The 25 Best Careers in Hospitality

There are so many roles available in the hospitality industry, so if you're on the hunt for a new career, check out these hospitality jobs to see if they're right for you!

Hospitality jobs

If you enjoy putting a smile on a stranger’s face and have the patience to deal with the not-so-easy customers, you should really consider choosing a career in hospitality. From hotel work to tourism and nightlife to catering, the options are truly endless.

In order to find your true calling in this exciting and upbeat industry, though, you need to identify what your key skills are and how you can fit into this vibrant sector. And to help you figure out which job suits you best, we’ve put together a list of the 25 best jobs in hospitality for a little inspiration.

1. Sales and marketing manager

Average salary: $59,237 (£43,615) per year

Every international hotel chain will hire a sales and marketing manager to bring in new clients and partnerships and to showcase what their hotel has to offer. Day-to-day duties can vary, from giving presentations to hosting marketing events and trips. To succeed in this position, you’ll need a proven track record in sales and a degree in business or marketing.

2. Hotel receptionist

Average salary: $29,748 (£21,903) per year

A hotel receptionist might sound boring at first thought, but you can really help shape your guests’ stay. You’ll be one of their first interactions during their stay, and you can really impact their impression of the hotel. If you do well, you can also advance to a managerial position.

3. Cruise ship entertainer

Average salary: $43,550 (£32,064) per year

If you’re a talented singer or performer but haven’t quite caught your big break yet, you could consider becoming a cruise ship entertainer and make big bucks while you’re at it, too! You’ll spend your days or nights performing to the audience on the ship and will enjoy the cruise liner’s facilities during your time off!

4. Head chef

Average salary: $48,937 (£36,032) per year

Head chefs can be found in restaurants, hotels, casinos and cruise ships. They are responsible for the menu and quality of food that is served, and they oversee the entire operation of the kitchen. From order placement to preparation and delivery, they are the eyes and ears of the kitchen, making sure it runs smoothly!

5. Tour guide

Average salary: $38,000 (£27,980) per year

Being a tour guide is an interesting and rewarding career — you get to meet people from all over the world and learn about other cultures. And you also get to show off your country’s history and heritage. To be successful, you need to have great people skills and physical stamina as you’ll be on your feet for most of the day.

6. Fitness instructor

Average salary: $45,000 (£33,130) per year

As a fitness instructor, you can work in a variety of different establishments, from gyms and independent studios to the homes of your clients. However, a popular choice for many is in a hotel — you get to teach holidaymakers that are dedicated to exercising, and you get to enjoy the hotel facilities, too.

7. Concierge

Average salary: $40,602 (£29,893) per year

Similar to tour guides, a concierge is the go-to person for attractions, restaurant recommendations and entertainment within a hotel. They have in-depth knowledge of what’s hot and what’s not, as well as great connections, which is useful when tickets are sold out elsewhere.

8. Cosmetologist

Average salary: $31,638 (£23,216) per year

A trained and experienced beauty therapist can be found in the spa of a hotel. In this environment, these skilled professionals can often earn a higher salary than they would in a high-street salon.

9. Sommelier

Average salary: $51,060 (£37,594) per year

If you’re a lover of wine (and let’s face it: who isn’t?!), a job as a sommelier could be ideal for you. In order to succeed, you’ll need in-depth knowledge of wine, the pairing of wine and the fermentation process in order to advise and wow your diners.

10. Casino host

Average salary: $45,218 (£33,296) per year

A casino host is responsible for supervising and organising the casino dealers during the game. They will also ensure that customers are comfortable and are having a good time and will step in to diffuse any alarming situations.

11. Travel agent

Average salary: $39,278 (£28,926) per year

Arranging a special trip for your clients can be extremely satisfying, especially if it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. And the plus side of being a travel agent is that you get to travel a lot so you can get a feel for what you’re selling to your customers.

12. Event manager

Average salary: $54,841 (£40,388) per year

Every large hotel chain will have an in-house event manager who plans and oversees the organisation’s events, including charity dinners, meetings and conferences. They will usually be given a budget to stick to and will need to work their magic around strict instructions!

