Guide to Getting Your Hotel Management Associate Degree Online
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By pursuing an online associate degree in hotel management, you can open the door to entry-level positions in the hospitality industry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the annual median income for lodging managers was $56,670 in 2020,
This page explains the ins and outs of hotel management associate degrees online, including career options, salaries, and further education opportunities.
What Will You Learn in an Online Hotel Management Associate Degree Program?
Online associate degree programs in hotel management prepare students to obtain the career of their choice or to advance to a four-year degree program. Once you graduate, you'll have studied the basics in:
Specific courses and titles vary by program and school, but the core curriculum for a hotel management associate degree is similar.
This course teaches the basics of large-scale hotel event planning, such as conventions and trade shows. The core course focus is on making a profit on hotel events by applying fundamentals like:
- Venue selection
- Menu development
- Marketing techniques
This class aims to help students understand appropriate customer and employer business etiquette. Topics may include general etiquette (e.g., table manners, personal appearance) and professional conduct (e.g., phone etiquette, communication skills, cultural sensitivity).
Courses on business management include fundamentals of entrepreneurship and basic financial principles, along with legal aspects involved in managing a business. During this course, students become familiar with pricing structures, marketing techniques, and purchasing.
This course explores international, federal, state, and local laws related to the hospitality industry. Topics may include:
- Staff selection and employee rights
- Crisis management
- Risk management
- Loss prevention
- Safety and security
- Government structures for hotel operations oversight
Leadership courses for hotel management introduce students to leadership and supervision methods in hotels, covering various management styles and using hands-on training to improve leadership skills. Other topics may include staff training and orientation, delegating, and conflict resolution.
By pursuing an associate degree in hotel management, graduates can confidently work toward the skills they need to achieve their career goals. In mastering the skills and competencies that an associate degree offers, students can work toward bachelor's-level studies or advance to higher positions within their organization.
Graduates hoping to manage general operations, front desk, or housekeeping staff must develop leadership skills and learn how to motivate staff and supervise operations.
Managers in any area of a hotel may be called upon to budget for staff and equipment needs. Business skills are necessary for general and revenue managers who must understand how to make a profit on day-to-day hotel operations.
Managers need strong interpersonal skills to deal directly with guest issues and manage hotel staff. Hotel managers must be able to apply problem-solving skills, sometimes under stressful conditions.
Hotel managers must be versed in the many moving parts of client communication, vendor relationships, and budget planning. Event planning represents a major moneymaker for the hotel industry.
What Can You Do With an Online Hotel Management Associate Degree?
The list of available careers for hotel management associate degree-holders is extensive as the skills gained are diverse and highly applicable. About 55% of lodging managers work in traditional travel accommodations like hotels and motels, but the options within those settings allow for diverse interests, according to the BLS.
As general managers, hotel management graduates may supervise staff and oversee operations, or as revenue managers, they may focus on budget operations. Some may also choose to be self-employed or work for RV parks and recreational camps.
Potential Careers and Salaries
General managers oversee all hotel operations, including staff management, event planning, and budget operations. They audit financial statements to ensure the hotel is operating efficiently, and they plan for any improvements needed on the hotel buildings.
Average Annual Salary: $58,446
Revenue managers are responsible for maintaining a hotel's financial viability, including cash flow. They also monitor reservations and adjust rates based on projected occupancy at a certain time.
Average Annual Salary: $69,676
A hotel front-office manager oversees all front-desk operations, including guest relations. Front desk managers supervise front-desk staff, train them in company procedures and oversee the reservation process. When guests have trouble with their bills, the front-office manager can make the necessary adjustments according to company policy.
Average Annual Salary: $44,402
The convention services manager for a hotel arranges the details for conferences at their location. They work with conference organizers to:
- Select appropriate venues
- Arrange equipment
- Plan menus
- Set budgets
- Coordinate with catering
Average Annual Salary: $50,193
The housekeeping manager oversees housekeeping staff and maintains a clean and orderly hotel appearance. The housekeeping manager may handle staffing and equipment budgeting duties.
Average Annual Salary: $44,207
Transferring to a Higher Degree Program After Getting Your Hotel Management Associate Degree Online
Graduates of an online associate degree in hotel management program may choose to continue their postsecondary education, depending on individual goals and interests. Some may transfer credits to a four-year institution to pursue a bachelor's degree or continue on to complete an MBA.
Here are some educational pathways available to associate degree-holders in hotel management:
Bachelor's Degree in Hotel Management
A bachelor's degree in hotel management is a natural follow-up to an associate degree. It provides deeper knowledge of the subject area that may aid in your search for employment to start at a higher level or with a better salary.
Bachelor's Degree in Hospitality Management
For those whose interests lie in the business side of hotel management or in other areas of hospitality, such as club, casino, or restaurant management, a bachelor's in hospitality management may be the right option to follow the associate degree.
MBA in Hotel Administration
Associate degree graduates who want to become leaders in the field could finish their master's degrees. Depending on the program, you can typically finish in two to three years after completing an associate degree.
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