Hospitality Administrator Careers: Salary Info & Job Description

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A hospitality administrator's median salary is around $48,000. Is it worth the training requirements? See real job descriptions and get the truth about career prospects to find out if becoming a hospitality administrator is right for you.
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Pros and Cons of a Career as a Hospitality Administrator

Hospitality administrators, also referred to as hotel or lodging managers, are responsible for making sure that a guest's experience in a hotel or other establishment is a good experience. Take a look at the following pros and cons to see if a career as a hospitality administrator is right for you.

Pros of Working as a Hospitality Administrator
Decent median salary ($48,000 in 2014)
Small hotels may hire managers who hold associate's degrees
Opportunities for advancement
Opportunity to meet and interact with new people every day*
Non-routine job with a variety of responsibilities*
Major hotel chains offer chances to relocate and advance*

Cons of Working as a Hospitality Administrator
Little to no job growth (1% from 2012-2022)*
Bachelor's degree required for employment at large hotels
Evening, holiday and weekend hours*
Unhappy and angry guests can be stressful to deal with*
Conferences and front-desk activities can be hectic*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Career Information

Hospitality administrators and managers oversee the operations of hotels and similar establishments, such as restaurants and casinos. Your responsibilities might include human resources, office administration, housekeeping, maintenance, security and marketing. Hospitality managers are also responsible for allocating funds, setting room rates and making sure that guest- service standards are followed and met. A hospitality manager's duties can vary with the size of the business and staff. In large hotels, general managers supervise assistant managers and others responsible for performing operational tasks. In a small inn or motel, he or she may perform these tasks directly.

Some hospitality administrators focus exclusively on a specific area of hotel management, including front office, convention services or revenue. Front office managers train and supervise a hotel's front desk staff and coordinate room reservations. Convention services managers are responsible for activities related to conferences and other special events. Revenue managers monitor cash flow, determine discounts and oversee the financial administration of a hotel.

Salary Information and Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for a lodging manager in 2014 was about $48,000. The BLS projected that employment of lodging managers will grow at the rate of 1% from 2012-2022. This is slower than average for all occupations, and means there will be little to no job growth. Prospective employees in this market will find more opportunities for advancement in major hotel chains.

What Are the Requirements?

Education Requirements

The BLS reports that larger hotel chains prefer management trainees who hold a bachelor's degree in business, hotel or hospitality management. A liberal arts degree combined with some hospitality experience may serve as an alternative qualification. In smaller hotels that offer fewer services, a certificate or an associate's degree in hotel, hospitality or restaurant management may qualify you for an administrative position. Certificates, associate's degrees and bachelor's degrees in hospitality management can be found at community colleges and 4-year colleges and universities. Relevant coursework can include lodging management, hospitality information technology and hospitality law.

Useful Skills

Hospitality management trainees should have excellent customer service and personal skills. Additionally, they should be able to demonstrate knowledge of the following:

  • Concepts, terminology and tools of the hospitality industry
  • Leadership ability
  • Administrative and management techniques
  • Personnel resources
  • Computer and software technology

Job Postings from Real Employers

In addition to traditional hotels, motels and inns, RV parks, recreational camps and youth hostels employ hospitality managers. Larger chains may require their managers to relocate as necessary. Take a look at the following job postings from March 2012 to see how much education and experience you'll need to work as a hospitality administrator.

  • A major hotel chain located in New Haven is looking for a service-oriented front desk manager with 1-2 years of experience. Employer emphasis is on customer satisfaction and professional staff development.
  • A hotel chain in Minnesota is advertising for an assistant manager with a 4-year degree or equivalent work experience, preferably in hospitality management. Areas of responsibility will include business planning, operations, staff development and hotel promotion.
  • A budget motel chain in Minnesota has an opportunity for a general manager with a high school diploma or its equivalent; excellent computer skills; and three years of experience in hotel, motel or restaurant management. This position comes with a number of perks, including a relocation allowance, a company-provided apartment and an annual week-long cruise for company superstars.
  • An upscale hotel chain in Colorado has openings for assistant and general managers with the ability to increase sales and build a rapport with the local community. Assistant and general managers should have a minimum of 2-4 years of experience working in high volume hotels.
  • An Arizona resort is in need of an RV-resort manager with a strong financial, sales and marketing background to oversee day-to-day operations. A bachelor's degree and five years of experience or an equivalent amount of education and experience is required.

How Can I Stand Out in the Field?

