Whether your passion is high-end hotels, fine dining or sunny cruises, hospitality management training can put you in the middle of the action. Hospitality workers are found wherever vacation dollars are spent, and you can find the targeted training you need to make your guests happy. Typical associate degrees in hospitality management require two years of full-time study and covers topics like these:
- Business communications
- Conference and convention planning
- Food and beverage management
- Human resource management
- Introduction to accounting
As you can see, training in hospitality management means combining general business principles with a distinct specialization in hospitality essentials.
After your associate degree studies
Hospitality studies should give you the skills needed to seek positions at restaurants, conferences, hotels and more. Some grads may go on to earn a bachelor's degree in hospitality management, while others pursue entry level careers in the field.
Qualifications vary for the different positions in the hospitality industry. For example, meeting, convention and event planners are more likely to hold a bachelor's degree -- 48 percent of workers in the field do, according to the Department of Labor's O*NET website. These professionals also need technical training in tools such as spreadsheet programs, project management software and registration applications.
Career options, outlook and salary
Once you earn an associate degree in hospitality management, you could move into food service, lodging or other positions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports mean annual wages from 2010 for popular careers in the field:
- Food service managers: $52,220
- Gaming managers: $73,940
- Lodging managers: $54,570
- Meeting, convention, and event planners: $48,780
Job growth for food service managers and lodging managers is expected to be slower than average. Across the hospitality industry, the BLS projects the following employment growth rates between 2008 and 2018:
- Food service managers: 18,000 new jobs (5 percent growth)
- Gaming managers: 700 new jobs (12 percent growth)
- Lodging managers: 2,800 new jobs (5 percent growth)
- Meeting, convention, and event planners: 8,800 new jobs (16 percent growth)
Hospitality management positions often require workers to mix education and training with experience. Still, an associate degree is considered adequate formal training for many careers in the field. Explore online associate degrees in hospitality management and blend education with your passion.