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Hospitality and Hotel Management Schools

What is Hotel Management?

A good impression of a hotel depends on many factors, most of all a comfortable room, delicious food, and helpful and friendly staff. Using acute customer service and business skills, hotel managers work behind the scenes to make sure that guests receive a satisfactory experience while the hotel makes a profit.

Business Administration With A Hospitality Management Concentration

During a normal day’s work, hotel managers may oversee housekeeping, office administration, sales and marketing, and grounds security and maintenance. In addition to hiring and training staff and setting work schedules, hotel managers may also roll up their sleeves and lend a hand when needed.

Hospitality management schools provide instruction appropriate for students at all stages of a hospitality career. Learn about bachelor’s and master’s degree programs at top hotel management schools to start putting your best foot forward.

Types of Hotel Management Colleges and Institutes

As with any industry, aspiring hotel managers can learn a lot on the job; however, a degree in hotel management is increasingly becoming an important component in hospitality career preparation. By taking classes in marketing, business, accounting, public relations and leadership, students in hotel management programs develop a marketable skill set that hiring managers seek. A variety of institutions offer hotel management training, namely vocational schools, colleges and universities, and online hotel management degree programs.

Vocational and trade schools with hotel management training programs teach students to use a wide variety of business skills relevant to the hospitality industry. Offering a range of certificate and degree programs leading to formal recognition in hotel management, vocational schools are a practical choice for many students.

Colleges and universities with hotel management and hospitality majors and degrees provide good career preparation for aspiring managers. In both private and public schools, students can find undergraduate and master’s degrees designed to give practical and theoretical knowledge of the industry and recent trends.  Some universities offer business programs with a hotel management emphasis.

Online hotel management instruction is also offered at a wide range of institutions. Some online hotel management courses can complement on-campus study, while other hospitality degrees can be completed entirely at home. Students taking hotel management courses online have the ability to gain a good business foundation and understanding of the hotel industry while balancing a busy schedule.

Prospective students of hotel management should research schools according to the location and available degree offerings.

Hotel Management Degree and Curriculum Information

Students in hotel management schools may choose to pursue an associate degree, bachelor's degree, diploma, or certificate depending on their career goals. Those interested in graduate degrees can find that some schools also offer a master’s in hotel management.

A certificate or diploma in hospitality management usually takes nine months to complete, though the time commitment can vary by school and program. Along with gaining a good understanding of the hotel industry, students in hotel management diploma and certificate programs learn about business fundamentals and gain communication, management, and computer skills. Some programs include an internship as part of their curriculum in order for students to gain industry experience.

An associate or bachelor’s degree in hotel management offers more extensive business training. An associate degree usually takes two years to complete, while a bachelor's degree takes four.  Hotel management courses can cover hotel administration, accounting, human resources, travel marketing, and entrepreneurship in the hospitality industry. In addition, many elective courses in hotel management programs also provide instruction in wines, cuisines, and culinary skills for a greater understanding of tourism’s gastronomic side. Some programs will also include an internship as a requirement for graduation – important for applying learned concepts to the real world.

Master’s degrees in hospitality and hotel management are also being offered for working professionals with significant industry experience. Students earning a master’s in hotel management may learn high-level business management skills, such as strategic development, international tourism development, and chain management and franchising in addition to advanced courses in organizational behavior, global economics, quantitative methods and business ethics. Graduates with an MBA in Hotel Management are often strong candidates for management positions in the tourism industry.

Is Hotel Management School Necessary?

Many hotel management positions have qualifications that cannot be taught in a college classroom. For example, hotel managers must be good problem-solvers with a good eye for detail. Also essential are solid communication skills and the ability to organize people and delegate tasks. Some individuals with prior hospitality experience and leadership experience are able to enter hotel management trainee programs without a degree.

However, trends show an increasing importance of a college education. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most large hotel chains prefer to employ individuals with a bachelor’s degree in business, hotel, or hospitality management for their management trainee positions. Also preferable are graduates with an associate degree, certificate, or diploma in hotel management who additionally possess prior industry experience. High-level management positions look favorably on individuals with an MBA in Hotel Management in particular.

For students interested in a hotel management career, a degree assuring employers of a broad base of business skills can certainly be a strong asset for moving up in this competitive industry.

Average Hotel Manager Salary

Generally, how much do hotel managers make? In short, the average hotel management salary can vary widely depending on the set of responsibilities, work location, and type of establishment.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that in 2014, the mean annual salary for lodging managers nationwide was $57,230, with the top 10 percent earning $94,780. Among the top industries employing lodging managers, the average annual earnings came to about $56,030 in traveler accommodations and $52,970 in recreational parks and camps.

Almost half of hotel managers are salaried employees working in hotels or motels; the remaining half of hotel managers are self-employed, working as owners of small hotels, inns, and bed-and-breakfasts establishments. For those that are salaried, hotel managers may receive complimentary meals, parking, and laundry, along with educational assistance.

