TheBigChoice uses cookies to enhance your experience. By continuing you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more >>

Catering & hospitality Career Pathways & Advice

Catering and hospitality resized.jpg


Catering and hospitality covers a large area, from upscale hotels and Michelin starred restaurants to nightclubs and fast food outlets. The industry offers roles as diverse as air hostess, sous chef and events manager, making it one of the most wide-ranging that you can choose to work in. At its heart though, catering and hospitality depends on one central theme: providing an enjoyable and memorable leisure experience to a customer.

The industry is hugely varied, always busy, and you’ll work long hours (there’s rarely such thing as a 9-5 here) - but the enjoyment and fond memories that you can bring to customers is the reason why so many people choose to work within it. It’s creative, you’ll be given responsibility early on, and it opens opportunities to work anywhere in the world. Aside from that, you’ll be making people’s day – every day. And that’s a great feeling to go home with.

Catering & hospitality Jobs



Of course, to work in certain areas of this industry you’ll need specialist skills – you can’t become a chef, for example, without the required training. Individual career routes will require specific technical skills, but there are also some skills that you’ll need in general to work in a customer-focused, high-energy industry like this. They include:

- Ability to Work Under Pressure
- Attention to detail
- Commercial Awareness
- Communication
- Customer Service
- Diplomacy
- Excellent phone manner
- Multi-tasking
- Problem Solving
- Time Management

Progression opportunities

Unlike many industries, catering and hospitality offers those that work within it the opportunity to progress relatively quickly. Because many parts of the industry are so busy, you’re likely to be trusted with a large amount of responsibility early on, and it’ll be up to you to prove that you can successfully complete the tasks that you’ve been given – including dealing with any challenges that appear along the way.

Career development

The catering and hospitality industry has been praised for the career opportunities that it offers, particularly for graduates. Because much of the industry is very hands-on, you’ll be learning new skills and dealing with new situations often, if not daily – and this learning curve should be directly recognised by your superiors, who can provide mentoring and advice for your career progression.

Types of jobs in Catering & hospitality

Earning potential

The vast range of careers within the catering and hospitality sector means that average salaries are almost impossible to calculate. A well-respected chef will earn a significantly higher salary than a steward or catering manager, for example, and the ability to manage teams or run your own businesses means pay can rise hugely. Here are a few average salaries for various jobs within the sector in the UK:

Catering Manager: £22,200
Head Chef : £27,000
Kitchen Assistant: £13,400
Hotel Manager : £35,900
Concierge: £19,600
Restaurant Manager: £23,000
Hotel Receptionist : £17,000
Flight Attendant : £21,000

Related Companies

TitleHead OfficeIndustry

Qualification requirements & subjects to study

Graduates with degrees in any subject can move into a catering and hospitality role, although knowledge of the industry and previous experience working within it are of huge benefit – so if you’ve got hotel, bar, catering, events or any other work experience, shout about it!

If you’ve done a degree specifically related to this area – for example in hospitality or events management – the knowledge and practical skills you’ve acquired will place you in the perfect position to move into this industry as a graduate.

How to get there

Whilst graduates with any degree can move into this area, practical skills and knowledge are of course still invaluable.

If you’re committed to a career in this area, it might be worth looking into a course such as Events or Hospitality Management that can train you better for the demands of the industry. Often these can be done online or in the evening, if you need it to fit in around your other commitments. On the whole, courses such as these will allow you to go into roles at a higher level.

Industry Bodies

Institute of Hospitality
Professional Association for Catering Education
British Hospitality Association
Hospitality Guild

Related articles