Hospitality Careers: Options, Job Titles, and Descriptions
What job titles can you expect to see in hospitality industry job postings? The industry is quite broad. It includes jobs working in hotels, restaurants, casinos, theme parks, cruise lines, and other facilities that help customers meet their leisure and recreational needs.
Many jobs in the hospitality industry involve dealing with customers face-to-face in a variety of ways. But there are also behind-the-scenes jobs that include positions in sales, marketing, and accounting. Food services jobs also abound in the hospitality industry, including wait staff and food preparation jobs.
There are many management-level jobs across these areas as well, including hotel managers and executive chefs.
Given this range, jobs in the hospitality industry can either involve a lot—or very little—customer interaction. Many jobs are entry-level, but hospitality, like other service industry occupations, is an area where you can climb the ladder to a managerial role accompanied by more responsibilities, along with a higher salary.
Common Hospitality Job Titles
The following is a list of some of the most common job titles within the hospitality industry.
A concierge interacts directly with customers, providing them with various services. They may respond to requests (for instance, "Can you book me a restaurant reservation?") or anticipate what customers might need. These services could range from providing a babysitter to getting tickets to a show to suggesting a restaurant.
At some hotels, this is an entry-level job. However, some luxury hotels require concierges to have years of hospitality experience. A concierge needs to be a problem solver with extensive customer-service skills who is unflappable and can handle difficult patrons. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), concierges earn a median annual salary of $30,400.
Other front-of-the-house hospitality jobs include:
- Casino Host
- Cruise Ship Attendant
- Front Desk Associate
- Front Desk Supervisor
- Front Office Attendant
- Front-of-House Manager
- Gaming Dealer
- Guest Relations Manager
- Guest Services Associate
- Guest Services Supervisor
- Hotel Clerk
- Hotel Receptionist
- Reservations Agent
Many hotels have conference rooms or event spaces that they rent out for various events, ranging from meetings to weddings. An event planner works with a company, or an individual, to arrange the event and then ensures it runs smoothly. According to the BLS, event planners earn a median annual salary of $50,600.
Hospitality jobs in the field of event planning include:
- Events Manager
- Executive Conference Manager
- Executive Meeting Manager
- Meeting and Convention Planner
- Meeting Coordinator
- Meeting Manager
- Meeting Planner
- Meeting Specialist
- Special Events Manager
- Wedding Coordinator
An executive chef is a managerial role that involves a lot of work behind the scenes in the hospitality industry. An executive chef oversees the food operations in restaurants, hotels, casinos, or other venues that serve food. People in this role supervise cooks, sous chefs, and other kitchen employees. They typically order all of the food, plan the meals, and prepare food in the kitchen.
While it is not necessarily required, many head chefs have some training through a culinary school, technical school, community college, or a four-year college.
Most people work their way up to executive chef from entry-level roles like line cooks. Over time, they develop the managerial skills required to oversee an entire kitchen, and the cooking skills to develop menus. According to PayScale, executive chefs earn an average annual salary of $61,846.
Other jobs related to executive chef, including jobs many people have while working their way up to executive chef, include:
- Cafe Manager
- Catering Manager
- Food and Beverage Manager
- Kitchen Manager
- Pastry Chef
- Restaurant Manager
- Sous Chef
Hotel General Manager
A hotel general manager, or hotel manager, makes sure that a hotel (or inn, lodge, or any other venue with sleeping accommodations) is running smoothly. This involves interacting with guests, managing staff, handling the finances of the property, and much more.
Some hotel managers have a degree or certificate in hotel management, while others have a high school diploma and a few years of experience working in a hotel. Hotel general managers need to have strong business skills, management skills, and interpersonal skills. ZipRecruiter reports that hotel general managers earn an average annual salary of $63,600.
Other jobs related to the management and/or administration of a hospitality facility include:
- Back Office Assistant
- Catering Sales Manager
- Director of Hotel Sales
- Director of Marketing and Sales
- Group Sales Manager
- Guest Room Sales Manager
- Hotel Manager
- Lodging Manager
- Sales and Marketing Manager
- Shift Leader
- Shift Manager
- Spa Manager
- Wedding Sales Manager
Housekeepers are responsible for maintaining a standard of cleanliness throughout a hotel or other hospitality venue. They clean individual hotel rooms as well as the common areas. Housekeepers within the hospitality industry make beds, do laundry, clean bathrooms, stock linens, and more.
Being a housekeeper requires some physical stamina because you often have to lift heavy loads and be on your feet most of the day. According to Salary.com, housekeepers earn a median wage of $13 per hour. Assuming a 40-hour workweek, this equals a median annual salary of $27,040.
There are many other jobs related to maintenance and cleaning in the hospitality industry. There are also opportunities for management positions within these areas.
Some other related housekeeping job titles include:
- Director of Housekeeping
- Director of Maintenance
- Director of Operations
- Executive Housekeeper
- Housekeeping Aide
- Housekeeping Supervisor
- Lead Housekeeper
- Maintenance Supervisor
- Maintenance Worker
Porters are tasked with handling baggage for guests. They might bring luggage up to guests’ rooms or take baggage down to the lobby. ZipRecruiter reports that porters earn an average annual salary of $29,638.
A porter is one of many support staff positions in the hospitality industry. Another common position is that of valet (also known as parking lot attendant). A valet parks patrons’ cars when they come to a hotel, restaurant, or other venue.
Other support staff positions similar to that of porter and valet include:
- Baggage Porter
- Bell Attendant
- Parking Lot Attendant
- Valet Attendant
- Valet Parking Attendant
Waiters and waitresses work in restaurants, bars, hotels, casinos, and other food-serving establishments. They interact directly with customers taking orders, serving food and beverages, and take payments from patrons.
While no formal education is required, waiters and waitresses must have strong interpersonal and communication skills. They also have to be detail-oriented because they need to remember customers’ orders, especially complicated drink orders. This job is ideal for people in the hospitality industry who want to engage with customers face-to-face. According to the BLS, waiters and waitresses earn a median annual salary of $22,890.
Other job titles similar to waiter and waitress in the hospitality industry include:
- Back Waiter
- Banquet Server
- Cafe Manager
- Catering Assistant
- Food Runner
- Food Server
- Head Waiter
- Maître d’
- Communication skills are paramount. While there are many different jobs in the hospitality industry, all require that employees possess outstanding communications and teamwork skills.
- Opportunities abound. Unlike many career fields, the hospitality industry offers many chances for people to work their way up from entry-level roles to management positions.
- Degrees are optional. Although some hospitality roles require formal training (and while college degrees or professional certifications are always desirable), it is still possible and common for people who only have high school diplomas or GEDs to enter and advance, through on-the-job training, as long-term employees of hotels, cruise companies, or restaurants.