This sector deals with providing accommodation, food and drink to the public as well as organising and overseeing all kinds of events for all kinds of causes.

Types of roles available in this sector include:

  • Opportunities in restaurants include management and chef work.
  • Opportunities for business managers, finance managers and operational staff exist within larger restaurant chains.
  • Pubs, bars and clubs offer opportunities in licensed retailing, management, promotions and event management.
  • Hotels offer management, event organisation, restaurant and bar work and a whole range of operational roles, including finance, human resources and marketing.
  • Contract catering involves providing professional food services such as hospitals, schools, entertainment venues or large public sector organisations.
  • There are also opportunities for events managers who are independent of hotels and venues.


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Jobs and salaries

Jobs in hospitality and events are very varied and include sectors such as innkeeping, catering, private events organisation, corporate events management, and others.

A great place to start finding out about a career in hospitality is at the Hospitality Guild website, which includes a career map with details of all the major roles and their average salaries.

Read more about the different areas within events at the AEO (Association of Events Organisers Ltd.), the AEV (Association of Event Venues) and the ESSA (Event Supplier and Services Association).

Thinking about running a pub? Find out more here.

 

  • Take a look at this information about salaries for graduates working in the hospitality industry. However you certainly do not need a degree to work in this sector. Read on to find out more about routes to a career in hospitality or events...


 

Routes and qualifications

Hospitality

It is not essential to have a qualification to enter the hospitality industry, but there are courses and training options for those looking to develop their career. 

If you want to become a licence holder (be able to sell alcohol) or train in this area, take a look at this information from the British Institute of Innkeeping. There are also courses and qualifications in areas such as Beer and Cellar Quality, Customer and Drinks service and Responsible Alcohol Retailing.

The Institute of Hospitality also offers careers guidance for its members.

Apprenticeships are available for hospitality, as well as for live events.

Events

The events industry is extremely competitive. It's a good idea to get some work experience or do an internship, to show your commitment. You could also organise some charity events to gain experience. For a greater chance of kick-starting your career, entry into the ABPCO (The Association of British Professional Conference Organisers) and other professional bodies can provide opportunities for networking.


Funding and support

Once you have gained some work experience and made a start in this sector, your employer may well support you to do some vocational training. 

If you decide to study this area at university, check out the pages on student finance from gov.uk, and/or contact the funding or careers departments of the organisations you are considering training with.


What's it really like working in this sector?

We have a selection of career videos from people working in the hospitality and events sector, from a snowboarder to a restauranteur and more.

Also browse through these career stories.


How many jobs are there in this sector?

There are over 180,000 hospitality businesses in the UK, so the scope for employment is wide. You could also consider starting your own. 

Many different kinds of organisations need events co-ordinators, managers and assistants. Be creative in your job search and think about which area you are passionate enough about to promote through organising events.


Location, location, location

London and Southeast England have the largest proportion of hotels, bars and restaurants, although vacancies exist across the UK.

Skills gained in this sector are often transferable worldwide.


Will a career in this sector suit me?

  • Some jobs don’t require specific qualifications however direct entry into management often requires higher education qualifications.
  • Relevant work experience is often useful to add value to applications.
  • People and interpersonal skills are also often essential, as is cultural sensitivity.
  • Business awareness is often also valuable.
  • Many of the larger companies also run graduate schemes for those with the relevant qualifications.