Earnings in the hospitality field vary substantially, so anyone interested in high-paying roles should understand which jobs command the greatest salaries. Just like lower-paying jobs, these hospitality roles all provide opportunities for serving the public and helping them make their business, travel and leisure experiences more enjoyable. That makes them well-suited to people with outgoing personalities who enjoy helping others. In this article, we list some of the highest-paying jobs in the hospitality industry and their responsibilities.
What is a hospitality job?
A hospitality job is a role in a business providing accommodation, activities, food and/or beverages to the public. Some businesses offering hospitality jobs include:
- Clubs, including RSLs, workers clubs, golf clubs and yacht clubs
- Pubs and bars
- Fast food outlets
Many hospitality jobs involve interacting with customers. These jobs need people with positive personalities committed to high levels of customer care. Other hospitality jobs help support these people-facing positions, such as jobs in accounting, management, marketing and cleaning. The wide variety of positions in the hospitality industry makes it a great option for people with a range of skills and personalities.
There is great potential for advancement in the hospitality sector. Many people start with entry-level hospitality jobs and advance to mid-level and senior positions after gaining more experience. Some mid-level and senior positions require extra study, but this effort is usually rewarded with higher salaries. Every promotion gives hospitality workers the chance to gain new skills and responsibilities that can help them gain further promotions.
Sixteen well-paying jobs in hospitality
Here are 16 well-paying jobs in the hospitality industry, as indicated by Indeed Salaries:
National average salary: $55,592 per year
Primary duties: A cook prepares food in restaurants, cafes, pubs, clubs and accommodation providers. They work to uphold food quality and safety standards and minimise food waste and spoilage in their establishment. In some cases, they also prepare menus that consider the tastes of local patrons.
2. Café manager
National average salary: $58,681 per year
Primary duties: A café manager oversees the daily operations of a café. As cafés are typically smaller hospitality venues, café managers have varied duties including hiring and training waitstaff and baristas, setting and managing budgets and monitoring supply levels. They also usually market the business and resolve complex customer concerns.
National average salary: $58,802 per year
Primary duties: A housekeeping manager oversees housekeeping staff in a hotel or resort. These professionals hire and train staff to clean and tidy guest rooms and public areas. They also create staff rosters and monitor employee performance. The housekeeping manager must track levels of cleaning supplies and complimentary room additions, such as coffee, biscuits and toiletries and order new stock as required.
4. Bar manager
National average salary: $61,863 per year
Primary duties: A bar manager oversees the operations of a pub or bar. They hire and train staff to make drinks, serve food, provide gaming support and deliver excellent customer service. Should complex customer issues arise, bar managers resolve these concerns to ensure patrons have a great experience. They also create staff rosters, track stock levels and order more supplies as required. The bar manager is also responsible for ensuring their businesses follow liquor and gaming laws.
National average salary: $62,688 per year
Primary duties: A waiter or waitress, also known as waitstaff, takes orders from diners and delivers food to their tables in restaurants, cafes, pubs, clubs and some fast-food outlets. They also set and clear tables and answer any customer questions about the food or beverages. Wages for waitstaff vary substantially, with the highest-paid waitstaff usually working in fine dining restaurants. Waitstaff in capital cities often earn more than waitstaff in regional areas.
National average salary: $62,666 per year
Primary duties: A restaurant manager handles the day-to-day operations of a restaurant. They hire restaurant staff and supervise waitstaff during their shifts. They take reservations and greet diners when they arrive at the restaurant and will handle any questions or concerns customers may have. The restaurant manager also makes sure the restaurant adheres to all food quality, licensing, food safety and hygiene standards.
National average salary: $64,805 per year
Primary duties: A sommelier manages the wine for a high-end dining establishment, winery or any venue with an extensive wine list. Sommeliers recommend wine to diners, considering their personal tastes and meal selection. They also create wine lists and monitor and maintain wine stock levels.
National average salary: $64,855 per year
Primary duties: A concierge assists hotel and resort guests with their queries. Concierges recommend local restaurants and attractions and give directions or organise transport for guests. They can also make appointments for guests at local salons, organise to get their clothes dry-cleaned or recommend local service providers. Concierges assist guests before and during their stay.
National average salary: $65,756 per year
Primary duties: A food and beverage manager makes sure a hotel, resort or club serves food and drinks that meet quality and safety standards. Food and beverage managers order food and beverages and receive deliveries. They also hire and train staff to prepare and serve food and drinks, manage staff rosters and make sure they keep food and bar areas clean and comfortable. They communicate with patrons and share any concerns they have about the food or beverages with appropriate staff. When their venues host private functions and events, the food and beverage manager will organise the catering.
National average salary: $66,937 per year
Primary duties: A bartender serves alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks in a pub, club, hotel, resort or casino. They need a good knowledge of alcoholic beverages, as in many cases they must pour beer from taps and make a variety of cocktails. They should also keep the bar and surrounding area clean by wiping down surfaces and collecting empty glasses. Bartenders monitor stock and report any low inventory to the bar manager.
11. Sous chef
National average salary: $68,415 per year
Primary duties: A sous chef is the second-in-command in a commercial kitchen, working directly underneath a head chef or executive chef. They hire and train kitchen staff in food safety and preparation and supervise them during their shifts. They also have some input into designing menus, purchasing stock and taking inventories. They focus on directing food preparation, but may also perform some food preparation duties.
Primary duties: $74,313 per year
Primary duties: An events coordinator organises events such as weddings, conferences and exhibitions held in hospitality venues. Events coordinators work for hospitality venues including large hotels, resorts and clubs. They liaise with clients to learn more about their event and their vision for it. They then organise all elements of the event including staff, food and beverages, venue and decorations. They monitor the event and resolve any issues to ensure the client's satisfaction.
13. Hotel manager
National average salary: $74,574 per year
Primary duties: A hotel manager oversees all aspects of a hotel's operations, including the performance of staff and the experience of guests. The hotel manager sets and manages the hotel budget to maximise profits. They also hire and train hotel staff in all departments. If customers have complex concerns, hotel managers resolve them to ensure guests enjoy the best possible stay. They also oversee any events held at the hotel to ensure they run smoothly.
14. Head chef
National average salary: $74,684 per year
Primary duties: A head chef is a senior chef who leads a kitchen. They usually work for small and medium restaurants. They set kitchen budgets, liaise with suppliers for the best ingredients that meet the budget and develop menus. They also create recipes and set cooking standards for their staff to follow. In some kitchens, they may take part in food preparation, especially during busy periods or if problems need resolving.
National average salary: $78,049 per year
Primary duties: A caretaker maintains caravan parks or campgrounds. They collect payments from visitors and provide them with advice for their stay. They also clean common areas, such as BBQ areas, playgrounds and shower blocks. Caretakers are also responsible for maintaining gardens and performing simple maintenance tasks, such as replacing light bulbs in common buildings. They patrol the grounds and issue warnings to guests making excessive noise, damaging property or behaving in a disorderly fashion.
16. Executive chef
National average salary: $92,590 per year
Primary duties: An executive chef has similar duties to a head chef, overseeing kitchen staff, menus, food preparation and finances. However, they tend to work in larger or more acclaimed kitchens than head chefs. Executive chefs are also less likely to become involved in food preparation. As their roles are so similar, restaurants tend to employ either a head chef or an executive chef. If a restaurant employs an executive chef and a head chef, the executive chef has the greatest authority.