Online Associates Degree in Hospitality Management

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The hospitality industry encompasses several subfields, including catering and food service, tour operation, event planning, and venue management. Hospitality professionals can work in many diverse roles and can often earn above-average salaries. For example, lodging managers, who typically only need an associate degree, earn a median annual salary of $54,430, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Students pursuing an associate in hospitality management can choose a specialization that supports their long-term career objectives. Read on to learn more about the best hospitality management degrees, including common courses and scholarship opportunities.

Associates in Hospitality Management Programs Students FAQ


  • What kind of jobs can you get with a hospitality management degree?

    Professionals with a hospitality management degree can work in various roles depending on their specialization and interests. Some may work as food service managers while others may work as meeting and event planners or tour coordinators.


  • How long does it take to get a hospitality management degree?

    Learners typically need two years to complete an associate program and four years to complete a bachelor’s. Factors such as enrollment status, delivery format, and work experience may impact program length.


  • How much money can you make with a hospitality management degree?

    According to the BLS, lodging managers without a bachelor’s earn an annual median salary of $54,430, which is higher than the average median income of $39,810 for all workers. According to the BLS, lodging managers without a bachelor’s earn an annual median salary of $54,430, which is higher than the average median income of $39,810 for all workers. According to the BLS, lodging managers without a bachelor’s earn an annual median salary of $54,430, which is higher than the average median income of $39,810 for all workers.


  • Does hotel management pay well?

    Generally speaking, the industry supports higher-than-average salaries. However, the type of establishment and city or state where professionals work greatly impacts income levels.


Featured Online Programs

Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

Why Get a Degree in Hospitality Management?

Earning an associate in hospitality management gives learners the fundamental skills to succeed in a vast and growing professional arena. Students can usually complete an associate program in two years, enabling them to enter the workforce sooner than earning a four-year bachelor’s degree.

Most programs require students to complete an internship, which allows them to apply classroom learning in various workplace settings. Earning a certification in a specific practice arena or a bachelor’s degree in the field can greatly enhance students’ earning capacity. Working students can often pursue a hospitality management degree online, enabling them to continue earning an income.

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How Much Does a Hospitality Management Degree Cost?

An associate degree in the United States costs an average of $3,570 per year at a public community college. A two-year degree at a private college can cost significantly more, averaging around $14,590. Prospective students can use this baseline amount to judge the affordability of a hospitality management associate degree.

Students who enroll in online programs often spend less since they do not incur room-and-board costs or campus parking fees. Several schools offer online degrees in hospitality management that follow the same curriculum and completion requirements as their on-campus programs. These programs often allow online enrollees to meet internship or practicum requirements at approved local sites.

Online students receive the same training and instruction as their onsite counterparts but often at a much lower cost.

Calculating the Cost of a College Degree

Students can use the calculation tool below to determine the cost of an associate in hospitality management degree. While prospective enrollees can find most information on a school’s website, they can also contact a school or program for specific details.

College Affordability Calculator

Break down your current financial situation, and receive a college tuition estimate you can afford to pay.

How Much Do Hospitality Management Majors Make?

Hospitality management enrollees who focus on the hotel or lodging industry enter a professional arena that generally pays higher-than-average salaries ($54,430) compared to the average for all other occupations ($39,810). Companies in the traveler accommodation industry hire the most professionals in this field (33,250 in 2019).

Some states provide more employment opportunities for hospitality management degree-holders than others. In 2019, California hired the most graduates in this field (4,290), followed by Florida (3,990) and Texas (3,560). In terms of salaries, the District of Columbia paid the highest mean salary for workers in this arena in 2019 ($116,600). The top-paying states for hospitality management graduates include Hawaii ($100,730), Colorado ($94,580), Nevada ($89,860), and North Carolina ($88,170).

Associate degree-holders who decide to pursue a bachelor’s in the field often qualify for upper management positions and leadership roles in the industry itself or a chosen subfield.

Courses in Hospitality Management

Covering a broad professional arena, hospitality management programs often offer concentration areas. Enrollees can specialize in hotel, culinary, or restaurant management, or focus on a specific department such as human resources or sales and promotion.

Hospitality management programs also typically include an internship or practicum experience. Students complete a supervised work experience in a specific arena or in various hospitality management roles on a rotating basis. Most schools allow online enrollees to complete this requirement in an approved local site.


  • Human Resources Management

    Hospitality managers oversee not only an establishment’s physical and operational aspects but also employees. This course covers topics such as recruitment, retention, and training; compensation and benefits; and performance management. Enrollees develop the soft skills necessary to manage and motivate diverse teams of workers.


  • Financial Management

    Enrollees learn how to create realistic annual budgets, draft comprehensive financial reports, and identify and take advantage of opportunities that contribute to an establishment’s profitability and overall fiscal health. This course familiarizes students with reporting structures and auditing tools that can help them keep track of revenues, expenses, and profit and loss data in the workplace.


  • Facilities and Operations Management

    This course includes topics such as space planning, event management, and staff supervision. Enrollees also learn about the lifecycle of different types of construction projects typically carried out in lodging establishments and how to schedule and monitor these projects with minimal impact on facilities and services.


Certifications and Licensure for Hospitality Management

Industry-recognized certifications help practitioners stand out in a crowded professional field such as hospitality management. Certifications highlight not only professionals’ specialized knowledge and training in a specific arena, but also their commitment to the industry as a whole. Graduates can earn a professional credential in several specialized subfields in hospitality management, including the three listed below.

Certified Hotel Administrator


The program’s administrator, the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute, requires candidates to have at least three years of relevant work experience or two years of higher education in hospitality management or a related field. The CHA designation can help improve career options and enhance the professional standing of hotel managers and upper-level administrators in the travel lodging industry.

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Digital Event Strategist


The Professional Convention Management Association administers the DES designation, which presents holders as knowledgeable professionals specializing in the production of digital events. Well-versed in the latest technology for staging online meetings, training programs, fundraisers, and other digital events, a DES-designated practitioner also knows how to establish profitable price points and secure sponsorships.

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Certified Professional in Catering and Events


The National Association for Catering & Events administers this credential that covers eight core competency areas, including beverage management, contracts and agreements, food production, and sales and marketing. Candidates must show full-time employment in the industry for at least three years and complete at least 30 hours of professional development within five years.

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Scholarships for Hospitality Management

Students pursuing an associate in hospitality management can usually begin their search for financial assistance at their school. Community colleges often receive grants from state and federal agencies to bestow on qualified learners.

Hospitality management enrollees can also explore scholarships from professional organizations and nonprofit groups with ties to the field. See below for three scholarships open to hospitality management degree-seekers.

  • American Hotel and Lodging Foundation Scholarships

    Who Can Apply: Students pursuing an accredited program in the hospitality field can apply for scholarships for which they feel qualified. Applicants must be enrolled in an AHLF-affiliated school or program.

    Amount: Varies

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  • Best Hospitality Degrees Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: This program accepts applications from hospitality management students enrolled in a two- or four-year accredited program. Applicants must submit a 500- to 1,000-word essay describing their career goals and involvement in the field.

    Amount: $1,500

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  • National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Scholarships

    Who Can Apply: NRAEF welcomes applications from students pursuing any type of degree in the restaurant, food service, or hospitality field. Application requirements for each scholarship vary. Learners must only apply for the scholarship opportunity for which they think they will qualify.

    Amount: Varies

    Explore Here

Online Associate in Hospitality Management Degree 2021

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