Hotels offer travelers more than a place to sleep and shower: They offer an experience. Looking for accommodations with a rich history? Try The American Club in Kohler Wisconsin that used to be a home for immigrants who couldn't afford a place to stay. The most luxurious hotel? Check out the Four Seasons Hotel New York. No matter what type and quality of lodging a traveler is looking for, there is a motel, hotel or Holiday Inn to fit that traveler's tastes and budget. Creating that experience is the work of a small army of hospitality professionals. More than 50,000 lodging establishments in America require qualified leaders to run the business, from coaching the front office staff about greeting guests to paying for the mints on the pillows. Welcome to hotel management.
Hotel management careers--even for people who hate mints
Your career goals may determine the type of hotel management degree you pursue. A certificate program or a two-year associate degree might be enough to qualify you for management positions at small independent establishments, or provide you with enough hospitality business savvy to open and run your own (mint-free) bed and breakfast. Many large hotel chains require a bachelor's or master's degree in hotel management or hospitality, but these corporations often have better advancement opportunities and employee perks. After the first year, Hyatt employees get 12 comped room nights each year.
You can also tackle niche markets like themed hotels, historic hotels or youth hostels. Foreign language skills and an appreciation for the hospitality traditions of other cultures could open doors for you with international hotel and resort companies.