Hotel managers oversee a hotel's day-to-day operations, with responsibilities such as developing work schedules, preparing and examining financial documents, and leading teams. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that these professionals earn a median salary of $56,670 per year, approximately $15,000 higher than the median annual salary for all occupations.
The BLS projects the hotel management field to contract 12% from 2019-2029. Fewer open positions mean job applicants need every advantage. Professionals can stand out from the competition by earning a hotel management degree. Many reputable colleges and universities offer this degree entirely online, which often helps learners work while in school.
Value of a Hotel Management Degree
What is a degree in hotel management?
Bachelor's programs in hotel management typically feature coursework in marketing, accounting, and lodging management. Programs may also require an internship.
Which degree is best for hotel management?
Prospective students without college experience should consider bachelor's in hotel management programs. Experienced managers often return to school to earn a master's in hospitality.
How long does it take to get a hotel management degree?
Most full-time students earn their bachelor's degree in approximately four years. Part-time students typically need an additional 1-2 years. Some schools offer accelerated options for motivated degree-seekers.
Is a degree in hotel management worth it?
Potential benefits of earning a hotel management degree include obtaining a promotion faster than other employees, impressing prospective employers, and qualifying for raises.
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Why Get a Degree in Hotel Management?
Students earning a hotel management degree online develop the skills that individuals typically hone during entry-level work in the field. Programs may feature one or more specialization areas, such as food service, resorts, or hotel chains. These options allow degree-seekers to customize their educational experience to their career goals. Students also gain transferable skills applicable to nearly all career paths.
Many online hotel management degree programs offer asynchronous courses. Degree-seekers learning asynchronously do not attend classes at specific times. Instead, they review materials and complete coursework around their work and personal schedules.
How Much Does a Hotel Management Degree Cost?
The cost of earning a hotel management degree depends on factors including whether the student attends a public or private school. Public schools usually charge reduced tuition rates to in-state learners. However, many out-of-state public institutions offer in-state tuition rates to all online students.
Online hotel management degree programs often provide more affordable tuition rates and more financial benefits than on-campus options. For example, some schools exempt online degree-seekers from specific fees. School websites typically list these and other exemptions on their financial aid page. Distance learners may also save money on commuting costs, on-campus housing, and meal plans.
Students may reduce the cost of tuition considerably through institutional financial aid packages. This aid supports students with a specific major or an excellent high school or undergraduate GPA. Many institutional grants and scholarships do not require a separate application and may renew as long as recipients remain in good academic standing.
Break down your current financial situation, and receive a college tuition estimate you can afford to pay.
How Much Do Hotel Management Majors Make?
Although the median salary for hotel managers is $56,670 per year, according to the BLS, recent college graduates often earn less. The lowest 10% of workers in this field earn less than $32,980 per year. However, experienced professionals may make more than $108,060 per year, depending on their employer. Managers who work for hotels earn approximately $2,620 more annually than those working at recreational vehicle parks.
Geographic location affects salary significantly. Managers in the District of Columbia, Colorado, and New Jersey earn salaries more than $38,000 higher than the median. Workers in Hawaii and Northern Carolina also make more than lodging managers in other states. However, many of these states feature a high cost of living.
Employees of national or international hotel chains often earn the highest salaries in the field. Large companies not only pay more but typically provide additional avenues for professional growth. Hotel managers can also earn professional certifications to increase their job prospects and qualify for higher salaries.
Courses in Hotel Management
Hotel management degree programs emphasize the skills that employers expect recent graduates to possess, such as effective communication, decision-making, and problem-solving abilities. The top programs generally require an experiential learning component, such as an internship at a local hotel or inn. Other curriculum highlights include general education courses in rhetoric, natural science, and economics.
The following sample curriculum introduces three hotel management core courses. These and other requirements introduce students to various facets of the field. Learners should contact an academic advisor at their prospective school for details about how the program's curriculum prepares degree-seekers for careers. Program websites may also contain in-depth curriculum information.
