Seven High-Paying Hospitality Jobs
By Dona DeZube, Monster Finance Careers Expert
The top high-paying jobs in hospitality reach into six figures for professionals who combine industry
knowledge, business acumen and people skills, according to data from Salary.com, which powers
Monster’s Salary Wizard.
After shedding workers during the recession, the hospitality industry started to shake loose in 2010. Restaurant chains
began building back the teams it downsized in 2008, while casinos and other large sources of hospitality jobs stepped up
campus recruiting of entry-level managers. The one area where dark clouds remain in the hospitality job market: budget
High-paying hospitality jobs almost all require 3 things: education, experience & solid leadership skills, says Bobbie
Barnes, director of the Boughner Career Services Center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ College of Hotel
Administration. If you’ve got all three, you may want to steer your career toward one of these seven high-paying hospitality
jobs. (Salaries are median & include bonuses.)
Casino Property General Manager: $218,300
To land a lucrative casino manager job, start with a four-year degree to get a broad-based education in business and
hospitality, then pick up experience in the components of a casino resort -- operations, food/beverage, convention, hotel
and entertainment. “Be passionate and eager to learn every aspect of the organization,” Barnes says. “There’s no clear
path to general manager positions. Upward mobility is more like a lattice where you move over, go up or down, or make a
Regional Chef: $124,800
Regional chef jobs dried up during the recession, says Stephen Gibson, partner at Restaurant Management Recruiters in
Atlanta. Many of those laid off took a step back to managing a single restaurant rather than the group of restaurants they
oversaw as a regional chef.
If you’ve hung onto a regional chef position, a switch to a corporate chef job where you set the menu, purchase food
across the system, & train senior leadership & chefs on new menu items is more secure -- & your salary could rise to
$175,000 with bonuses, Gibson says.
Hotel Manager: $112,400
Hotel chains gravitate to candidates who have done it all: catering, front desk, housekeeping and management. Back that
experience with a bachelor’s degree and an operational bent to increase your appeal to hospitality employers, says David
James, an executive recruiter at Internal Audit Recruiters in Corona, California.
Avoid moving to a lower position as you rotate. “If someone who was general manager steps down to become restaurant
supervisor, that’s the kiss of death,” James says.
Regional Restaurant Manager: $95,800
Your salary as a regional restaurant manager -- who floats among a group of restaurant locations, hiring and coaching staff
to improve profitability -- depends on the status of the chain. A fast-food chain would pay a base of $75,000 to $85,000
and an upscale chain would pay $150,000, and midlevel jobs at both are plentiful, Gibson says.
Jobs are more plentiful for managers of individual restaurants and for entry-level regional positions (where you manage a
group of restaurants) than for vice president and higher-level positions, he says. “There’s still movement in the higher
positions, but not as much as there was before the recession,” he adds.
Head of Housekeeping: $77,000
“What’s more important at a hotel than a clean room?” asks Barnes. “It’s difficult work and requires a tremendous leader to
manage that department.”
At the budget end of the market, hospitality jobs still haven’t recovered from the recession. “There& are more people on the
street vying for jobs from housekeeping to hotel manager,” James says. “There are a finite number of opportunities & an
abundance of candidates.”
Executive Pastry Chef: $60,200
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