10 Top Paying Jobs in the Hospitality Industry

The leisure and hospitality industry is a lucrative one. When a business serves the public and depends on them for their livelihood, that business will hire some of the best people and pay them accordingly. These careers can be financially rewarding for those who want to rise to the top of their chosen profession in the hospitality industry.

1. Chef

While the beginning chef can’t hope to make a hundred thousand dollars a year to start, established chefs at top end restaurants and hotels can make that much and more per year. They’re often paid with bonuses based on the sales of the restaurant itself, which makes it hard to track the yearly median income of those who work at the top restaurants around the world. A chef can make approximately $76,000, but that can vary based on the restaurant itself, according to Salary.com.

2.  Pastry Chef

An executive pastry chef will lead the other pastry chefs in the kitchen. This will involve overseeing daily activities as well as hiring and providing training for new pastry chefs that are hired at the restaurant. Along with managing new hires and training, the executive pastry chef will be constantly developing new pastry and dessert options to be placed on the menu. The executive pastry chef will have had a culinary school education as well as years of experience in restaurants making a variety of desserts like French pastries, chocolates and baking.

3. Casino Property General Manager

There are plenty of government regulations that have to be followed in a casino. It’s one of the primary duties of the casino manager, but you also have to make a profit for the casino. This includes hiring the best supervisors and managers to ensure the casino has great customer service and interaction with guests. Keeping customers happy in the casino while they might be losing their money is one of the biggest jobs of the manager. Depending on the state, managers of a casino can make anywhere from $56,250 to $119,220, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

4. Event Manager

A meeting or event manager will plan events, which can include booking venues, negotiating and hiring caterers and coordinating bookings for entertainment. An event manager may work for a company that specializes in event planning or could work in a hotel or meeting space where people will hold events. Event managers are often in charge of massive events like conventions and corporate meetings. The top 10 percent in the field can earn over $80,000.

5. Head of Housekeeping

Keeping an entire hotel or casino clean from top to bottom requires a coordinated, efficient housekeeping staff, which is why the head of housekeeping is paid fairly for the work required. This person must have years of experience in the housekeeping industry to keep the housekeeping staff moving efficiently to clean all the rooms of the hotel or casino. Cleanliness is one part of the guests’ experience that can’t be compromised.

6. Food and Beverage Director

The director of food and beverage will have the responsibility of marketing the products and selling during special events. The director will need to keep track of budgeting, ordering and sales before and during the events to ensure the venue is making a profit. This person requires a bachelor’s degree and almost a decade of experience in the industry.

7. Regional Restaurant Manager

Each location will have its own general manager, but when it’s a chain of restaurants, there will be a regional manager who oversees establishments in a particular area. This person travels to each restaurant and evaluates their track record and sales reports to ensure they are making a profit each month. When there’s a dip in sales, the regional manager visits the location to find out the reason. The regional manager hires and trains managers as well as some supervisors when necessary for the smooth operation of the restaurant. This position makes over $99,000 per year.

8. Sommelier

It can be incredibly difficult to become a sommelier. This position in the hotel and restaurant industry requires specialized knowledge of wines and where each originates. Sommeliers are able to taste a wine and know the region where it was grown as well as the variety of grape used in the wine’s production. With this specialized education, a sommelier will work towards becoming a Master Sommelier. There are less than 300 Masters in the entire world, but there are other levels that can be achieved on the way to the top. An advanced sommelier at a prestigious restaurant can make over $78,000 without becoming a Master. The Master Sommelier makes an average salary of $150,000, according to GuildSomm.

9. Travel Manager

A travel manager will help guests make travel arrangements or work within a company to handle all of the executive’s travel arrangements. This person monitors the travel expenses of the executives too. The travel manager negotiates travel expenses with vendors and ensures the security and safety of the travelers under the manager’s care, according to PayScale. At the top end of the spectrum, travel managers are able to make over $100,000 annually. This position requires a bachelor’s degree and a decade’s worth of experience in the world of travel.

10. Hotel Manager

A hotel manager has more than one duty within the hotel. He or she must plan and direct all management operations including personnel and administration tasks. The manager manages the hotel budget, plans and oversees all the maintenance and housekeeping within the facility. The manager also promotes the business and handles customer complaints.

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These leisure and hospitality positions require advanced degrees and certificates depending on the position. They aren’t usually positions that are a set 40 hours per week either. The positions are demanding, but often immensely satisfying emotionally as well as financially for those who choose to advance this far in their careers. Careers with this kind of pay are ones that are achieved after many years of dedication and commitment in the industry.