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Salary of a Cruise Ship Food Service Manager

by Rick Suttle

Cruise ship food service managers perform similar duties to those who work in restaurants, such as interviewing, hiring and training waiters and cooks, counting and ordering inventory, and ensuring menu items are served in a timely manner. They must also comply with health standards: serving meals at the proper temperatures and throwing out expired food items. The difference is that cruise ship food service managers must plan inventory and food service for one or more weeks at a time. As a food service manager, you can expect to earn a salary averaging slightly above $60,000 annually.

Salary and Qualifications

The average salary for food service managers in the travel accommodations industry was $60,270 as of May 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. While that figure also includes those working on land, the job site Indeed reported an average salary of $61,000 for cruise ship food service mangers in 2013. The minimum requirements for these professionals are high school diplomas and certification in food service management or restaurant and hospitality management through the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. Some employers may prefer that you have an associate or bachelor's degree in food service or restaurant and hospitality management. You may also need at least three or more years of experience in food and beverage management. Other essential requirements include an attention to detail, physical stamina, a willingness to travel, and supervisory, leadership, communication, problem-solving and customer service skills.

Salary by Coastal State

In 2013, average cruise ship food service managers' salaries varied somewhat by state. They earned the highest annual salary of $73,000 in New York as of 2013 -- among the states listed -- according to the jobsite Indeed. They also earned relatively high salaries of $71,000 and $66,000 in Massachusetts and California, respectively. If you worked as a cruise ship food service manager in Michigan, you'd earn $60,000 per year. In Texas, Florida and Alaska, your average salary would be $58,000, $57,000 and $49,000, respectively.

Contributing Factors

A cruise ship food service manager earns more in New York and California because housing and living costs are higher in those two states. For example, if you earned $60,000 as a cruise ship food service manager based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, you'd need to make $118,270 in New York City to maintain the same living standard, according to CNN Money's "Cost of Living" calculator. In Los Angeles, you'd need to earn $71,783 to enjoy the same standard of living. You may also get a higher paying job as you gain experience, qualifying as a food service manager for a premier cruise ship company.

Job Outlook

The BLS doesn't report job opportunities for cruise ship food service managers. It does project a 20 percent increase in jobs for all workers in the water transportation industry from 2010 to 2020, which is faster than the 14 percent growth rate for all jobs. An improving economy may produce more jobs for cruise ship food service managers, as people tend to spend during booming economies.

Photo Credits

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