Tourism and Hospitality

Travel Industry Offers Great Career Opportunities, New Study Shows

According to a new study by the U.S. Travel Association, individuals who begin their careers with a job in the travel industry end up making more money and getting better educations than many of their peers.

The report, entitled Fast Forward: Travel Creates Opportunities and Launches Careers, challenges the view that travel industry jobs are low-pay or do not provide opportunities for career advancement. Among its key findings are the following:

  • The average maximum salary for employees who start their career in the travel industry is $81,900.
  • Two out of five workers who start their careers in the travel industry go on to earn more than $100,000 per year.
  • More than half of all travel industry employees earn a middle-class salary or higher.

The report also sheds light on the relationship between education and work in the travel industry. For example, it shows that:

  • One-third of American workers who started their careers in tourism and hospitality have a bachelor's degree or higher.
  • One-third of the 5.6 million Americans who support themselves while furthering their education work in leisure and hospitality.
  • Currently 1.8 million Americans are working part-time in the travel industry so they can pursue higher education.

Many students in USM's Program in Tourism & Hospitality are working in the travel industry while taking classes, bringing their professional experience into the classroom while learning new skills to advance their careers.