How Long Does it Take to Get a Degree in Hospitality?

Aspiring hospitality students often wonder how long it takes to get a degree in hospitality. This is not an easy question to answer because there is an array of different majors within the field of hospitality from which students can choose. Here are hospitality careers and degree levels individuals can choose from as well as how long they take to complete.

Associate Degrees

Hospitality management is offered at the associate degree level. These programs typically take about two years to complete. They can be found at community colleges, technical schools, and vocational schools. Two options that are often available are the Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality Management and the Associate of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management.

Depending on the program, students will see courses like restaurant management; food safety and sanitation; hotel management; principles of management; event planning, and travel sales. Graduates may find the following career options.

  • Dining room supervisor
  • Guest services manager
  • Management trainee
  • Assistant food and beverage manager
  • Chef
  • Banquet sales coordinator

Bachelor’s Degrees

Hospitality degrees are very common at the baccalaureate level and can be found at four-year colleges and universities. A hospitality degree at the bachelor’s degree level typically is usually either in administration or management. The administration option focuses on rooms divisions or food and beverage while the management option focuses on principles of marketing, managing rooms’ revenues, or food and beverage management.

The business administration option also offers students areas of specialization. Towards the end of the program, students complete internships in hospitality businesses. Many colleges offer hospitality programs through distance learning. Possible career options for graduates include:

  • Property general manager
  • Event planner and coordinator
  • Hotel management
  • Food preparation and service worker manager
  • Travel agent/tour operator
  • Restaurant manager
  • Gaming manager
  • Catering manager

See our ranking of the 30 Best Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Hospitality Management.

Master’s Degrees

Candidates who complete master’s degree in hospitality or hospitality management can expect to be in school for around six years. Graduates of these programs can also expect to work at the highest levels in the hospitality industry and earn excellent wages at the same time. This is including the four years for the bachelor’s degree. A common hospitality degree at this level is the Master of Science in Hospitality Business Management.

Many colleges offer online hospitality graduate programs. These are ideal for students who are already working in the area of hospitality. The student is not only working while earning a degree but may also have the opportunity to complete an internship.

  • Hotel management
  • Entrepreneur
  • Revenue manager
  • Country club manager
  • Sales manager
  • Human resources manager
  • Academia
  • Restaurant manager

Wage Potential

The salaries that can be earned in the hospitality industry vary by degree level, training, and locations. Students who have completed internships or externships often have an advantage. Those starting off in entry-level positions may earn from $28,000 to $40,000 annually. Bachelor degree positions like gaming managers may earn $70,000 annually, while property general manager positions may pay as high as $200,000. This information came from Best Hospitality Degrees.com.

Hospitality management or hospitality administration is a huge field with many areas of study, according to U.S. News & World Report. They also state there are many scholarships available out there. With so many options, interested candidates can decide how long they want to take to get a degree in hospitality and choose an appropriate training program.

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