Salary Outlook in Hospitality Management

Created by Henry Steele

By Henry Steele - December 6, 2017
Reading Time: 6 minutes
Reading Time: 6 minutes

By earning a degree in hospitality management, you will open up the possibilities in your career to earn an excellent salary and benefits. To make this happen, the best choice is to earn a hospitality management degree. With this education, you will have many good-paying job opportunities available in the hospitality management field.

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To get an idea of the salary you can expect in your career, the following article explains how these factors will affect your rate of pay:

  • The level of degree you earn in hospitality management
  • The type of hospitality management career you choose
  • How many years of work experience you have
  • The size of the facility you manage

Once you have this information, you can get a better idea of the possible salary you can earn with a hospitality management degree.

Level of Hospitality Management Degree

Having a master’s degree generally will lead to a higher salary level throughout your career. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that all workers in the US with a master’s degree in 2013 earned a $68,000 median salary, while workers with a bachelor’s degree earned a $56,000 salary. This is a $12,000 difference that can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars over your life.

In the area of hospitality management, there are some differences based upon the level of degree earned. According to, professionals with a master’s degree in hospitality and tourism earned these average salaries:

  • General hotel manager: $110,000
  • Hotel sales manager: $49,000
  • Event planner: 456,250
  • Director of events: $94,000
  • Marketing communications manager: $58,600

A professional with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management earned these average salaries:

  • Operations manager: $52,600
  • Event coordinator: $38,900
  • Event manager: $48,600
  • Revenue manager: $53,600

BLS data also shows that degree level can make a difference in your salary. The bureau’s data for the lodging manager role shows a salary range between $28,700 and $96,500. This is a large variation that can be partially explained by holding a bachelor’s or master’s degree, as well as years of experience.

5 Tips To Be a Better Hospitality Manager

After you have your degree and are gaining experience in the hospitality management field, there are some pointers that can help you to have a more productive career and a higher salary:

  • Get a mentor: When you are starting in management, it is helpful to have an experienced hospitality manager as a mentor. After all, it is one thing to read about successful management and managers in a book. It is another to have one to talk to everyday about how they are successful in the field. Take a look at your networking contacts in the industry and find someone who is experienced and successful in the field. See if they will meet you for a cup of coffee. Many successful managers will be flattered to meet with someone who wants to learn from them.
  • Be careful who you hire: Your hospitality management success is only as good as the team you hire. In this business, you need to hire people who have the skills and personality to achieve the best. Hiring the wrong people can have a really negative impact on your success. If you hire people who are skilled and trustworthy, it will make your facility run much smoother because you will be able to trust them to make decisions on their own. A good way to hire the best is to be recruiting and looking for the best talent at all times, not just when you have an opening.
  • Focus on being a good leader: Some managers just manage, but to be the best, you have to be a star at leadership. This requires a proactive approach in how you do your job every day. A major way to be a good leader is to delegate authority to people you trust. By having top notch staff to handle day to day operations, you can focus your time on big picture things. Provide top level training and training materials so that your staff knows what you expect. Have a weekly or biweekly meeting with each staff member so that they know your expectations and you know how they are performing their job. Being prepared for emergencies also is critical to good leadership.
  • Communicate effectively: Always keep everyone on your staff in the loop on what is going on in the facility. Having regular meetings with key staff is very important to have good communication. So is sending out regular email blasts to employees.
  • Talk to guests to see how the business is doing: The best hospitality management professionals will interact regularly with guests so they know how they are doing their job. If a customer complains online about your facility, this is not a bad thing. It will highlight a weakness so that you can correct it. But try to be as proactive as you can. Do regular surveys of guests so you know what you are doing well and not so well.

Type of Hospitality Management Career

The type of career path you choose in hospitality management will have a strong impact upon your salary. Below are some of the most common career paths for professionals who earn a hospitality management degree:

Lodging manager

Lodging manager is one of the most common positions for professionals with this degree. It is your responsibility to ensure that all guests who are on vacation or on business travel have a satisfactory experience at the establishment. The lodging manager also must ensure that the facility is run profitably and efficiently. Depending upon your career goals and qualifications, you may work as a general manager, revenue manager, front office manager or convention service manager

The median salary for this position according to BLS is $51,800 with a range between $28,800 and $96,500. reports that the median salary in this field is $45,500 with a range between $25,000 and $75,600.

Food Service Manager

Food service managers are in charge of the effective daily operation of restaurants and other eating establishments that serve both food and beverages. Food service managers are responsible for supervising staff and ensuring that all customers are fully satisfied with their eating experience. They also are responsible for ensuring that the business earns a profit.

The median salary for food service managers according to BLS is $50,800, with a range between $29,200 and $87,200.

Other related professions in hospitality management and corresponding salaries include:

  • Human resource manager: Responsible for planning directing, and coordinating the various administrative aspects of a company. They are responsible for interviewing, recruiting, and hiring new staff; also responsible for consulting with executives on long term strategy: $106,900.
  • Sales manager: Responsible for directing the sales team of a hotel or other hospitality facility. May set goals, analyze data, and devise training programs for sales representative: $117,900.
  • Financial manager: Responsible for ensuring the financial health of the hotel or other facility. In charge of producing financial reports, directing investment activities and developing new strategies for the long term financial good of the organization: $121,700.
  • Meeting, convention and event planner: Responsible for the coordination of all event planning and professional meetings. In charge of arranging the location of the meeting, transportation and all logistical details: $47,400.
  • Training and development manager: Oversee the training of hospitality staff. Also responsible for planning, directing and coordinating continuing education programs that will improve the performance of staff, which leads to better care for guests: $105,800.

Hospitality Management Work Experience

Your level of experience in hospitality management will influence your salary. According to, years of work experience will affect your salary as follows for a hotel general manager:

  • An entry level hotel general manager with fewer than five years of work experience will earn an average salary of $43,000.
  • A general manager with 5-10 years of experience will earn an average salary of $51,000.
  • With 10-20 years of experience, you can earn an average salary of $62,000.
  • With more than 20 years of experience, you can earn a salary of $79,000 on average.

For a meeting or convention manager, salaries break down by experience level as follows:

  • Manager with five years or less of experience earns an average salary of $44,000.
  • Manager with five to 10 years of experience earns an average salary of $51,000.
  • Manager with 10-20 years of experience earns an average salary of $53,000.
  • Manager with more than 20 years of experience earns an average salary of $63,000.

Size of Hospitality Management Facility

The hospitality management industry salary level varies somewhat on the size of the hotel or facility you manage. A larger facility involves a higher level of responsibility and skill.

The size of the facility you manage also is a factor in a lodging manager’s salary. For example, for a hotel with under 200 rooms, the median salary is $72,000. For a hotel with 200 to 349 rooms, the median salary is $84,500. For a hotel with 750 or more rooms, the salary is $114,500.

The hospitality management field is growing nicely as the US economy is growing at a faster rate than previous years. This means that there will be more people traveling for pleasure, and more businesses planning events in various cities. If you plan your career with care by following the information presented in this article, you will be able to increase your salary in this growing industry.


Henry Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.

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