The first place many people think of when they think of Orlando is a magical kingdom ruled by a mouse.
Disney World is Orlando's largest attraction, with no less than 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, 6 golf courses, and 20 hotels alone. But a myriad of other hotel, dining and theme parks are open to the 42 million people who visit central Florida every year, be it for business or pleasure.
Orlando has the second largest number of hotel rooms in the U.S. (120,000) after Las Vegas, and the second largest convention center, after Chicago's McCormick Place. Orlando's 400 hotels, 5,000 restaurants, and 75 theme parks require professionals skilled in the hospitality arts.
Hospitality management is sometimes also known as hotel management, hotel and tourism management, or hotel administration, depending on the speciality you choose.
Hotel & Resort Managers make management decisions about the hotels or resorts they run, including who to hire, rates to charge, and how to settle disputes.
Depending on the hotel and the size of its staff, hotel managers may either perform or direct housekeeping, personnel, office administration, marketing and sales, purchasing, security, maintenance, oversight of recreation facilities, and other activities. Hotel management degree programs are generally considered good preparation for this career, since they cover both business and management concepts, and issues related specifically to tourism and accommodations.
Restaurant Managers run restaurants and similar food service establishments. They oversee the buying of food, menu creation, food preparation and service, employees, costs, and many other things. Sometimes, chefs with experience and money open and manage their own restaurants; business owners with other experience may do the same thing. There are also restaurant management programs that prepare graduates for the field.
Event Planners' responsibilities includes budgeting, establishing dates and alternate dates, selecting and reserving the event site, acquiring permits, and coordinating transportation and parking.
Other Related Career Fields:
- Banquet Manager
- Bar Manager
- Casino Manager
- Front Office Manager
- Reservation Manager
Education & Employment
Most hotel and restaurant managers hold a bachelor's or associate degree in hospitality management. You can get a certificate, associate degree, bachelor's degree or master's degree in hospitality management from a variety of schools in the Orlando area.
To choose a school or degree progam, first consider your desired specialty, such as restaurant management, hotel management, tourism, marketing, or special events, and then look for programs that have particular strengths or available concentrations in that particular area.
Employers look for candidates with knowledge and skills in several areas including: information technology, human resources, organizational behavior, multiculturalism, and leadership.
Another very important part of a hospitality education is hands-on experience.
Many schools and hotels offer internship opportunities so you can get relevant work experience in local restaurants, hotels, and resorts. This hands-on experience can give you an edge over the competition when looking for that first job.
Outlook & Salary
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic, employment in hotels and other accommodations is expected to increase by 17% in the coming decade. Event and meeting planners will see a 16% increase.
College graduates with degrees in hotel or hospitality management should have better opportunities for jobs at full-service hotels and for advancement than those without a degree. Meeting planners will also have better opportunities with a bachelor's degree and some meeting experience.
Salaries of lodging managers vary greatly according to responsibilities, location, and the segment of the hotel industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for hotel managers in the Orlando area is roughly $73,860 (a 38% increase over the national average). The top 10% in Orlando make over $126,000.
The average annual salary of meeting and convention planners in Orlando is $40,320.
Top Hospitality & Business Schools in Orlando
Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Orlando
Associate degrees in hospitality and restaurant management.
Offering bachelor degrees in business marketing and master's degrees in business administration.
University of Phoenix - Maitland
The University of Phoenix business program offers an associate degree in hospitality, travel and tourism, and a bachelor's degree in hospitality management.
Rosen College of Hospitality Management
This school at the University of Central Florida offeres bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees in hospitality management, restaurant and food service mangement, and event management.