Food Service in Hospitality and TourismMost hotels offer food services such as a breakfast buffet or on-site restaurants. Hotel managers must understand how these operations complement and interact with other hotel departments. Course topics include relevant regulations and laws, and learners explore financial planning and menu development. This knowledge helps professionals offer culinary options aligning with customers' desires.
Managing the Hotel Guest ExperienceA successful hotel inspires guests to return for multiple visits. Hotel managers ensure their establishment offers guests an excellent experience. These professionals mentor front-of-house staff, coordinate advertising campaigns, and monitor room cleanliness. This course also prepares students to troubleshoot problems, such as accommodating late guests and issuing refunds.
Hospitality Strategic MarketingStudents in this class learn to develop successful advertising campaigns. Degree-seekers create sample advertising campaigns incorporating organizational buying, strategic planning, and consumer outreach. These projects may require students to create websites, email campaigns, and television scripts. Hotel management professionals use these techniques to attract and retain guests.
Certifications and Licensure for Hotel Management
Professionals often need more than a hotel management degree to stand out in the job market. With the BLS projecting a decline in available positions in the field, aspiring hotel managers can earn professional certifications to improve their marketability. Typical certification requirements include a college degree, professional experience, and a passing exam score.
This credential demonstrates honed skills in eight core competencies, including accounting, food production, and human resources. Candidates must have at least three years of experience and at least 30 professional development hours. The required exam includes 175 multiple-choice questions, and the National Association for Catering and Events provides candidates with study materials.
The American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) administers this certification to top professionals managing front-of-house staff. Applicants must have at least one year of management experience and must pass a proctored examination. AHLEI members receive a 20% discount, and certified professionals must renew their credential every five years.
The Association of Destination Management Executives International awards this credential to professionals with at least three years of experience. Candidates submit a resume, proof of competencies, and two recommendation letters. Individuals must also pass the certification examination within two years of applying. Association members receive a 33% discount.
Scholarships for Hotel Management
Students earning their hotel management degree online often save money on tuition. However, many learners still need financial aid to avoid debt. Scholarships such as those below support hotel management majors and other degree-seekers preparing for hospitality careers. Students should review the latest application requirements before applying for scholarships.
Scholarships for Hotel Management
||Who Can Apply
AHLA Foundation Scholarship
||Undergraduate students majoring in a hospitality-related subject can apply for this award from the American Hotel and Lodging Association Foundation. The scholarship committee considers each applicant's financial need, GPA, and extracurricular activities. The application window opens in November.
IFA Foundation Scholarships
||Learners pursuing an undergraduate degree in hotel management, hospitality, or a related field may qualify for one of the IFA Foundation's four annual scholarships. Scholarship recipients agree to attend the International Franchise Association's annual convention.
||The Network of Executive Women in Hospitality offers 10 scholarships for hotel and hospitality management students. Application requirements include a minimum 3.0 GPA, financial need, and three recommendation letters. Application windows open in the spring and fall.
Best Online Hotel Management Degrees
#1 Online Hotel Management Degrees
- Delhi, NY
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
SUNY Delhi enrolls degree-seekers in its top-ranked online BBA in hotel and restaurant management program. Degree-seekers choose from online programs or on-campus programs offered at the public institution's main campus in New York State. The flexible learning format appeals to busy students balancing school with other responsibilities.
The online bachelor's program uses a rigorous curriculum that emphasizes foundational and advanced hotel and restaurant management skills. Faculty mentors and academic advisors work with majors to create a customized course of study. The school also supports distance learners through online tutoring, career services, and financial aid counseling.
At an accredited institution, online learners qualify for federal financial aid programs such as the Pell Grant. The school's financial aid office helps distance learners identify scholarships and grants.
SUNY College of Technology at Delhi at a Glance:
Total Bachelor's Programs: 19
Online Bachelor's Programs: 8
Number of Online Students: 1,307
Acceptance Rate: 72%
Percent of Undergrads who Graduate: 48%
Transfer Credits Toward Degree: No
Percent Online Enrollment
Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Middle States Commission on Higher Education