a restaurant managerís duties may include working with chefs to plan menus and purchase supplies, hire and train staff, scheduling, assisting with marketing or advertising of the restaurant, maintaining customer relationships, and resolving food service and quality complaints.
  • Travel agents assist individual and business travelers with making the best travel arrangements available. They may specialize in a certain type of travel, such as cruise lines, tours, or business travel. In addition to offering advice on destinations, travel agents handle all arrangements for their clients including transportation, lodging, car rentals, tours, and assisting with any required documents or travel advisories.