13. Flight attendant

Average salary: $47,336 (£34,730) per year

The work of a flight attendant may seem quite glamorous, but it’s far from easy! From having to meet strict requirements to dealing with sudden incidences mid-air, an air steward or air stewardess needs to have great composure and the ability to think on their feet!

14. Front of house manager

Average salary: $43,769 (£32,232) per year

In the hospitality industry, a front of house manager usually refers to the manager overseeing the daily operations of catering, including the hotel restaurant and café. They ensure clients are seated and comfortable and that they experience the best quality service possible.

15. Wedding planner

Average salary: $41,658 (£30,678) per year

Many hotel venues hire their own wedding planners to ensure that a client’s day is as magical as possible. If you’re creative and you love throwing a good party, getting a regular gig with a hotel could be the ideal situation.

16. Bartender

Average salary: $38,511 (£15,730) per year

Are you a qualified bartender and skilled at mixing cocktails? If so, you could work in the swanky bar of a posh hotel, ensuring that all your guests are having a good time. You will usually work on shifts if the bar is open throughout the day or during the late evening.

17. Director of housekeeping

Average salary: $58,629 (£43,174) per year

As the title suggests, a director of housekeeping ensures that the standard of cleanliness and attention to detail is kept throughout their teams. They are also responsible for managing the department’s budget and resolving any staffing issues.

18. Resident DJ

Average salary: $39,732 (£29,260) per year

If you like to get the crowd going and enjoy watching people have a good time, you’ll thrive at being a resident DJ in a club, bar or hotel. You’ll get to share your passion for good music and enjoy yourself while you’re at it, too.

19. Restaurant manager

Average salary: $47,931 (£35,297) per year

The job of a restaurant manager is far from boring, from hiring and training staff to greeting customers and serving tables, a restaurant manager has their hands stuck in a lot of pies!

20. Hotel manager

Average salary: $50,077 (£36,877) per year

Hotel managers work to keep their customers satisfied and to ensure the whole operation of the hotel is running smoothly. Similar to a restaurant manager, they check in and check out guests, supervise the standard of the room, greet diners, and hire and train new members of the team.

21. Parking lot attendant

Average salary: $29,216 (£21,517) per year
One of the more common hospitality-related jobs involves automobiles. A parking lot attendant will either hand a guest a ticket or park the visitor's vehicle in a spot on the lot. While it might seem like an easy job on the surface, it can be challenging since it is your responsibility to park someone's vehicle, and it can be especially nerve-wracking if it’s a luxury car.

22. Maintenance worker

Average salary: $40,065 (£29,508) per year
Maintenance could be one of the best hospitality jobs there is in the industry. As a maintenance worker, it is your responsibility to repair stuff on the property and ensure everything is running properly. Of course, you cannot be disruptive and must make sure to not impact the guests' stay. Ultimately, it is your goal to facilitate a well-oiled machine.

23. Baggage porter

Average salary: $35,493 (£26,145) per year
Also known as bellhops, a baggage porter is a uniformed service attendant that work in the front of the hotel. The primary task of the job is to carry guests' luggage to their room when they arrive and back to the lobby when they leave. It is a simple but crucial position for any hotel or accommodation venues.

24. Busser

Average salary: $18,000 (£13,260) per year
Indeed, a busser is not the most glamorous hospitality-related job out there. However, being someone who clears the tables and ensures that guests are eating their meals and drinking their beverages on a clean surface is important, especially in today's day and age, where sanitation is more important than ever before!

25. Theme Park manager

Average salary: $48,750 (£35,759) per year
While a theme park manager can ride the roller coaster once in a while for professional purposes, the job's main objective is to make sure that the guests have a satisfying experience. This requires doing a few of the day-to-day behind-the-scenes tasks, such as managing staff, maintaining and developing strategies, settling employee contracts and ensuring all parts of the amusement park are functioning correctly.

Final thoughts

If you have great customer service skills, you can exceed at any one of the roles on this list! You just need to make sure that you enjoy the hospitality job that you choose. Working with people in a face-to-face role can be challenging, but if you're passionate about improving peoples' experiences then it's a great career path for you to follow. 

Let us know! Which job appeals to you the most? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

This article is an updated version of an earlier article originally published on 01 November 2018 and contains contributions from Andrew Moran.