Travel and hospitality managers work in hotels, resorts and restaurants. One of their primary duties is to ensure patrons are pleased enough with their experience that they will want to return. As a result, travel and hospitality managers spend time training and overseeing their employees, make hiring and firing decisions, and spend time with customers. Hotel and restaurant managers often prepare for their careers by studying hospitality and tourism in college.
Food Service Managers:
As of 2012, the National Association of Colleges and Employers reported hospitality management majors who become food service managers have an average starting salary of $39,500 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, found that food service managers at all levels of experience earned an average of $52,580 per year in 2012. Those employed by stand-alone restaurants averaged $50,260 per year, while food service managers employed by hotels and resorts earned an average of $60,270 per year.
As of 2012, hotel and resort managers with a bachelor's degree in hospitality services management reported an average starting salary of $38,000 per year to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Lodging managers at all levels of experience reported an average salary of $54,800 per year to the BLS. Those who oversaw RV parks and recreational camps averaged $57,820 per year, while the few who worked in gambling industries earned a high average of $73,520 per year.
Location, Location, Location:
As of 2012, food service managers tended to earn the most money in the Northeast and the least in the Midwest. However, the highest-paying state for this occupation was in Nevada, where they averaged $70,910 per year. Other high-paying states included Delaware, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey. Lodging managers reported high salaries in the Northeast, as well as the destination states of Alaska, Hawaii and Florida. The very highest average pay for lodging managers, $89,280, was reported in Delaware.
A job in hospitality management often requires several years of industry work experience before being considered for the position. For example, restaurant managers are often chosen among waitstaff of front desk workers, while lodging managers are often culled from hotel clerks and assistant managers. While the BLS expects the American economy to add jobs at a rate of 14 percent through 2020, jobs for lodging managers are expected to grow at a much slower rate of 8 percent, while food service management jobs are expected to decline by 3 percent. As a result, aspiring hospitality managers should expect significant competition for jobs.