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The Hospitality Industry Has Staying Power

by Gabby Hyman

According to the American Hotel and Lodging Association, hospitality is now the second largest employer in 30 states. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment in the accommodation and food services industries is predicted to grow 18% by 2012, adding more than 1.6 million new jobs. The total of projected hospitality openings is more than one percent over all other industries combined. The hospitality and culinary industry needs you!

Cook Up Your Own Career: Hospitality Management

If you're planning a career in the booming hospitality and culinary industry, consider these grand openings in the next two years: the Four Seasons Hotel in Budapest, the Hilton Arc de Triomphe in Paris, the Las Vegas Sands in Macao, the Mariott Hotel in Victoria, the Ritz Carlton in Dallas, the Radisson Plaza resort in Tahiti, the Intercontinental Hotel in Beijing, and many more now under construction. Some 14,000 hospitality jobs are currently open with more than 3,000 employers. Many employers are looking for people with direct hospitality training from universities, hospitality management schools, and hospitality certification programs. Jobs are booming in the the industry. If you've ever wanted to work for hotels, cruise ships, spas, and vacation resorts, now is a great time to start training towards a hospitality career in this exciting field.

Jobs and respective wages in hospitality employment vary dramatically. In some hospitality positions you'll earn just above minimum wage plus tips for room cleaners, parking attendants, whereas other positions pay more than $200,000 a year. Jobs are always open for resident managers, housekeepers, front office managers, reservations staff and bellhops, food and beverage managers, and convention services managers.

Learn More, Earn More: Hospitality Management Programs

Hotels place a high emphasis now on specialized training, although a college liberal arts degree may be enough to enter the hospitality management field if you train while you work. Postsecondary education in hotel or restaurant management is required for most hotel management positions. More than 200 colleges and universities provide associate's, bachelor's, and graduate degree programs in hospitality management. You'll find many vocational and trade schools, culinary colleges and dedicated hospitality management programs in hotel administration, food service management, and catering. Computer training is also vital today because of software that manages reservations, billing, culinary, and housekeeping schedules.

If you want to focus on the high-growth industry of culinary arts, there are academies that offer programs that prepare you for careers in hotels and fine restaurants.

Salaries for careers in culinary arts professions vary by the quality of the hotel or restaurant, and by the combination of your education and professional experience. The national average for a chef is $51,575, and $46,845 for a pastry chef. However, this wage can double at a four-star hotel or resort resturant. U.S. Census data shows that the chef's average wage at hotels and resorts rises to more than $60,000 with a bachelor's degree, to more than $70,000 with a master's degree.

Make Yourself at Home: Hospitality Education

Hospitality education tracks include short-term courses for a Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) designation. For those who want the premier positions in hotel management, there are master's degree programs in hospitality and hotel management, as well as more traditional MBA degree programs with a hospitality orientation. Hotel managers typically earn around $65,000 per year, but can earn upwards of $200,000 a year working at luxury properties. Managers may also earn bonuses up to 25 percent of their wage and may also receive lodging, meals, and laundry services.

Most specialized hospitality training takes less than two years to complete. You can begin at a lower-level position immediately and train yourself for a lasting career while you work. The best news is that if you're looking for a career that pays you to help others enjoy themselves, the hospitality industry is hiring.

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