Associate of Hotel & Restaurant Management: Degree Overview
An associate degree program focused on hotel and restaurant management prepares graduates to handle the essential tasks of running a hotel or restaurant. These programs are available at many community colleges and cater to high school graduates as well as those with prior experience in hotel and restaurant management.
Associate Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management
While an Associate of Hotel and Restaurant Management may not be offered specifically, interested parties can find different types of associate degrees, such as Associate of Arts or Associate of Applied Science, resulting in the same major. These 2-year degree programs build leadership skills and introduce students to areas of the hospitality industry that are commonly addressed as a manager. Some schools offer daytime, evening and weekend classes. There are generally no education prerequisites for this type of degree program beyond a high school diploma or its equivalent.
These associate degree programs include general education coursework, but students also learn how to manage inventory and solve customer-satisfaction issues. Other areas of discussion may include employee management, sales and marketing, facilities planning and menu preparation. An internship is often included in the curriculum. The following topics may also be addressed:
- Financial accounting
- Commercial food preparation
- Front office methodology
- Economic principles
Popular Career Options
An associate degree in hotel and restaurant management can qualify graduates for entry-level management positions, such as food services managers. With enough experience, they may find work as lodging managers, although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that a bachelor's or master's degree is preferred for management positions at full-service hotels (www.bls.gov). Other career options include:
- Executive housekeeper
- Sales and marketing coordinator
- Human resources manager
Continuing Education Information
Many graduates go on to complete a bachelor's degree in a related field of hotel and/or restaurant management. Food service managers can pursue voluntary certification through the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, which offers the Foodservice Management Professional certification. Applicants need to have field experience and specialized training before passing an exam (managefirst.restaurant.org).
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