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Hospitality Management

Hotels and other accommodations are as different as the many family and business travelers they accommodate. The industry includes all types of lodging, from luxurious five-star hotels to youth hostels and RV (recreational vehicle) parks. While many provide simply a place to spend the night, others cater to longer stays by providing food service, recreational activities, and meeting rooms. In 2013, 52,529 properties with 4,900,642 guestrooms provided accommodations to suit many different needs and budgets (www.ahla.com). On this page you will find information regarding hotel/lodging management. Please note that there are many other areas available for those seeking professional careers in hospitality management. These include, but are not limited to, managerial roles in any of the following hospitality industry segments: meetings & event planning, cruise lines, theme parks, country clubs, restaurants, destination marketing organizations, incentive travel, travel agencies, casinos, airlines, rail travel, motorcoach transportation, tour operators, and commercial recreation.

Hotel managers and many department supervisors may work regularly assigned schedules, but they also routinely work longer hours than scheduled, especially during peak travel times or when multiple events are scheduled. Also, they may be called in to work on short notice in the event of an emergency or to cover a position.

Education and Training

Many hotels fill first-level manager positions by promoting staff from within—particularly those with good communication skills, a solid educational background, tact, loyalty, and a capacity to endure hard work and long hours. People with these qualities still advance to manager jobs, but, more recently, lodging chains have primarily been hiring persons with 4-year college degrees in the liberal arts or other fields and starting them in assistant manager or management trainee positions. Bachelor's and Master's degree programs in hotel, restaurant, and hospitality management provide the strongest background for a career as a hotel manager, with nearly 1000 colleges and universities offering such programs. Graduates of these programs are highly sought by employers in this industry because of their familiarity with technical issues and their ability to learn related skills quickly. Eventually, they may advance to a top management position in a hotel or a corporate management position in a large chain operation.

How much does this job pay?

Salaries of lodging managers are dependent upon the size and sales volume of the establishment and their specific duties and responsibilities. Managers may earn bonuses ranging up to 50 percent of their basic salary. In addition, they may be furnished with meals, parking, laundry, and other services, and sometimes on-site lodging for themselves and their families. Some hotels offer profit-sharing plans, tuition reimbursement, and other benefits to their employees. In 2010, the median pay for a lodging manager was $46,880 not including bonuses.

How many jobs are there?

Hotels and other accommodations provided 2.0 million wage and salary jobs in 2011. Employment is concentrated in cities and resort areas. Hotels and other lodging places often provide first jobs to many new entrants to the labor force. In 2011, about 18 percent of the workers were younger than age 25, compared to about 14 percent across all industries.

What about the future?

The hotels and other accommodations industry is expected to grow by 8 percent over the 2012-2020 period. The industry employs large numbers of part-time and younger workers who typically do not stay in these jobs for very long. The need to replace these workers will create job opportunities in an array of occupations and localities.

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