How Much Can I Expect to Earn With a Degree in Hospitality

Individuals interested in hospitality careers often wonder how much they can expect to earn with a degree in hospitality. The good news for aspiring hospitality professionals is that hospitality industry salaries vary with different degrees and also vary from job to job. Hospitality and tourism programs are plentiful and cover various types of employment. Here is an overview of some careers possible with every degree level as well as potential wages.

Associate Degree Hospitality and/or Tourism Careers

Hospitality associate degree programs, which are offered at community colleges and technical schools, can be completed in two years. The hospitality programs include some general education courses, core courses and often require short internships at the end of the program.

Graduates of these programs are typically qualified for entry-level positions and may earn lower hospitality industry salaries, but there are many opportunities for advancement.

While some of the associate degree programs prepare the student for instant employment after graduation, others act as stepping stones towards bachelor’s degree programs. Here are some careers graduates of associate degree hospitality programs can pursue.

  • Dining Room Supervisor – $32,163
  • Guest Services Agent – $30,375
  • Assistant Food & Beverage Manager – $42,110
  • Guest Services Manager – $40,451
  • Travel Agent – $36,615
  • Restaurant Assistant Manager – $36,472

Bachelor’s Degree Hospitality and/or Tourism Careers

Hospitality bachelor’s degree programs can be found at many colleges and universities. These four-year programs require students to complete core courses as well as a designated number of hours of fieldwork and internships. Some students also get opportunities to complete international internships.

Many colleges also offer online hospitality and hospitality management bachelor’s degree programs. Students earning the degree through distance learning can complete most of the courses unless other than the internships, which must be completed in a hospitality establishment. The baccalaureate programs offer many different career options.

  • Travel Consultant – $39,865
  • Event Coordinator – $39,900
  • Restaurant/Bar Manager – $43,787
  • Head Chef – $44,403
  • Hotel Manager – $47,542

Master’s Degree Hospitality and/or Tourism Careers

Students completing master’s degree hospitality programs are qualified for and usually pursue leadership and managerial positions within the hospitality, tourism or gaming industry. They are also in positions to earn some of the highest hospitality industry salaries. Entry into the programs requires already having a bachelor’s degree, so earning the master’s degree takes two to three additional years.

Hospitality master’s degree program are found at many colleges and universities as well as at some culinary schools. Students in the master’s programs often get to complete internships in 5-star establishments or to travel internationally for their experience. Hospitality and tourism master’s degree programs are also offered through distance learning at many schools. The sky is almost the limit when it comes to opportunities that are open to graduates of the master’s degree programs.

  • Food and Beverage Director – $65,474
  • Director of Casino Operations – $88,524
  • Slot Operations Manager – $63,098
  • Travel Manager – $47,874
  • Restaurant General Manager – $47,494
  • Executive Chef – $58,241

All wage information came from PayScale as of April 2018.

With so many career possibilities available to hospitality program graduates, candidates can decide what type of income they would like to earn, research programs, and choose an appropriate program that appeals to them. It’s a perfect way to have a good idea of how much to expect to earn with a degree in hospitality.

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