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Job and Career Opportunities in Hospitality & Tourism

Overview
Hospitality & Tourism Workers Needed!
Qualifications, Education & Training
Entry Level Jobs
Helpful Services
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Overview

The hospitality industry is a broad category of fields within the service industry that includes lodging, restaurants, event planning, theme parks, transportation, cruise line, and additional fields. The hospitality industry is a several billion dollar industry that mostly depends on the availability of leisure time and disposable income.

A hospitality unit such as a restaurant, hotel, hospital, or even an amusement park consists of multiple groups such as facility maintenance, direct operations (servers, housekeepers, porters, kitchen workers, bartenders, etc.), management, marketing, and human resources.

Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure, or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".
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Hospitality & Tourism Workers Needed!

Lodging managers make sure that guests on vacation or business travel have a pleasant experience, while also ensuring that an establishment is run efficiently and profitably.

Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners perform any combination of light cleaning duties to commercial establishments, such as hotels and hospitals, in a clean and orderly manner. Duties may include making beds, replenishing linens, cleaning rooms and halls, and vacuuming.

Flight attendants provide personal services to ensure the safety and comfort of airline passengers.

Bartenders mix and serve drinks to customers directly or through wait staff.

Waiters and waitresses take orders and serve food and beverages to customers in dining establishments.

Counter attendants take orders and serve food over a counter in snack bars, cafeterias, movie theaters, and coffee shops. They fill cups with coffee, soda, and other beverages, and may prepare fountain specialties, such as milkshakes and ice cream sundaes. Counter attendants take carryout orders from diners and wrap or place items in containers. They clean counters, write itemized bills, and sometimes accept payment.

Dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers—sometimes collectively referred to as bus staff—help waiters, waitresses, and bartenders by cleaning and setting tables, removing dirty dishes, and keeping serving areas stocked with supplies. They also may help waiters and waitresses by bringing meals out of the kitchen, distributing dishes to diners, filling water glasses, and delivering condiments. Cafeteria attendants stock serving tables with food trays, dishes, and silverware. They may carry trays to dining tables for patrons. Bartender helpers keep bar equipment clean and glasses washed.

Hosts and hostesses welcome customers and keep reservation and waiting lists. They may direct customers to coatrooms, restrooms, or to a waiting area until their table is ready. Hosts and hostesses assign guests to tables suitable for the size of their group, escort patrons to their seats, and provide menus. They also take reservations, arrange parties, and help with other requests.

Ushers, Lobby Attendants, and Ticket Takers assist patrons at entertainment events by performing duties, such as collecting admission tickets and passes from patrons, assisting in finding seats, searching for lost articles, and locating such facilities as rest rooms and telephones.

Amusement and Recreation Attendants perform variety of attending duties at amusement or recreation facility. May schedule use of recreation facilities, maintain and provide equipment to participants of sporting events or recreational pursuits, or operate amusement concessions and rides.

Concierges assist patrons at hotel, apartment, or office building with personal services. May take messages, arrange or give advice on transportation, business services or entertainment, or monitor guest requests for housekeeping and maintenance.

These are just a few of the many jobs and careers available in this industry.
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Qualifications, Education and Training

Many applicants for Lodging Manager may qualify with a high school diploma and long-term experience working in a hotel. However, most large, full-service hotels require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree. Hotels that provide fewer services generally accept applicants who have an associate’s degree or certificate in hotel management or operations.

Flight attendants receive initial training from their employer and must be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). A high school diploma or equivalent is required, but airlines increasingly prefer to hire applicants who have a college degree.

Most food and beverage service jobs are entry level and do not require a high school diploma. The majority of workers receive short-term on-the-job training.

Many bartenders are promoted from other jobs at the food service establishments in which they work and receive short-term on-the-job training. Those who wish to work at more upscale establishments usually need previous work experience or vocational training. Most states require workers who serve alcoholic beverages to be at least 18 years old, but many employers prefer to hire people who are 25 or older.

Most waiter and waitress jobs are at the entry level, and workers learn through short-term on-the-job training. No formal education or previous work experience is required to enter the occupation.
To be a concierge usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
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Entry Level Jobs

There are several jobs in this field that don’t seem to require a High School Diploma/GED though they may require you to be an adult teen 18 or older.

  • Food Server
  • Food Preparation Worker
  • Counter Attendant
  • Dining Room Attendant
  • Cafeteria Attendant
  • Waiter & Waitress
  • Bartender
  • Bartender Helper
  • Host & Hostess
  • Cook
  • Usher, Lobby Attendant, Ticket Taker
  • Visitor Services Representative
  • Cashier
  • Docent
  • Projectionist
  • Visitor Services Associate
  • Visitor Services Specialist
  • Visitor Services Technician
  • Flight Attendant
  • Ski Lift Operator
  • Ride Operator
  • Recreation Attendant
  • Service Representative
  • Golf Starter and Ranger
  • Recreation Aide
  • Recreation Leader
  • Sports Complex Attendant
  • Activities Attendant
  • Community Center Coordinator
  • Concierge
  • Breakfast and Room Attendant
  • Cottage Attendant
  • Environmental Services Aide
  • Environmental Services Worker
  • Housekeeper, Housekeeping
  • Housekeeping Aide
  • Housekeeping Laundry Worker
  • Room Attendant
  • Room Cleaner
  • Tour Guides and Escorts
  • Travel Guides
  • Travel Agents
  • Reservation and Transportation Ticket Agents and Travel Clerks
  • Receptionists and Information Clerks

If you are interested in pursuing a job in this field, search for these types of job titles in the database and from our supporters on the right.

Look for positions that are entry level.
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Helpful Services

For more information on jobs and careers in this field visit:
American Hotel and Lodging Association (AH&LA)
International Executive Housekeepers Association (IEHA)
Travel Agents external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition.
Information Clerks external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition.