Hospitality offers the opportunity to work in fun, lively environments, from restaurants and bars to hotels and spas. But even more, careers in hospitality can offer lucrative employment options, and often do not require applicants to hold traditional degrees. Many positions in the hospitality industry offer jobseekers to start as an apprentice or entry-level employee and work their way up through gaining on-the-job experience. While the entry-level salary for a concierge or sous-chef, for example, may not always be very high, these positions can allow for quick growth to the upper echelons of salary ranks within the hospitality industry.
What kind of hospitality job is right for you?
Hospitality is an industry for people who like to put a smile on others’ faces. Some do so directly, by greeting guests at a hotel door or giving massages to spa visitors, while others do so indirectly, by creating gastronomical wonders in the kitchen of a restaurant or planning and executing the perfect party. Which field of hospitality you choose to go into all depends on what your interests are — whether it’s food and beverages, hotels, casinos, or travel — and on what your ultimate career and pay goals are. So on that note, which hospitality jobs earn the most money?
Which hospitality jobs pay the most money?
Glassdoor salary range: $48,000 – $102,000
Food and beverage directors are typically employed by restaurants, hotels and large institutions like schools and hospitals. Creating and overseeing menus, controlling food costs and managing inventory are just a few of the duties required for this diverse position. Being a food and beverage director requires the ability to work with large teams in a fast-paced environment, rigorous attention to detail, and — of course — a passion for food and drinks.
Glassdoor salary range: $52,000 – $114,000
Hotel operations managers are in charge of keeping a hotel functioning smoothly on a daily basis. This includes managing the hotel’s housekeeping, food services, human resources, concierges and other personnel who help the hotel run every day. Hotel operations manager also may have a hand in hiring and training staff, as well as looking after marketing, sales and PR for the hotel. If you’re looking for a fast-paced role that requires the use of many different skills, then hotel operations may be a good fit.
Glassdoor salary range: $44,000 – $85,000
An executive chef is in charge of all food preparation and other culinary activities at a restaurant. Executive chefs help hire, train and manage other kitchen personnel and wait staff. They may also share some duties with a food and beverage director, such as inventory management, purchase orders and restaurant policy formation. Being an executive chef usually requires extensive experience in the restaurant industry.
Glassdoor salary range: $18,000 – $67,000
While sommeliers may look like they’re getting paid to drink fancy wine (which essentially they are), the profession requires deep knowledge that is built over years of study. Sommeliers possess an in-depth knowledge of wines, which they use to advise patrons at a restaurant on which wines they should pair with their meals. Sommeliers also often lead tastings of wine and other beverages.
Glassdoor salary range: $26,000 – $62,000
If you love traveling, it’s hard to think of a better job than being a flight attendant (or a pilot, for that matter). Flight attendants work to ensure the safety and comfort of passengers during flights. Flight attendants may work domestically, flying on shorter flights between states, or internationally, on long-haul flights. Flight attendants often get to spend time in the places they travel to for work, and on top of their yearly salary, they often get significant discounts on airline tickets, making it easy to travel the world.
Glassdoor salary range: $24,000 – $63,000
An executive pastry chef is in charge of preparing desserts and baking bread at a bakery, restaurant or other culinary establishment. Their role also encompasses developing new dessert and bread recipes, inventorying ingredients, monitoring costs and managing other pastry-making employees. Executive pastry chefs often either gain a degree in pastry-making or apprentice with a pastry maker to gain skills in their craft.
Glassdoor salary range: $38,000 – $77,000
Event managers are employed in a variety of industries. Essentially, event managers work to organize, run and promote events for businesses, organizations and individuals. This involves hiring personnel such as DJs, photographers and waiters, accurately budgeting the event, coordinating operations and being on call for any issues that might arise before or during the event. Event managers must be detail-oriented people, responsible, and — of course — know how to throw a good party!
Glassdoor salary range: $27,000 – $73,000
Massage therapists are employed in a variety of establishments within the hospitality industry, including hotels, cruise ships, resorts and private massage clinics. Many massage therapists choose to become a certified massage therapist, which can open up more job opportunities.
Hospitality Career Paths
The hospitality industry is a place where experience matters most. From being hired as a pastry chef to scoring a gig as a food and beverage director, having experience is the key to proving yourself. You can also gain a leg up, of course — depending on which field you enter within hospitality — through formal training, such as cooking school, a college degree in hospitality, or different types of masseuse certifications. Thousands of jobs in the hospitality industry are available for easy application on Glassdoor right now to start gaining the experience you need to enter one of the highest-paying hospitality jobs.