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Examples of Hotel Industry Careers

The hotel industry is one of the largest service industries in the world. Careers in this field can lead to senior management jobs with some of the world's largest corporations, or entrepreneurial success as a proprietor.

Career path

In the hotel industry, there are a wide range of different types of work and skill sets. Many people get into these industry at staff level, as waiters, bartenders and progress through the ranks, and most undergo formal training at some point in their careers.

Typical training includes:

  • Waiter training
  • Bartender training
  • Hotel administration training
  • Chef training
  • Accountancy
  • Management training

Most people have some level of training for entering the industry, and develop their skill sets and on the basis of career goals. Management careers in the hotel industry involve a combination of formal training, internships and experience.

Career progression

Experience in any job in this industry is important and highly valued, because there are a range of unique skills required. A typical 'up through the ranks' career progression is very much based on experience and skills. A head waiter, for example, will have many years of experience can be an expert in customer relationships and all procedures related to the service area.

Hotel administrators at all levels are similarly required to have a thorough working knowledge of hotel functions and operations. The hotel industry is a very high turnover, high cost base industry, and the success or failure of the hotel is very much based on delivering profitability of all levels of operations.

This is a very highly competitive industry, both commercially and within the job market. While skill sets in the hotel industry are extremely portable, competition for jobs, particularly at higher management levels, is ferocious. Five-star hotels, for instance, can pick and choose their staff at all levels. A career CV for a hotel staff member in these top of the range hotels reads like a How To manual for career success, and will show a very wide range of experience in upmarket hotels.

Career progression, therefore, is based on a combination of promotional positions and selective choice of jobs within the industry. Generally speaking, the quickest way of achieving career progression is to start with hotel management training. Internships provide valuable experience and a good working skill set for all areas of the industry.

In the other jobs, wages, bartenders and chefs tend to progress to management level in their fields. Many of those are very good jobs, and paid highly. A top chef, for example may earn a six-figure salary and are responsible for supervision of a large number of other cooks and chefs. A bar manager may be responsible for supervising a large number of staff, several bars within the hotel, and hundreds or thousands of patrons. Administrative managers may be involved in supervision of large numbers of staff, and responsible for the management of hundreds of suites.

The hotel industry careers are a good choice for people who enjoy the hotel environment, are good situation and issue managers. It is possible to quite literally go from the bottom to the top in the hotel industry, and if you have the talent this may be a great career choice.