Working in hospitality with a degree (or similar)

Many large companies have graduate training schemes. You could work for a prestigious hotel or a large hotel chain.

Some hotel chains are international so there may be opportunities to work overseas. You could also work for a catering company, providing meals and other services for hospitals, businesses or events. As a trained chef, you could work in a restaurant or hotel kitchen.

Example jobs

Sommelier
Wine specialist in a hotel or restaurant, advising customers on their choice of wine, looking after the wine list.

Sous chef
Assistant chef in a kitchen, supervising staff, standing in for the head chef.

Trainee hotel manager
Spending time in different departments to gain experience, dealing with staff and guests.

Events catering manager
Planning, setting up and running large-scale catered events.

Operations manager
Running contract catering for schools, staff restaurants, student accommodation, etc.

Approximate pay levels

Figures supplied as a guide only

Pay level graph

Typical working conditions

Things you may need to know:

  • Work will be fast-paced and will often involve shifts and/or antisocial hours. You will be expected to work weekends and bank holidays.
  • You may be office-based or in a kitchen or bar area.
  • Depending on your job role, the work may involve travel.

Qualifications needed

For graduate training programmes you need a degree, sometimes in a relevant subject such as hospitality management or business. You should try to gain experience in hospitality at any level. Many hotel or catering management training schemes are also open to non-graduates, so if you prove yourself to be hardworking and capable, you could be selected for a development programme even without a degree. You need to like working with people, as you will be dealing with staff and/or guests all day, every day.

Career path

A chef could become head chef, running a top restaurant or hotel kitchen. In a catering company, you could run events or a large catering contract. If you work in hospitality, you could progress to manage a department or a small hotel and then move on to manage a larger establishment. You could decide to run your own restaurant, café, guesthouse or bar.

Useful links

Pearson is not responsible for content on external websites.

Institute of Hospitality Management

Find out about hospitality management

Prospects

Read profiles for jobs like hotel manager and restaurant manager