The skills that one develops within a hospitality management degree program are transferable to many different positions within the hospitality and tourism industry worldwide. Hospitality students learn what it takes to open, operate and manage a successful business that operates within the industry like a hotel, restaurant or entertainment venue. The curricula for these degree programs often cover broad topics that prepare graduates for a number of job positions. Here are just a few of the popular jobs that hospitality graduates fill and the job outlook for each position.

Restaurant Manager

Restaurant managers are responsible for setting the atmosphere and tone of an eating establishment; the restaurant’s character is what attracts both new and repeat customers and directly impacts profits. Some of the tasks that restaurant managers perform that allow them to carry out their primary responsibility relate to human resource management, marketing, financial management, accounting and customer care. For example, restaurant managers hire and train the waiters and hosts that directly interact with customers. When these employees consistently fail to follow company standards for customer care, it’s the restaurant manager who terminates their employment. Restaurant managers also purchase inventory and keep detailed records of all financial transactions for the establishment. All promotional activities for the restaurant are coordinated by its manager. Depending on the size and scope of the restaurant, restaurant managers also facilitate catering operations. Reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) which classifies restaurant managers as food service managers stated that these hospitality professionals earned an annual median salary of $47,960 in 2012. The rate of job growth for the position is projected to be slow into the next decade which means that competition for these jobs will be high. Graduates with hospitality management degrees could have an advantage over other candidates at certain restaurants.

Event Planner

Event planners coordinate the operations, logistics and facilities for all types of special meetings. These meetings could include business conferences, civic league gatherings or weddings. Event planners often work directly with other businesses in the hospitality and tourism industry to accomplish their jobs. Some specific tasks performed by them are requirements identification and analysis, site surveys of proposed facilities and coordination of purchases from event service vendors. Event planners monitor meetings to make sure that all operations run smoothly, any questions from vendors are answered quickly and customers are satisfied. According to the BLS, event planners earned an annual median salary of $45,810 in 2012, and job growth for the position is projected to be much faster than average for all jobs surveyed.

Lodging Manager

Lodging managers make sure that guests at hotels, resorts, motels and bed and breakfasts get the service and room quality that they expect from the establishments’ brand. These hotel managers are also responsible for overseeing the daily operations of desk service, concierge and facility maintenance staff. The housekeeping manager usually reports to the hotel manager as well. Budgeting, payroll and financial record keeping are other functions performed by lodging managers. According to the BLS, lodging managers earned an annual median salary of $46,810 in 2012. Projected job growth for the profession is expected to be slow. While most lodging manager jobs do not require a degree, hospitality graduates may gain an edge because of their academic backgrounds.


The hospitality and tourism industry offers employees at all levels challenging and exciting work that often takes place in a fun atmosphere. While there are certain knowledge areas that are specific to the business like regulations pertaining to lodging and food service that must be mastered, customer service and interpersonal skills are often the keys to success of those working in hospitality management.