Jobs in the Hospitality Industry
One of the largest employers in the country is the hospitality industry. Hospitality, as the name implies, includes any business that offers food, shelter, some leisure activities, or a combination of these things. Resorts typically provide all of these things. Hotels, motels, and restaurants only offer the food or shelter. While there will always be the need for employees at restaurants, motels, and resorts, the number of jobs is not expected to grow significantly in the next several years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts a 5% increase.
However, for people who enjoy working in the hospitality industry, there are many opportunities, and often you don’t need to have a college degree or years of experience to get started in the industry.
This short guide to hospitality jobs includes:
- Jobs in the hotel industry
- Food service industry jobs
- Spa jobs
- Summer resort jobs
- Casino jobs
- Hospitality degrees
Did you know? Two out of five food and beverage service employees work part time, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's more than twice the percentage of workers in other industries.
Different Types of Resorts
When some people think "resort," they think about a hotel on a beach. Other people think of hotels with golf courses, swimming, pools, spas, and other amenities. Still other people look for resorts that have more action-packed activities like rock climbing, skiing, or kayaking. Resorts can mean a lot of different things to people, and that's good news if you're considering starting a career in this industry. You are sure to find a resort that offers activities that you're interested in, whether it's horseback riding, nature hikes, or yacht cruises. Of course unless you live nearby to one of these resorts, you’ll need to move to get closer to your employer.
When it comes to resorts and hospitality jobs, there is one common factor: working with people. There are some positions, such as dishwashers, housekeepers, or similar positions in which your exposure to guests may be minimal, but for the most part you will be interacting with guests on a regular basis. That means you should enjoy working with people. If you aren't a "people person" you are in the wrong business. Hospitality means taking care of guests' needs. If that isn't something you're interested in doing, then you should consider looking for work in a different industry.
Also, like many other industries, you'll find a wide range of jobs available in the hospitality industry. In the hotel industry the main workers are front desk staff members, housekeepers, kitchen workers, and restaurant servers (if the hotel has a restaurant). Additionally there are supervisors, managers, and depending on the hotel, marketing and advertising personnel.
When it comes to restaurants, the types of workers that are hired depend on the kind of restaurant.
For example, fast food restaurants hire cashiers, line workers, drive through workers, supervisors, and managers. More high end restaurants will hire chefs, sous chefs, kitchen managers, dishwashers, custodians, wine stewards, bartenders and staff, hosts, and wait staff. Larger high end restaurants also hire supervisors, managers, and marketing and advertising employees.
Resorts are usually a combination of restaurants, hotel, and guest activities such as swimming, horseback riding, golf, and other leisure activities. They usually hire a larger number of employees that include all of the ones already mentioned for hotels and restaurants, along with employees to run and operate a spa, gift shop (if the resort has one), guest services, and tour coordinator. If the resort owns and operates specific activities such as horseback riding, it will also hire people to manage these activities and lead the rides, ensuring guest safety.
At one time or another, if you work in the hospitality industry it's likely that you will work at a hotel at some time in your career. Working at a hotel is a great way to learn the hospitality industry. Restaurants are usually well managed and run and the constant turnover of new guests helps you learn how to work with a lot of different kinds of people. Once you have experience working at one hotel, chances are very good you can get a job at another hotel. If you are a hotel manager or assistant manager, and you work for a large hotel chain, you may be able to transfer to different locations that have more prestige or perks.
Opportunities and Types of Positions
There really is something for everyone in the resorts/hospitality industry. In addition to the face-to-face service positions and behind-the-scenes service providers, there are the back office workers who handle the accounting, purchasing, and other business and administrative work. However, the opportunities that attract most people are the ones that provide direct service to guests. No matter what kind of education and skills you have, there is a position for you in this industry. Unskilled workers are hired on a daily basis to perform the day to day work. If you have a hospitality degree you can also find higher level positions as a supervisor or manager.
Keep in mind, as already mentioned, that often employees in this industry work part time, during evenings and weekends, and sometimes the work is seasonal. If you're working for a summer resort, for example, you may have to find other work during the off season. Many people like the flexibility this kind of work allows. They are able to work during the winter at a ski resort, and then during the summer at a beach resort.
Hospitality Jobs Summary
- Even though the number of jobs in the hospitality/resort industry isn't expected to increase in the next several years, because this is one of the largest employers in the country, there are always jobs available.
- There are many different kinds of resorts where you can work, including beach resorts, golf resorts, mountain and ski resorts, and dude ranches.
- You can begin working in this industry without training or experience. Plan to start with a low paying job until you have more experience. With a degree, you can obtain an administrative or supervisory job.
- Jobs in this industry are often part time and/or seasonal.