High school students can begin climbing the career ladder by starting now and thinking big. According to the BLS, a part-time job, summer employment or an internship in a hotel can give you the experience you need to get started in hospitality administration. Entry-level and temporary work can be found in food and beverage and hospitality support. Some positions are less glamorous than others and can include dishwasher, administrative assistant and general office clerk. A little further up the career ladder, you may also be able to find work as a cafeteria or dining room attendant, front desk clerk or reservation agent. The American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute offers professional certification in hospitality management, including the Certified Hospitality Revenue Manager and Certified Front Desk Manager designations.

Advanced Degrees

At the graduate level, a Master of Science in Tourism and Hospitality Management can provide you with the additional training you need to become a mid-level manager or training director. This degree could also prepare you for a career as a corporate meeting planner or a special events manager.

Alternative Career Paths

Sales Worker Supervisor

If hospitality administration doesn't seem like the right fit, you might consider a related career that requires less education. Sales worker supervisors oversee the activities of cashiers, customer service representatives, retail salespersons, stock clerks and wholesale sales representatives. Their responsibilities can include interviewing, hiring and training of staff; scheduling employees; and assigning tasks. Education requirements vary, but prior sales experience is often a must. Candidates with an associate's or bachelor's degree in business, management, liberal studies or social sciences may qualify for a company-sponsored management-training program. The BLS reports slower than average growth for this field from 2008-2018, with educated and experienced candidates enjoying the most opportunities. As of 2011, the median salary for retail worker supervisors was $36,000, with supervisors of non-retail workers earning $71,000.

Property and Real Estate Manager

Property and real estate managers oversee the physical and financial operations of commercial and residential properties. Activities can include collecting rents, leasing properties and negotiating contracts. Managers are also responsible for paying insurance premiums, maintenance bills, mortgages and taxes. Most employers prefer candidates with a bachelor's or master's degree in accounting, business administration, finance, real estate or public administration. Employment growth for property and real estate managers is expected to reach 6% from 2010-2020. In 2011, property and real estate managers earned a median salary of $53,000, according to the BLS.

Popular Schools

  • Campus and Online Programs
    1. The Art Institutes

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Hospitality Management (BS)
      • Hotel & Restaurant Management (BS)
    Associate's
      • Hospitality Management (AAS)
      • Restaurant & Catering Management (AAS)
    Certificate
      • Event Management (C)
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Purdue University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Kaplan University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master : Business Admin
      • MBA: Marketing
      • MBA: Finance
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Business Admin
      • BSBA - Investment
    Associate's
      • AASBA in Food/Hotel Management
      • Associate: Business Admin.
      • AASBA in Event Planning
      • AASBA in Health Club Operations
  • Online Programs Available
    4. George Mason University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Business Administration
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Regent University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Law - Business
      • Master of Business Administration
      • Master of Business Administration - General Management
      • Master of Business Administration - Innovation Management
      • Master of Business Administration - Kindom Business
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science in Business
      • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies - Business
      • Bachelor of Science in Business - General Management
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Baker College Online

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Business Administration - DBA (Doctorate)
    Master's
      • General Business (MBA)
    Associate's
      • Business Administration - Associate
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • DBA - Management
    Master's
      • MBA
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Penn Foster Career School

    Program Options

    Certificate
      • Career Diploma - Certified Wedding Planner
  • Online Programs Available
    9. University of the Southwest

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Business Administration
    Master's
      • MBA - Strategic Management
      • MBA - Self-Designed
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Saint John's University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Business Administration: Interdisciplinary Business

Featured Schools

The Art Institutes

  • Hospitality Management (BS)
  • Hospitality Management (AAS)
  • Event Management (C)

What is your highest level of education?

Purdue University

  • Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management

What is your highest level of education?

Kaplan University

  • Master : Business Admin
  • Bachelor of Business Admin
  • AASBA in Food/Hotel Management

Which subject are you interested in?

George Mason University

  • Master of Business Administration

What is your highest level of education?

Regent University

  • Master of Arts in Law - Business
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Business
  • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies - Business

What is your highest level of education completed?

Baker College Online

  • Business Administration - DBA (Doctorate)
  • General Business (MBA)
  • Business Administration - Associate

What is your highest level of education?

Grand Canyon University

  • DBA - Management
  • MBA
  • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education

What is your highest level of education?

Penn Foster Career School

  • Career Diploma - Certified Wedding Planner

What is your highest level of education?