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Hospitality and Tourism

Careers in this cluster

Cluster definition

Can you talk easily with all kinds of people and put them at ease?
Do you participate in athletic activities?
Do you enjoy travel?
Have you worked in a restaurant?
Do you like to plan family recreational activities?
Do you like to cook?

If you answered yes to two or more of the questions above, you might be interested in considering a career in hospitality and tourism.

In the Hospitality and Tourism cluster, you could work in a restaurant, hotel, sports arena, or travel agency. You might manage operations of a college cafeteria. Or you might guide high school students on a trip to Spain. Or you might rent equipment at a recreation center.



Employees in the Lodging pathway take care of guests who stay at hotels or motels. You might work directly with guests. Or you might provide the services that make their stay at the hotel pleasant.

Recreation, amusement, and attractions

In the Recreation, Amusement, and Attractions pathway, you might find exciting and diverse work situations. The work is often demanding but usually not boring. You will need good customer service skills. Each of the business operations in this area is unique and has different requirements for employees.

Restaurants and food and beverage services

In the Restaurants and Food and Beverage Services pathway, you would make sure that customers received the food and drinks they ordered. You might prepare the food at a large restaurant or a fast-food business. You could take orders and deliver the food. Or you could clean up after the customer leaves.

Travel and tourism

Employees in the Travel and Tourism pathway make sure travelers have a good experience on trips. You might help a traveler plan and arrange a trip. You might write guidebooks. Or you might plan and present educational information about a specific location or area.

Level of education and earnings

The training and education requirements to work in the occupations included in the Hospitality and Tourism cluster depend on the specialty and the type of work performed. Some of the occupations require less than one month of on-the-job training; however, recreation workers do need a bachelor's degree.

The information provided in the table below, presents the level of education or training required to work in the occupations related to this cluster and the median wages for those occupations. Note that some occupations may have more than one required level because the type of work performed may vary in specific jobs.

Earnings for people working in some of the occupations in this cluster can vary greatly during the year, depending on the season. Some of the jobs in these occupations are part time or seasonal.

Also, keep in mind that there are non-wage benefits that workers receive. For example, these types of benefits are health insurance, paid vacation, sick leave, and retirement plans. It is important to consider these benefits when you are looking at pay. Some benefits, such as health care, are worth a lot of money. You should carefully weigh a job that pays well but does not have many benefits against one that has good benefits and lower pay. Remember, how much an occupation pays is only one factor to consider when making career choices.

  National Annual
Median Wage
Washington Annual
Median Wage
Short-Term, On-the-Job Training (Less than One Month)
Baggage Porters and Bellhops$24,210 $28,290
Baristas$22,330 $25,460
Bartenders$22,550 $29,820
Buspersons$22,270 $25,140
Casino Gaming Workers$20,120 - $49,420 $27,210 - $47,550
Chefs and Dinner Cooks$26,530 - $48,460 $31,950 - $56,450
Counter Attendants$21,250 - $22,330 $25,430 - $25,460
Fast Food Cooks$22,330 $27,300
Food Preparation Workers$23,730 $28,210
Hotel Desk Clerks$23,700 $27,420
Janitors$26,110 $32,670
Kitchen Helpers$22,730 $25,610
Maids and Housekeepers$23,770 $26,230
Movie Projectionists$22,760 $24,990
Recreation Attendants$22,260 $26,530
Recreation Workers$25,060 $30,720
Reservation and Ticket Agents$37,220 $37,170
Restaurant Hosts$22,160 $25,310
Short-Order Cooks$23,800 $27,010
Ushers and Ticket Takers$22,260 $28,020
Waiters and Waitresses$21,780 $27,720
Moderate-Term, On-the-Job Training (One to Twelve Months)
Animal Trainers$29,290 $38,460
Chefs and Dinner Cooks$26,530 - $48,460 $31,950 - $56,450
Concierges$30,400 $35,180
Recreation Guides$26,570 $33,800
Tour Guides$26,570 $33,800
Travel Agents$38,700 $51,520
Umpires and Referees$27,020 $37,460
Long-Term, On-the-Job Training (Over One Year)
Professional Athletes$50,650 $57,060
Work Experience in a Related Occupation
Casino Gaming Workers$20,120 - $49,420 $27,210 - $47,550
Chefs$26,530 - $48,460 $31,950 - $56,450
Food Service Worker Supervisors$32,450 $37,420
Hotel and Motel Managers$53,390 $54,880
Janitor and Housekeeper Supervisors$39,940 $40,190
Restaurant Managers$54,240 $72,250

Employment & outlook

There will be employment opportunities in hospitality and tourism in the future. Participation in amusement and recreation activities is expected to increase due to more people being aware of the benefits of physical fitness. Businesses in hospitality and tourism are targeting the elderly, the fastest growing part of the population.