It’s the little things in life that often make the biggest difference. A “thank you!” written on a check at the end of a restaurant meal, a small piece of candy left on a pillow in a hotel room can make a special night out or weekend away feel even more special.
If making someone else’s day or evening appeals to you, a career in hospitality and tourism might be a great choice. Learn more about what jobs fall under the hospitality and tourism banner and how you can prepare for a career in this exciting and rewarding field.
What is Hospitality and Tourism?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statitsics, the hospitality industry is part of the larger service-providing industries group. It includes careers in accommodation and food service and careers in entertainment and recreation.
Jobs in hospitality and tourism include hotel manager, chef, executive housekeeper, travel agent, pastry chef, and event planner. According to the BLS, median weekly earnings for people employed in hospitality and tourism were $624 in 2020. The average hourly pay was $18.55 and the average number of hours worked per week was 26.6 in July 2021.
Is Hospitality and Tourism a Good Career?
For the right people, hospitality and tourism can be a fulfilling career choice. While each job in the sector has its own specific requirements for training and skills, there is some overlap between positions.
For example, a career in hospitality and tourism is often a good option for people who are creative. Many of the jobs in the sector require creative thinking or the ability to come up with fresh ideas quickly. Chefs, for example, need to develop interesting and delicious recipes. Front desk or hotel managers often need to come up with solutions to guests’ problems on the fly.
If you enjoy working with people and have a head for business, you’re also likely to find a career in the sector rewarding. Some careers in hospitality and tourism, such as chef and pastry chef, require a fair amount of physical strength and endurance. You might be on your feet for hours at time, moving around a crowded and hot kitchen.
Demand for some careers in the hospitality industry is expected to increase steadily over time. For example, opportunities for cooks and head chefs are expected to increase by 6% by 2029, faster than the rate for all other occupations.
How to Study Hospitality Management
If a career in hospitality and tourism appeals to you, the first step to take is to enroll in a career certificate program. The type of program you choose depends on the sector of the industry that appeals to you the most.
For example, if you’d like to work in a hotel as a housekeeping or front desk manager, a lodging operations program is an appropriate pick. If you are interested in working in food service, a food service skills course or professional culinary arts and hospitality program might work for you.
What Does a Hospitality Course Involve?
What do you learn in a travel and tourism program? It all depends on the career certificate you choose. In a lodging operations program, you’ll learn the ins and outs of hotel operations. Your courses will focus on housekeeping, front desk management, and sales and marketing.
In a culinary program, you’ll learn how to prepare, store and serve foods as well as how the basics of food safety.
Once you complete a hospitality and tourism career certificate program, you’ll be eligible to take certification exams such as those offered by ServeSafe®, the American Hotel and Lodging Association, and the National Restaurant Association.
What Can You do With a Hospitality Degree or Certificate?
A hospitality and tourism career certificate prepares you for an entry-level career at a hotel, restaurant, or another travel and hospitality-focused business. If you wish to continue your studies and move up the career ladder, you may be able to enroll in an associate’s degree program in pastry arts, hospitality and tourism management, or culinary management.
- “Industries at a Glance: Leisure and Hospitality”, Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag70.htm
- “Chefs and Head Cooks”, BLS, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/food-preparation-and-serving/chefs-and-head-cooks.htm#tab-6