Hotel & Restaurant Management Certificate Programs

by Cindy Quarters

Hotel and restaurant management certificate programs prepare recipients for work in the hospitality industry as a manager or an assistant manger. Jobs for graduates of these programs are available in large and small facilities, chains and individually owned establishments. Wages are good; hotel managers made an average wage of $46,880 per year in 2010 while restaurant and food service managers made an average of $48,130, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Basic Program Skills

The skills that graduates gain as they complete a hotel and restaurant management certificate program vary a bit among schools. In general, those completing certification can expect to be prepared to deal with running a hospitality establishment, understanding sanitation and cleaning procedures, and how to manage customer service. Certificate programs additionally prepare students to deal with customer complaints, manage personnel, and how to plan for conventions or other large events. In most cases programs also prepare students to handle bookkeeping and to understand basic kitchen and hotel needs and procedures.

Narrowing the Focus

A basic hotel and restaurant management certificate program typically gives the student an overview of the procedures involved in running a hotel or food establishment, but often the courses lack the depth needed for more than an entry-level position. Students who wish to focus on a single area of the industry should choose a school that offers an opportunity for specialization, such as a focus on running either a hotel or a restaurant, but not both. Some schools allow students to choose from classes such as front office procedures, executive housekeeping or commercial food to help them target their studies more effectively.

Where to Find Programs

Hotel and restaurant management certificate programs are offered at many community colleges, making them affordable and accessible to a wide range of students. College catalogs typically list all available degree and certificate programs near the beginning of the book or on their website. Check local schools to see what’s offered. These programs are also given online by some schools. Be sure to check the school’s reputation and accreditation when choosing where to go. Compare what you get for your money in terms of materials and credits before deciding where to enroll.

How to Start

Certificate programs at community colleges typically require that all participants have either a high school diploma or a GED. Online programs usually have the same requirements, but in some cases, working adults may be able to circumvent these by proving that they have had enough experience in the industry and are likely to succeed in school. Check with the school of your choice to see if you qualify, and talk to a counselor or an adviser there if you have any concerns about your educational qualifications.

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