Consumer Service Careers

The service industry has grown exponentially since the 1960s. In effect, a wide array of consumer services are offered in today’s economy.

From food and dining services, to grooming services, lodging services, travel services and countless others, the service industry is rich with options. This broad list of consumer services can be further categorized by industry.

The main service industries discussed in this article include food and dining, beauty, hospitality and tourism. Numerous consumer service careers exist within these industries, including culinary jobs, cosmetology jobs, hotel management jobs and travel agent jobs. Read on to learn more about these jobs and find out whether or not a job in the service industry is right for you.

Culinary Jobs

Jobs that involve food production are always in high demand. As a result, culinary jobs can be found within various industries. Aside from the food and dining industry, culinary workers are needed in the hospitality, health care, entertainment and business sectors. Popular jobs within these sectors include head chefs, sous chefs, line cooks, pastry chefs, banquet chefs, institutional and contract chefs, dietary managers, caterers and restaurant owners.

All of these diverse jobs require extensive training in food preparation, as well as a passion for food. Gaining as much experience as possible is therefore highly recommended for those interested in culinary careers. This includes getting a culinary education in addition to having been employed in the industry. Five years of training or more is typically expected when applying for a head chef position.

Most chefs work full time. The hours of a chef are long, physically demanding and require the ability to work well under pressure. Often, chefs are required to work over the weekend and on holidays. Although demanding, culinary careers can also be extremely rewarding to those who love to cook. Those aspiring to land a career as a chef can expect an average pay of about $45,950, as of May 2017. Of course, this number varies depending on the requirements of the position, as well as on the employer.

Those who would prefer a career in the food industry but do not have cooking experience or simply do not want to work in the kitchen should consider careers as restaurant managers.

Beauty Jobs

Jobs within the beauty industry require that applicants hold state-issued licenses. License requirements differ by job and by state. Generally, requirements for each kind of cosmetology license include a specific number of credit hours, a specific number of training hours and the completion of a state board exam. Licenses must also be renewed regularly.

Most cosmetology licenses cannot be attained without an applicant first attending cosmetology school. Beauty schools offer both specialized and all-encompassing programs. Common beauty jobs include nail technician, hairdresser, makeup artist, aesthetician, cosmetologist, massage therapist and many others.

Most beauty technicians rely on a steady flow of clientele. Therefore, people skills are essential to their success. Additionally, many of these jobs require strong eyesight, a steady hand with good dexterity, the ability to work long hours standing up and great organizational skills. If working independently, marketing skills are also beneficial to have in order to attract new clients.

Those with cosmetology licenses work both part time and full time. Some common working environments for beauty jobs are spas and salon. However, jobs in the beauty industry can be found in many other settings as well. Finally, beauty training is not strictly designated for jobs that require licensing. Beauty training could also apply to styling, cosmetic sales, marketing and magazine editing.

Hotel Management Jobs

Hotel management jobs can be found within the hospitality industry. This industry consists of a broad spectrum of businesses that provide hotel and lodging services. These businesses include hotels, motels, resorts, budget inns, hostels, bed and breakfasts and others. Managers in these environments often play a number of different roles, ultimately ensuring that the operations of their place of work run as smoothly as possible.

Some of the main responsibilities of a hotel manager include managing guest services, housekeeping, food and beverage services, security, finances, events and more. Hotel managers must be able to perform a variety of different tasks. For this reason, it is highly recommended that hotel managers receive as much hospitality training as possible.

Hospitality and managerial degree programs are offered at many schools. Additionally, many hotels offer training programs to prospective employees. Salaries of hotel managers depend on the type of hotel they work in, as well as the specific requirements of the position.

Hotel managers work full time. They work long hours, often over the weekend and on holidays. Hotel managers must have excellent people and communication skills. They must also have multitasking abilities, organizational skills, leadership skills and problem-solving skills. Trained hotel managers can be valuable in a variety of other hospitality jobs and may even do well in certain non-hospitality fields, such as finance, marketing, communications and others.

Travel Agent Jobs

Travel agent jobs are most often found within the tourism industry. Certain states require travel agents to possess a business license. Others simply require certifications such as the Certified Travel Associate (CTA) certification for beginner agents or the Certified Travel Counselor (CTC) certification for agents with at least five years of experience.

Certifications must be maintained annually. Travel agents can work for travel companies or they can work independently. The primary goal of a travel agent is to assist clients in planning cost-effective trips, as well as to coordinate or give advice on lodging arrangements, flights, transportation, activities, restaurants and more.

Travel agents specialize in different types of travel, such as business or vacation travel. Much of the job involves speaking with clients by phone to find out exactly what kind of trip they are looking for. In effect, travel agents must have excellent communication, research and organizational skills. They must also have customer service skills and be detail oriented.

The average salary of a travel agent is $36,990, as of May 2017. Unfortunately, the employment of travel agents is rapidly declining as a result of the internet. These days, people are able to utilize the internet to plan trips themselves and no longer feel the need to hire a professional travel agent.

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