What You Can Do in the Hotel Industry

Career Opportunities in the Hotel Industry

Florida is a top destination for travelers and tourists, thanks to its warm weather, resorts, and theme parks. In 2018, more than 126 million people visited Florida[1]. In 2017, tourism spending was more than $88 billion in the state and had a total economic impact of nearly $86 billion[2].

The number of tourists and travelers who visit Florida each year isn’t only good news for the state’s economy. It’s also good news for people who are interested in working in the hotel and hospitality industry. The state had 1.5 million jobs supported by traveler spending in 2017, nearly 1 million of which were directly connected to the hospitality and tourism industry[2]. If you like working with people, there are ample career opportunities for you in the hotel industry, in the state of Florida and beyond.

1. Lodging Manager

If you love the idea of helping others have a comfortable stay at a hotel and if you have a good mix of business and customer service skills, a career as a lodging manager might be right for you. Lodging managers work to make sure that hotels and other types of lodging establishments run efficiently. They can work directly with guests, answering questions or responding to requests. They also supervise other employees of the hotel, such as front desk agents and housekeeping.

There are several paths you can take to become a lodging manager. You might earn a bachelor’s degree, an associate’s degree or a career certificated in lodging operations. You can also earn a career certificate, then transfer your credits to an associate’s degree program in Hospitality and Tourism Management. The median salary for a lodging manager was $53,390 in May 2018[3].

2. Concierge

While a lodging manager often has the responsibility of overseeing the management of an entire hotel, a concierge typically works directly with guests. The responsibilities and role of a concierge aren’t the same as the responsibilities and role of a front desk clerk or guest services agent.

While a front desk clerk checks people into the hotel and can answer any questions they might have about the hotel itself, a concierge’s job is to help people discover and explore the area around the hotel. They might recommend things to do, places to visit and restaurants to try to guests. A concierge might also help guests get tickets or reservations to concerts, plays, or restaurants. The median annual salary for a concierge was $30,400 as of May 2018[4].

3. Executive Chef

Restaurants are part of the tourism and hospitality industry, whether the establishment is connected to a hotel or a stand-alone location. If you enjoy working with food, creating recipes and experimenting in the kitchen, a career as an executive chef might be right for you.

The role of an executive chef is often a mix of hands-on cooking and food preparation and administrative tasks. The executive chef might be responsible for creating a budget for the kitchen as well as for designing the menu. Although they are less likely to be found on the line in the kitchen, they might occasionally jump in and help to cook and prepare food.

Opportunities for executive chefs are expected to increase by 11% over the next 10 years[5]. Chefs who work in hotels and other traveler accommodations tend to have the highest salaries. As of May 2018, the median salary for chefs at hotels was $56,750.

4. Foodservice Manager

If you want to work in a restaurant or hotel kitchen, but don’t have much interest in preparing food or designing menus, a career as a food service manager might be a good option for you. Foodservice managers make sure that restaurants have the ingredients and supplies needed to prepare dishes. They also oversee employees and might hire, or promote people, as needed. A food service manager might also be responsible for payroll, scheduling and other tasks having to do with the day-to-day operations of a restaurant.

You can get started on the path toward a career as a foodservice manager by earning a certificate in Fundamental Foodservice Skills. If desired, you can then enroll in an associate’s degree program in culinary management or restaurant and foodservice management. Foodservice managers working in accommodations had a median annual salary of $63,780 as of May 2018[6].

Whether you want to work in a hotel’s kitchen, oversee a hotel’s kitchen or work directly with guests in the tourism and hospitality industry, Orange Technical College offers several career certificates to help you get started in a hotel career. The foodservice certificate program is available at our Mid Florida, Orlando, and Westside Campuses. We offer a lodging operations certification at our Mid Florida campus. To learn more about our programs and the steps to enrollment, request more info today.


  1. “Research,” Visit Florida, https://www.visitflorida.org/resources/research/
  2. “A Banner Year for Florida Tourism Performance,” Visit Florida, https://www.visitflorida.org/media/71465/2017-contribution-of-travel-tourism-to-the-florida-economy.pdf
  3. “Lodging Managers,” Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/lodging-managers.htm
  4. “Concierges,” Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes396012.htm
  5. “Chefs and Head Cooks,” Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/food-preparation-and-serving/chefs-and-head-cooks.htm
  6. “Food Service Managers,” Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/food-service-managers.htm