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Degree Overview: Associate of Hotel and Restaurant Management

Majors Overview May 28, 2013

An associate degree program concentrating on restaurant and hotel management prepares graduates to handle the necessary tasks of running a restaurant or hotel. These degree programs are available at most community colleges and target high school graduates, along with those who have previous experience in the restaurant and hotel management.

Associate Degree Program in Restaurant and Hotel Management

Schools may not specifically offer an Associate of Hotel and Restaurant Management, but interested students can choose from various associate degree options, such as Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) or Associate of Arts (A.A.), all leading to the same concentration area of study. Two-year associate’s degree programs help students acquire leadership skills and seek managerial positions in the hospitality industry. Weekend, evening and daytime jobs are offered at some schools. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a general educational development (GED) certificate or a high school diploma.

Program Coursework

These associate degree programs include basic educational coursework, but students will also learn how to solve customer-satisfaction issues as well as manage inventory. Other areas of discussion can include menu preparation, facilities planning, sales and marketing, and employee management. The curriculum usually includes an internship. Program course topics may include the following:

•Economic principles
•Front office methodology
•Commercial food preparation
•Financial accounting

Career Options

Restaurant and hotel management associate degree program graduates will qualify for entry-level management positions, such as food services managers. Depending on the amount of work experience, individuals might find work as lodging managers, although the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS – stated that an undergraduate and graduate degree is preferred for management positions at full-service hotels. Graduates may obtain the following career titles:

•Human resources manager
•Sales and marketing coordinator
•Executive housekeeper

Information on Continuing Education

Most associate degree program graduates go on to earn their bachelor’s degree in a related field of restaurant and/or hotel management. Food services managers may obtain voluntary certification through the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF –, which offers the Foodservice Management Professional certification. Applicants are required to have specialized training and field experience before passing an examination (

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