Skip to main content

Ten great jobs in travel and tourism

  • Story Highlights
  • Leisure and hospitality contributed to 13.1 million jobs in 2006
  • Pay not as high, but jobs have nice atmosphere and flexible hours
  • Cruise ship directors plan all onboard entertainment and shore activities
  • Resort and casino gaming dealers make $14,730 per year on average
  • Next Article in Living »
By Rachel Zupek writer
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font

Editor's note: has a business partnership with, which serves as the exclusive provider of job listings and services to

Lifeguards, while enjoying the beach and the sunshine, can make up to $15,000 per year.

Lifeguards, while enjoying the beach and the sunshine, can make up to $15,000 per year.

Vacations are one of the best things in the world.

You visit new, exotic and beautiful places; you make memories with your vacation companions; you experience different cultures and best of all, you get a break from reality.

While you're experiencing bliss in your temporary home away from home, you can't forget about the people working while you play.

After all, your vacation experience depends on someone else's -- rather, a lot of peoples' -- job.

Think about it. There's someone accountable for the mode of transportation you chose to get to your vacation spot; someone responsible for booking your tickets; someone in charge of the activities you embark on; someone taking care of your entertainment in the evening, serving your drinks, showing you the sights. The list goes on.

Employment opportunities in travel and tourism, which fall into the leisure and hospitality industry, are abundant, especially during prime vacation seasons.

Leisure and hospitality contributed to 13.1 million jobs in 2006 and is projected to hold 15 million jobs in 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Leisure and hospitality breaks down into three sectors: arts, entertainment and recreation; hotels and other accommodations; and food services and drinking places.

Arts, entertainment and recreation provided about 1.9 million jobs in 2006, according to the BLS.

Hotels and other accommodations, which includes all types of lodging facilities from five-star resorts to RV parks, accounted for 1.8 million jobs in 2006 and food services and drinking places had about 9.4 million jobs.

Though the pay is generally not as high as in other industries, jobs in travel and tourism provide workers with an enjoyable atmosphere, flexible hours and opportunities to meet new people.

Plus, most jobs in the industry keep workers on their toes and no day is like the last. Here are 10 great jobs to explore in travel and tourism:

1. Amusement and recreation attendant

Duties: Responsibilities will vary, depending on where you're employed, but tasks might include providing caddy services for golfers, operating amusement park rides or setting up games.

Salary*: $7.83/hour

2. Concierge

Duties: Remember Tim Curry in "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York"? His character is a perfect example of a hotel concierge who helps deal with any request or problem a guest may have, no matter how strange or impossible it may seem.

The concierge also assist guests with such tasks as making restaurant reservations, arranging spa services, recommending places to go and organizing travel arrangements and various activities.

Salary: $17,508/year; salaries vary based on establishment and gratuity.

3. Cruise ship director

Duties: Travel the open waters year round as a cruise ship director, responsible for planning all onboard entertainment and ship and shore activities, acting as master of ceremonies and planning tour itineraries.

Salary: $4,500-$7,000/month, according to

4. Curator

Duties: Manage activities in operating such institutions as museums, botanical gardens, arboretums, art galleries, herbariums or zoos.

Acquire items for exhibition, authorize the sale or loan of items and authenticate items that come into the institutions.

Salary: $50,040/year

5. Gaming dealers

Duties: What better excuse to live in Las Vegas or Atlantic City than your job is playing with money all day? In resorts and casinos, gaming dealers play various games like blackjack, craps or roulette with patrons. They take bets, determine winners and pay out the winners.

Salary: $14,730/year

6. Lifeguard

Duties: The perfect job to take advantage of warm weather, guards monitor swimming areas like pools or beaches to prevent accidents, help and protect swimmers; caution swimmers regarding unsafe areas and rescue those in danger of drowning, if necessary.

Salary: $15,854/year; salaries vary based on establishment and gratuity.

7. Information clerk

Duties: Your main goal is be able to provide tourists with any kind of information they might be looking for. Where is the best Italian restaurant in the city? What's the greatest nightclub? Where can I have money wired to me? Be prepared to use your wealth of knowledge to answer any question

Salary: $18,460/year.

8. Recreation worker

Duties: Looking to stay active and help others do so as well? At resort and vacation spots, recreation workers organize and run activities for guests or children to participate in, plus you provide training and instruction for beginners.

Salary: $20,470/year

9. Taxi driver or chauffeur

Duties: Drivers are essential to anyone traveling for business or pleasure. By taxi, limousine or shuttle, drivers help tourists navigate their way around unfamiliar places; some even offer sight-seeing services around their city.

Salary: $9.09 - $10.62/hour, depending on types of vehicles, gratuity and geographic location.

10. Tour and travel guide

Duties: Think Gary Growbowski in "The Break-Up." Tour and travel guides show individuals and/or groups all the best sights in your city (on foot, bus or boat) from famous buildings to the best museums.

Salary: $21,137/year

*Salaries provided by BLS and

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority

All About Travel and TourismJobs and Labor

  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print