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How to Start a Career in Hospitality

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The hospitality industry is huge. According to Forbes, the turnover of the industry reached $4.7 trillion in 2023. Importantly, that growth is set to continue. By 2027,  global takings are forecast to reach $5.8 trillion. This level of growth is set to translate into job security, reasonable pay, and plenty of chances for promotion. So, for most people, starting a career in the hospitality industry is an excellent idea.

What is the hospitality industry?

The hospitality sector is vast and varied. It encompasses tourism, hotels, bars, restaurants, resorts, nightclubs, conference venues, meeting rooms, retreats and more.

What type of person is hospitality work suitable for?

The fact that it is such a wide-ranging industry means there is a place within it for practically everyone. Of course, it helps if you are someone who is a “people person.” Regardless of what role you fill, you will be dealing directly with members of the public. So, you need to be polite, presentable, friendly, considerate, and empathetic.

What type of firm are you likely to be working for?

You could end up working for a multinational bar or hotel brand or a family-run B&B. Many people start their hospitality career by signing up with an agency that specializes in providing staff for the sector.

It is also relatively easy to work as a freelancer or set up your own hospitality business. For example, you could start a café and hire it out as a venue for parties and club events during the quieter hours. It is now extremely easy and cheap to advertise your venue online, via a search agency. There is no need to run and rank a website to get access to a big pool of potential customers. Listing your venue is quick, easy, and inexpensive.

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Do you need any qualifications?

It is still relatively easy to find a job in hospitality without having any formal qualifications. For example, bar work, waitressing, cleaning, and some junior admin jobs do not require you to pass any exams. Often, after a few months of working in these jobs, you can get promoted. But to secure management roles you will need qualifications as well as some experience. This article provides a good overview of the certificates you need.

Where can I study to gain hospitality industry qualifications?

There are several ways to gain your qualifications. It is relatively easy to find universities that offer hospitality-related degrees. Including some that allow you to do most of your studying online. In most countries, you can now take simple courses to gain most of the certificates you need. Food Safety and First Aid certificates are two examples of this.

Some employers offer on-the-job training which includes the opportunity to take time away from your role to study and pass your exams. Usually, this option is available as an apprenticeship.

Common job titles for the hospitality industry

This list of job titles is not a comprehensive one, but it does give you an insight into just how much variety there is within the sector.

  • Hotel Manager
  • Front Desk Clerk
  • Concierge
  • Guest Services Representative
  • Housekeeping Supervisor
  • Bellhop/Porter
  • Event Coordinator
  • Restaurant Manager
  • Chef de Cuisine
  • Waitstaff/Server
  • Bartender
  • Sommelier
  • Catering Manager
  • Travel Agent
  • Tour Guide
  • Reservation Agent
  • Spa Manager
  • Facilities Manager
  • Maintenance Technician
  • Night Auditor
  • Revenue Manager
  • Sales Manager
  • Marketing Coordinator
  • Venue Manager

Does the industry pay well?

The level of pay varies drastically, depending on where you work and the type of work you decide to do. As in other industries, senior management is paid the most. According to, these are the jobs that currently pay the most:

  • Restaurant manager
  • Event manager
  • Hotel general manager
  • Sommelier
  • Food service director
  • Travel manager
  • Executive chef

How strong is the demand for workers in the hospitality industry?

Working in hospitality is not easy. Often, the hours are long and can be unsociable. Plus, in most roles, a lot of that time is spent standing or walking.

If a business is successful things get incredibly busy, especially during seasonal holidays. So, while everyone else is relaxing and enjoying the company of friends and family, hospitality workers are rushed off their feet. It is not work that appeals to everyone. As a result, there are normally plenty of vacancies.

Career Opportunities in Travel and Hospitality
$18.95 $6.83

Describes duties, salaries, prerequisites, and employment and advancement prospects, and offers tips for entry into more than seventy-five jobs in the travel and hospitality industries.

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06/12/2024 06:06 pm GMT

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