People with hospitality management degrees have many careers from which to choose, including those in the food, hotel, travel and convention industries. A bachelor's in hospitality management can actually give you an advantage in getting jobs in the hospitality industry because your education is more industry specific. If you choose to work in hospitality management, your income will vary according to the industry you work in.
Food Service Managers
The average annual salary of a food service manager was $52,580 in May 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you were among the top 10 percent in earnings, you'd make more than $81,030. Food service managers oversee the operations in restaurants, cafeterias and other food establishments: food preparation, inventory management and ordering and customer service. They also hire and train workers, plan their schedules and manage their restaurants' budgets. The BLS expects a 3 percent decline in jobs for food service managers from 2010 to 2020, as grocery stores and other food retailers compete with restaurants for customers. This may cause restaurant companies to decrease their number of units throughout the United States.
Lodging managers earned average annual salaries of $54,800 in 2012, according to the BLS, while the top earners made in excess of $89,530. Lodging managers are responsible for increasing occupancy rates in hotels and motels through advertising and exceptional customer service. They also oversee all functional areas of their units, including sales, front-desk service and housekeeping. The BLS anticipates an 8 percent increase in the number of available jobs in lodging management between 2010 and 2020, which is slower than the 14 percent national average for all occupations. There is a trend toward having lodging managers oversee multiple units and more hotels are anticipated to offer limited services, both of which may temper job growth in this field.
Travel agents earned average salaries of $36,970, according to 2012 BLS data. The top 10 percent earned more than $57,400 per year. If you work as a travel agent, you will book flights, rental cars and hotels for business clients and vacationers, finding rates that best meet their budgets. You will also inform clients about the documents they need for international travel. The BLS predicts a 10 percent increase in jobs for travel agents from 2010 to 2020, which is about average. More passengers will use the Internet to make their travel arrangements, which may suppress demand for travel agents. Since many travel agents specialize in specific types of travel, you might consider focusing on tour group travel, as clients still need travel agents in this market segment.
Meeting, Convention and Event Planners
In 2012, salaries for meeting, convention and event planners averaged $49,830 per year, the BLS reported. If you were among the top 10 percent, you'd make more than $79,270. Planners coordinate the scope, timing and costs of large events, including weddings, business conventions and educational conferences. They meet with clients and discuss the purpose, attendance, logistics and equipment that they'll need for these events. You may also help guests schedule flights, hotels and rental cars. A high demand exists for meeting, convention and event planners, as the BLS projects a 44 percent increase in employment for these professionals over the next decade. More companies and individuals are recognizing the value of meeting, convention and event planners in delivering top-notch service at reasonable prices.