A hospitality manager takes notes about a room

Pros and Cons of Being a Hospitality Manager

A career in hospitality can range from running an inn, to managing a restaurant, or planning and coordinating events. With so many opportunities, it can be an incredibly rewarding career field for a lot of people. But, providing for strangers isn’t for everyone! Here’s a look at the pros and cons of being in a hospitality management position.

Pro: You can find a lot of opportunities with minimal educational requirements.

Managing in the lodging and food industries doesn’t often require anything more than experience. While it can be very useful to have at least an associate’s degree in business or a related field, it usually isn’t necessary. This can a great way to get started your real life without having to spend a decade in school. You may find, however, that it can be hard to get the experience in management that’s required to be in management.

Con: Your salary can be pretty good...or not so good.

Depending on what aspect of the business you’re working in and what kind of job you’re doing, your salary can fluctuate wildly. Working as a manager for a Super 8 is going to be worth way less money than the manager of a Hilton. Likewise, fast food managers make considerably less than general managers of fancy, five star dining establishments.

The median pay in the lodging and food service industry is about $50,000 a year, while the median salary event coordinating is closer to $45,000. Again, depending on what you’re doing, how well you’re doing it, and how long you’ve been doing it, these numbers can be as low as $30,000 or as high as $90,000.

Pro: There’s plenty of room to grow.

While some positions can turn into a dead end, there’s always somewhere to go in the hospitality industries. Most companies have lower and upper management within the specific business. From there, there are often district and regional managers, and so on. Ultimately, you may even be confident enough to start your own chain—that can be pricey, but pay off big time in the end.

Con: Competition is fierce

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the rate of job growth over the next 10 years in lodging management is about 8%, in restaurant service around 5%, and event coordinating about 10%. These are solid number, but unfortunately there isn’t going to be a rampant need for hospitality management in the near future. With a high salary and minimal educational requirements, hospitality management is going to have a lot of competition—which means you’re going to need to do something to make yourself a hot commodity.

Pro: You’re needed all over the world.

Foods, inns, and events happen everywhere. You can feasibly find work in half a dozen countries—and once you learn the language, you’ll have the upper hand in some places. If you’re looking for a job that’ll allow you the freedom to go anywhere, as well as move between industries, hospitality is a great choice. Once you get started in the industry, you’re also liable to start meeting a lot of people who are looking for someone just like you.

Con: Managers have to take a lot of blame, deal with rude customers, and train ungrateful employees.

And that’s just the beginning. If something goes wrong—someone gets put in the wrong room, the handyman is sexually harassing the maids, there’s a water leak, you run out of chicken—as management, it’s your job to make apologies, fix it, and take the blame. Not everyone is understanding of the fact that accidents happen. And unfortunately, as management, your job is to make sure that accidents don’t happen. Additionally, these industries tend to have a high turnover rate, which means you have to be constantly hiring and training new employees.

Last Updated: January 11, 2017