The 7 Best Jobs in Hospitality in Australia and How to Get Them

woman and man in cafe

Whether you’re in need of a career change or you’ve just finished school and are looking for work, the hospitality industry needs you. 

After almost two years of lockdowns and COVID-19 restrictions, the reopening industry is bouncing back with massive staff shortages in Australia, the UK, the US and worldwide

In an industry that generates approximately 10.4% of the world’s entire GDP and employs around 320 million people, thousands of new workers are needed every year to keep up with fast growth. 

At the moment, there is a significant shortage of skilled workers for management and senior level jobs across all areas of the industry. If you love meeting new people, you’re passionate about food and travel and you’re a hard worker who doesn’t mind long hours, there’s an exciting career waiting for you. 

Here are seven of the best jobs going in hospitality and tourism right now, based on job satisfaction and salary, and what you need to do to get them. 

Event Manager 

If you love playing host and making sure everyone has a great time, you might be a born event manager. This flexible role involves the design, organisation and execution of every aspect of an event, whether it’s a huge conference, fundraising dinner or wedding. You can specialise in a niche, or take on lots of different projects.

As an event manager, you could start your own events company, work as a freelance consultant, or work for a huge range of different organisations including hotels, large corporations or boutique event agencies. Event managers earn an average of AUD$70k a year, and score a job satisfaction rating of 4.2 out of 5

In order to become one, you should start out working in entry level roles in hospitality, retail, festivals, venues or events, and you should study a bachelor of event management, hospitality management or similar degree

Eco-Lodge Manager

If you’re passionate about the environment and you love being in nature, why don’t you consider making it your career? The world is full of incredible green hotels, eco-lodges and sustainable accommodations, serving organic food and using green energy in the most beautiful, remote locations. During working hours, you would be responsible for overseeing all aspects of staffing and guest experiences, such as housekeeping, human resources, and front desk. Then you can go hiking in the mountains or swimming at a pristine beach on your day off. 

The role of hotel manager has an average salary of AUD$80k - AUD$120k a year, and a job satisfaction rating of 4.3 out of 5

To become a manager at a green hotel or sustainable eco-lodge, you will need to start out with any entry-level role in hotels, gain 3-5 years of management experience, and study a bachelor of hotel management or similar degree. Volunteer at an environmental non-profit in your spare time for an extra boost to your resume, to improve your chances of getting this dreamy role. 

Hospitality Entrepreneur

For many people, the ultimate dream is to start their very own restaurant, bar, event or catering company, or boutique hotel. In the hospitality industry, this isn’t an unrealistic idea. It is a broad industry with a high demand for new products and services, and there is a lot of space for successful new businesses to grow.

Entrepreneurship is a high-risk, high-return activity involving a lot of hard work, but it comes with the satisfaction of building something of your own, from the ground up. If you have some industry experience and professional training under your belt, plus a good idea, then you can certainly expect to make a success of your very own hospitality enterprise. 

In order to become a hospitality entrepreneur, you should spend a minimum 2-5 years gaining industry experience and skills, through a combination of institutional training and learning on the job. Courses in business, entrepreneurship, or event, hotel or hospitality management are all appropriate, depending on your business concept. Pick roles and education relevant to your specific needs, and devote your spare time to conducting your own market research and designing your business strategy

Food and Beverage Director

As the director of food and beverage in a hotel, venue, conference centre or other large outlet, you are responsible for all the crucial decisions that will shape a guest’s dining experience. That’s a lot of responsibility, but it’s also the perfect role for those who are interested in business and passionate about food. Plus, it’s got a high average salary of AUD$95k and the potential to earn up to AUD$138k, which is also a nice incentive. 

To become a food and beverage director, you should start training in an entry-level, front of house role in hospitality, gain 3-5 years’ experience at a management level, and get a minimum bachelor of business, hotel or hospitality management, or similar degree. 

Sommelier

If you are absolutely in love with wine, a career as a sommelier might be the perfect pick for you. A sommelier is a professionally trained connoisseur of wines, and they play an important role across the hospitality industry; assisting hotels and restaurants with their wine selection, studying varieties and the market, placing orders and providing a professional service to guests. Not surprisingly, this job comes with a high satisfaction score of 4.4 out of 5, and an average salary of AU$65k.  Sommeliers must go through specific sommelier training in order to earn the title of sommelier. There are also different levels of certification you can achieve, with Master Sommelier being the highest.

Luxury Hotel or Resort General Manager

If you dream of a future spent working at different luxury hotels in exotic locations around the world, you should consider a future as a hotel or resort general manager. This position is in high demand in virtually every region, with lots of different types of opportunities on offer. You could work in a small boutique hotel in Paris, a luxury resort in Hawaii, or one of the many other unique accommodation types in stunning locations all around the world

As a general manager, you need to provide exceptional customer service to all guests, develop annual budget and expenditure plans, oversee all hiring and training, and are responsible for ensuring compliance with all codes, and for guest and employee safety. 

The average salary for this role is AUD$120k, but starting salaries for this role can be unusually high. An entry-level hotel manager with less than one year experience can expect to earn an average total compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of AU$79k. 

A hotel management, business or marketing degree is preferred for this role, with 1-3 years of related experience. The most direct career path for this role is a bachelor degree of hotel management, combined with work experience in junior management positions, leading into a leadership training program

Director of Operations

This role you may never have heard of has to be mentioned, because it is one of the highest paying roles in the hospitality industry alongside the CEO, CFO and general manager. The operations director will also be heavily involved in areas of finance, such as formulating the annual budget, overseeing expenditures and purchase reports. 

The operations director typically oversees all departments in the hotel, from human resources to food and beverage, and reports to the general manager. They develop strategy for marketing and revenue management, and ensure that all standard operating procedures are running smoothly. 

As you can see, this is a role well suited to a person who has a head for figures and an interest in business, as well as skills in management and organisation. The average salary for a director of operations in Australia is AUD$143,700

To get to this position, you can start in a junior management position in the operations department, and work your way up within 3-5 years. You will need a minimum bachelor degree in business, finance, hotel or hospitality management, or equivalent

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