Perspective on finding a job in the tourism industry.
The travel and tourism industry is a significant contributor to the United States economy, providing employment for approximately 15.8 million people through both direct and indirect roles (US Travel).
Sustainable tourism is defined by the UN as “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities.”
Despite the growing interest in sustainable tourism, it can be challenging to find relevant job listings due to the lack of a specific category for “tourism” on many job search engines and platforms.
The industry of tourism is diverse and includes lodging, attractions, food and beverages, travel, tours, and marketing and sales.
What job titles do job seekers come across when using popular job search engines like Indeed, Monster, and Google? To provide a glimpse of this, below are examples of listings from June 2023.
In the lodging sector, entry-level positions may include roles such as a Lodging Manager Assistant, offering up to $20 per hour based on experience. This full-time position typically requires a high school diploma and preferably one year each of hotel and hospitality experience. For mid-level positions, job seekers may find opportunities like a General Manager for a large hotel near downtown Portland, with a salary range of $135,000 to $180,000. This specific position often requires 5-7 years of leadership experience.
When searching for tourism jobs in the attractions sector, it can be better to search by individual attraction rather than relying on a broad “attraction” category. An example of an entry level position for a tourist attraction found on Indeed is a Zoo Naturalist that involves engaging with guests through education and creating meaningful interactions. The salary range for this role can be around $26 to $35 per hour, and it typically requires a high school diploma and two years of administrative experience or any combination of equivalent skills and knowledge. One mid-level position one might find is an Interpretive Park Ranger position with a land management agency, like the National Park Service. A typical yearly salary range would be $48,000 to $63,000.
For food and beverage jobs, job seekers on Monster could find entry-level positions like an Assistant Assistant Manager (AAM) in a restaurant, offering a full-time role with a pay rate of $17.75 per hour. While the exact amount of experience required may not be specified, previous related experience is desired. In the mid-level range, job seekers may come across opportunities like a Beverage Manager for multiple outlets in a hotel, which can offer a salary range of $70,000 to $79,500 per year. This position emphasizes proven leadership skills and lists a hotel/hospitality degree as an asset.
Within the tour sector, entry-level positions encompass a variety of roles, including tour guides specializing in different areas. For instance, Google’s job search engine features a listing for a History Tour Guide, which offers a full-time position with a salary range of $14-19 per hour. Another job listing from Google is a Fly Fishing Tour Guide, which pays $21 an hour. This position requires knowledge of fly fishing, with previous experience guiding and instructing preferred.
Lastly, the marketing and sales job listings. One job opportunity listed on Indeed was a Sales & Events Coordinator position, that required 1 to 2 years of experience or education. This full-time role pays $20 per hour. For mid-level positions, job seekers may find opportunities like a Marketing Coordinator for a winery, with a salary range of $51,000 to $76,000 per year. This position often requires a bachelor’s degree and 2-4 years of relevant work experience.
Despite the lack of a specific “tourism” category on many job search engines and platforms, job seekers can find relevant positions by searching various sectors within the tourism industry.