Do you love meeting new people and seeing interesting places? You should consider hospitality and tourism degrees!

Let’s break down some common degrees in these fields, the average salaries you can expect as a graduate, and the best metro areas in terms of average median salaries.

This will help you better understand your options when it comes to tourism and hospitality. After all, there is a very diverse range of potential jobs and specializations. 

Different Degrees in Tourism and Hospitality

Because there are so many career options, it can be overwhelming to understand your choices. Here’s a definitive list to help you gain more insight into all possible career paths. 

Hospitality and Recreation Marketing Operations

A great entry point into tourism and hospitality is a degree in hospitality and recreation marketing operations. This might seem like an overwhelming title. But, this degree equips you to perform marketing work for companies in the hospitality and leisure industry. 

The topics you will study include everything from marketing strategies to office management, customer sales work, and food and beverage management. 

Average Salary

The average salary you can expect after 4-6 years of experience with a bachelor’s degree is just over $62,000 a year. This is based on data from all 50 states, and it’s the average median salary for this job role. 

State and Metro Area with Highest Salaries

One of the best places to work in hospitality marketing is New Jersey, with the highest salaries coming from the Trenton, NJ metro area. There, the average median salary goes up to over $86,000. 

Restaurant Management

If you want to be more involved in the food side of things, then a degree in restaurant and food services management might be for you. 

This is not the same as training to become a chef, but it allows you to manage restaurants and perform behind-the-scenes work that is essential to keep establishments running. This includes functions such as marketing and coordinating restaurant operations. 

Average Salary

The average salary median for the U.S. is $52,000 for someone with a bachelor’s degree and 2-4 years of work experience. This varies per state.

State and Metro Area with Highest Salaries

Restaurant managers will find the highest salaries in the Trenton metro area. It is a hotspot for hospitality industries and tourism. In the Trenton area, the average median salary is $105,000, making it an ideal work location. 

Hotel Management

When getting a degree in hotel management, you will learn the basic principles of the hospitality industry and will be trained to manage hotels, motels, and other locations. Your job will include financial management, convention organizing, personnel management, and following hospitality law. 

Average Salary

When it comes to hotel management, the average median salary is $56,000 for someone with a bachelor’s degree and 2-4 years of work experience. 

State and Metro Area with Highest Salaries

Once again, Trenton metro area is a hotspot for these kinds of jobs, with an average median salary of $87,000. 

Tourism and Travel Services Management

Getting a tourism and travel services management degree gives you entrance to the tourism industry and begin working on travel-related activities. These can include planning events, tours, and conferences. 

You can work at a travel agency, or get more involved in tourism marketing. The options are almost limitless!

Average Salary

Working in tourism and travel sales management with 4-6 years of experience, you can expect to make around $77,000 per year. 

State and Metro Area with Highest Salaries

If you’re looking for a profitable career in tourism and travel services management, the Trenton area is the place to be. You can make up to $30,000 more yearly than the national average median! 

Hospitality Management

A degree in hospitality management trains you to plan and coordinate events with organizations that provide food, beverages, and lodging. This is a broad degree that allows for several specializations. 

Average Salary

With 2-4 years of experience, you can expect to earn around $78,000 a year working in hospitality management. This varies from state to state, but $78,000 is the average median salary across all states. 

State and Metro Area with Highest Salaries

If you are looking to make money in hospitality management, New Jersey is the place to be, with particularly high salaries in Trenton. You can expect an average median of almost $117,000.

Resort Management

Managing a resort combines a variety of different hospitality skills, and a degree in resort management covers all these skills. Your skillset will cover event planning, food and beverage services, facilities planning, and recreation administration. 

Average Salary

You can expect to earn about $77,000 in resort management, using the national average median salary. This applies to people with 2-4 years of experience in the field. 

State and Metro Area with Highest Salaries

Like the other options on this list, you’ll find the highest average salary median in the Trenton metro area, with salaries as high as $120,000. 


This is perhaps one of the most self-explanatory jobs on this list. A degree in bartending gives you the skills to professionally mix alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. This allows you to work in the beverages industry. 

Average Salary

Bartenders make a lot less than some of the other options on this list, with an average median salary of $22,000 after 1-2 years of experience. However, this can increase if you specialize or start working at a high-end restaurant. 

State and Metro Area with Highest Salaries

You’ll get the highest salaries in Hawaii, with the Honolulu area having the highest average median salary. Working in Honolulu, you can expect to make up to $57,000 per year. This is because of the massive tourist industry there. 

Meeting and Event Planning

A meeting and event planning degree focuses on the organizational aspects of meetings and events. It teaches you to plan and budget for meetings and conferences, and execute them well. 

It will take you through all of the steps to host a successful event, including choosing the perfect venue and working with vendors. 

Average Salary

The average median salary you can expect after 1-2 years of experience is around $39,000 a year. It is also strongly recommended to get a bachelor’s degree to prepare you for various facets of the job. 

State and Metro Area with Highest Salaries

As is the case for many jobs in the tourism and hospitality industries, Trenton, NJ, is a great place to work for a higher salary. In Trenton, you can make up to $59,000 per year. 

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of profitable jobs in the tourism and hospitality industries. Regarding tourism and hospitality, Trenton, New Jersey is a great place to work.

These degrees are great options if you love working with people! You’ll also be able to apply for jobs in tourist areas, which can take you to extraordinary places!