Options for Hotel Management Careers

According to the BLS, the field of hospitality and hotel management overall is expected have little or no change in employment rate between 2012 and 2022. Within the booming tourism industry, most new hotels will be smaller, requiring a smaller number of managers. However, significant numbers of job openings for both trainees and experienced managers are expected to be in larger hotels, resorts, and casinos supplying an array of diverse services to a bigger clientele.

Overall, hotel managers work in a variety of businesses covering the globe. Hotels, motels, casino centers, resorts, bed-and-breakfast inns, lodges, cruise ships, general hospitals, elder care facilities, and college and boarding school dormitories, among others, all employ managers to oversee their hospitality services.

Want to work in a fast-paced, social industry, with a worldwide presence? Consider exploring the world of hotel management.

Additional Resources for Students in Hospitality and Hotel Management
Bureau of Labor Statistics information on careers in hotel management
Occupational Information Network (O*NET) on career skills important to hotel managers

Featured Hotel Management Schools

Check out this directory of Hotel Management schools and institutes to get started!

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2 Program(s) Found
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  • Prepare for or advance your career in business. Start with a bachelor's or master's degree from GCU!
  • Take courses online from anywhere, on campus in Phoenix or in other satellite locations throughout Arizona.
  • GCU offers a variety of business programs, including undergraduate and graduate programs.
  • Degree emphases include accounting, marketing, business administration, human resources, finance and economics, leadership & more.
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  • Accredited
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  • Lower Tuition Cost Than Many Other Universities.  Classes Start Soon.
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  • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1995.
  • Features numerous online student resources at no extra charge, including an online library, course materials, and real-time tutoring.
  • Courses last 8 weeks and begin monthly
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  • Its first location, in Paris, officially opened its doors as a culinary school in 1895.
  • Teaches students by having them spend significant time in the kitchen practicing precision techniques.
  • Provide hands-on training from instructors who are certified, master chefs.
  • Offer flexible schedules and online programs.
  • Has 30 schools worldwide, spanning 5 continents, including 17 campuses in the U.S.
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  • Based in Winter Park, FL, Full Sail University offers an innovative approach to learning.
  • Entertainment and media design programs are offered on campus and online.
  • With more than 37,000 alumni, Full Sail University graduates have worked in many different roles for some of the industry’s most well-known companies and contributed to countless notable projects
  • Through Project LaunchBox™, students in most programs receive a MacBook Pro pre-equipped with professional software at a deep institutional discount.
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  • Accredited
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1 Program(s) Found
  • Offers 46 credits for military experience (plus credit for CLEP & DSST)
  • Offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, certificates, teaching credentials and extended education programs online and at campuses throughout California and Washington.
  • Has a network of 26 campuses, 6 military base locations and online options
  • Part of the Chapman University System
  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Offers more than 150 self-paced, career-relevant programs that are connected to a supportive 24/7 online community of students and faculty.
  • Profiled in many publications such as The Boston Globe, Fox Business, and  Inside Higher Ed.
  • Nearly 25,000 graduates each year.
  • Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
  • Founded in 1890 in Scranton, Pennsylvania    
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  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
  • Features a competency-based MBA program that allows students to test out of subjects based on prior professional experience.
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Good for Working Adults
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1 Program(s) Found
  • A private, accredited distance learning college based in Norcross, Georgia founded in 1987.
  • Ensures that service members, their spouses and veterans can maximize their military education benefits.
  • Gives students the option to customize monthly payments to fit their budgets and lifestyle.
  • Offers all-inclusive tuition: textbooks, learning materials, and academic support are covered in the cost.
  • Allows alumni to enroll in any future program at a reduced rate.
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  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
  • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
  • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
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  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
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1 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked one of the Top Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Provides reduced tuition rates for active-duty guard and reserve members, veterans, and active-duty military spouses.
  • Offers a Single-Parent Scholarship for new students enrolling in select degree programs.
  • Has a high satisfaction rate— 83% of surveyed graduates said they would recommend the university.
  • Offers small class sizes— the average undergraduate class size is 18; the average graduate class size is 13.
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  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked #8 in the 2013 Best Online Undergrad Programs by U.S. News & World Report.
  • 70% graduation rate– significantly higher than the national average of 59%. 
  • Ranked #2 by U.S. News & World Report for Best Online Bachelor's Programs for Veterans. 
  • Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), one of six regional accrediting associations that accredit public and private colleges and universities in the United States.  
  • Has a network of 26 campuses.

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Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
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  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
Platt College , Alhambra
  • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
  • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
  • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
  • 3 campuses in Southern California.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
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  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best National Universities in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Ranked 15th among the Best Colleges for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Ranked 13th among the Best Online Graduate Business Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Its student-faculty ratio is 18:1 and 38% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • The average freshman retention rate is 80%.
  • Offers access to online and blended format degree and certificate programs.
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  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
Laurus College , San Luis Obispo
  • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2009.
  • Offers career assistance and resource services to both students and graduates.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available to students who qualify.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACCSC).
  • 4 campus locations in Atascadero, San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria, and Oxnard, California, with online options as well.
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Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid

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