The 20 Best Careers in Hospitality

Young waiter looking at a table arrangement
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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 20 best jobs in hospitality for a little inspiration.

1. Sales and Marketing Manager

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.

Average salary: $56,820 / £30,720 per year

2. Hotel Receptionist

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.

Average salary: $29,400 / £16,050 per year

3. Cruise Ship Entertainer

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!

Average salary: $1,400–$18,000 (£1,070–£13,790) per month

4. Head Chef

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!

Average salary: $44,910 / £25,760 per year

5. Tour Guide

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 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.

Average salary: $28,810 / £19,650 per year

6. Fitness Instructor

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.

Average salary: $36,090 / £14,900 per year

7. Concierge

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.

Average salary: $37,250 / £19,820 per year

8. Beauty Therapist

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.

Average salary: $61,450 / £14,770 per year

9. Sommelier

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.

Average salary: $47,770 / £24,430 per year

10. Casino Host

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.

Average salary: $38,020 / £16,630 per year

11. Travel Agent

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.

Average salary: $36,600 / £15,600 per year

12. Event Manager

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!

Average salary: $50,330 / £25,900 per year

13. Flight Attendant

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!

Average salary: $39,100 / £17,390 per year

14. Front of House Manager

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.

Average salary: $38,450 / £23,800 per year

15. Wedding Planner

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.

Average salary: $40,410 / £17,690 per year

16. Bartender

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.

Average salary: $30,100 / £15,730 per year

17. Director of Housekeeping

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.

Average salary: $54,720 (£41,920) per year

18. Resident DJ

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.

Average salary: $30,310 / £24,330 per year

19. Restaurant Manager

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!

Average salary: $44,230 / £23,480 per year

20. Hotel Manager

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.

Average salary: $47,770 / £25,790 per year

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.

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


Currency conversions are based on rates supplied by on 8 October 2018.

Salary information compiled using PayScale.