How Much Money Do Hospitality Management Majors Make?

Managers in hospitality industries can earn competitively high wages.
Managers in hospitality industries can earn competitively high wages. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Those who pursue degrees in hospitality management will have a variety of industries and jobs to choose from upon graduation. During school, hospitality majors learn about administration, economics, accounting, marketing, food-service and beverage rules and regulations, housekeeping procedures, inventory maintenance and other aspects of managing hotels, restaurants, casinos and event centers. However, with such a wide variety of career options to choose from, salaries can be very different across the industry.

Lodging and Hotel Managers

Many hospitality management majors go on to work in hotels. In fact, according to a 2009 report by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were around 31,660 lodging managers making an average of $53,500 a year. Salaries ranged from less than $28,450 in the bottom 10th percentile to more than $85,600 a year in the top 10th percentile. The highest-paying state overall was Nevada, where hotel managers earned $74,180 a year on average in 2009. The vast majority of loading managers worked directly in traveler accommodation, averaging $52,830 a year; but company management firms paid the highest of any employers at $79,740 a year.

Food Service Managers

Food service management makes up the largest single occupation in the hospitality industry, with about 190,250 people employed in the sector as of 2009. The average annual wage according to the bureau report was $51,400 a year, with the bottom 10th percentile making less than $29,810 and the top 10th percentile earning more than $78,910 a year. Food service and beverage managers in Delaware made more on average than in any other state with an annual mean wage of $69,720 a year. The vast majority of these managers worked in limited- or full-service eating establishments across the country, making between $45,370 and $53,750 on average. However, grocery merchant wholesalers paid the highest wages by far, averaging $91,130 a year.

Gaming Managers

A limited number of hospitality majors may go on to become gaming managers, who basically oversee the gambling aspect of casinos. In 2009, there were only 3,390 gaming mangers employed, but they earned $74,030 on average. The lowest reported wages in the bottom 10th percentile were less than $40,640 a year, while those in the 90th percentile made more than $115,420 annually. Most gaming managers, naturally, worked in Nevada, for an annual mean wage of $85,270 a year, but Missouri was actually the highest paying state at $95,280 a year. Hotels, casinos and local governments were the most common employers; they paid between $67,440 and $78,770 a year, Company management firms were again the best-paying employers, whose gaming managers boasted an average wage of $98,520 a year.

Convention and Meeting Coordinators

Another common career for hospitality management majors is coordination of conventions and meetings. Based on the 2009 BLS report, there were 51,530 of these managers, earning $48,060 on average. In the bottom 10th percentile, wages were less than $27,550, but in the 90th percentile, meeting and convention planners made more than $75,160 a year. The highest concentration of convention and meeting managers were in Washington, D.C., and they earned $55,170 a year on average, the highest of any state. Most convention and meeting coordinators worked for hotels, averaging $44,420 a year; or in business, professional and political organizations, averaging $51,270 a year. The highest-paying employers for convention and meeting coordinators, however, were software publishers, paying $65,530 a year on average.

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