5 of the Highest Paying Jobs in Hospitality

Like most other industries, roles in hospitality vary in terms of compensation. In most cases, jobs that pay the highest require either a degree or certification or years of experience in the industry to build skills and expertise. But, which roles pay the highest salaries? That will depend on the type of establishment, location, and a variety of other factors. Larger organizations and ones with esteemed ratings and reputations often pay much higher than those not known for their luxury or comfort. However, the following are some of the traditionally highest-paying jobs in the hospitality industry.

Hotel Manager

A hotel manager (sometimes called a General Manager) is essentially the responsible party for ensuring smooth operations and high customer satisfaction at an establishment. This person generally manages a staff team and often has a group of lower-level managers directly reporting to them. Those managers each lead a team as well. Hotel managers must work to ensure operations within the hotel are both safe and efficient. Developing the budget and recruiting and training staff are two of the most important responsibilities they take on. Managers don’t just need to keep guests satisfied during their stay. They also need to create a working environment for staff that is motivating and supportive. Doing so keeps staff turnover remains at a minimum.

In terms of salary, the range for hotel managers depends on the quality of the hotel and its location. However, it usually falls within $50,000 to $120,000. The competitive salary comes with lots of responsibilities and requirements. Running a successful hotel means thriving in a fast-paced environment and fostering a team atmosphere that keeps everyone working together for the common goal of guest satisfaction. Additionally, many hotels prefer or require hotel managers to come equipped with a 2- or 4-year degree in hostel management, marketing, or business administration.

Director of Housekeeping

As the name suggests, this person leads a team of housekeeping staff. The size of that team can vary greatly, and likely the salary associated with the role reflects this as well. A degree in hospitality is preferred for this role as well. However, more important is experience working in housekeeping and leading others. Directors of Housekeeping often work closely with vendors and need to be up-to-date on their knowledge of health and safety guidelines to ensure that the hotel stays compliant and both staff and guests are safe.

Food and Beverage Director

Food and beverage is an aspect of hospitality where hotels can either soar in profits or easily fall in the red. Because of this, the Food and Beverage Director has to be strategic in their decision-making and budgeting. They should set a clear budget based on the goals of the business. They also must follow through on reviewing reports regularly and assessing whether those goals are met or if changes are needed. A management degree or general business degree is a great start to securing this role. However, much of the industry knowledge is gained on the job. So, successful directors often come from lower roles within the hotel and restaurant industry.  

When it comes to compensation, this role likely makes a base salary with the opportunity to secure incentive pay for goals met.  The average base salary is around $85,000.  Incentives come from exceeding expectations relating to budgeting and sales goals.

Event Manager

Not all establishments have an Event Manager, but hotels with large catering and event businesses require one to be successful. Like the title suggests, these folks manage events. That broad responsibility can be broken down into several areas, including marketing, event planning, organization, and outsourcing of event staff.  

Event Managers often have a commission-based salary, or at least a base pay with commission added for booking and successfully executing events. Having a degree in event management or hospitality is valuable here, but not necessarily required to secure this type of role. What is likely more valuable to potential employers is having deep industry knowledge of vendor relations, marketing channels, and simply having a can-do attitude.

Executive Chef

If you’ve ever eaten at an esteemed restaurant, you likely heard the term Executive Chef while visiting. Essentially, an Executive Chef handles all of the culinary activities that occur in a hotel or restaurant. Often working closely with the Food and Beverage Director to collaborate on budgeting and purchasing decisions. The Executive Chef also hires trains and manages the rest of the back-of-house restaurant staff. This includes sous chefs, prep cooks, and even the dishwashers. The higher a restaurant’s rating, the higher the chef’s salary (most of the time). An average annual salary in the U.S. is right around $70,000.

Securing a High Paying Role in Hospitality

As mentioned, the roles above don’t often come without the requirement of a degree and/or lots of industry experience. Spending years in the roles in which these leaders manage is a great experience for stepping into a similar role in the future. Thus, the logical first step to a high-paying hospitality career is getting into the industry as soon as possible. We’ve got a constantly growing database of hospitality roles that are sure to get you the experience you need to one day step into a management role if desired. From housekeeping positions to roles at the front desk or in the kitchen, there is something for everyone.  Today is the perfect day to start!