Highest Paying Jobs In The Hospitality And Tourism Industry

Updated On: February 16, 2022

Typically, the highest paying jobs are management jobs - Hospitality and Tourism

While there are other considerations that go into accepting a job offer, not just in Hospitality and Tourism but in general, one of the main considerations is the salary. While it should go without saying that a high salary can’t make terrible job worthwhile, it does make it easier to accept the elements of a job that are less than desirable.

For example, a restaurant manager will be happy to give up their weekends to work because the pay packet is worthwhile, and a hotel manager will be happy to deal with staff grievances and customer complaints because they are compensated fairly to do so.

Typically, the highest paid roles are reserved for management. They are paid not only for their skills and expertise, they are paid for their loyalty. Managers control all aspects of their department, so if they were to be underpaid then they would have no incentive to stay, leaving the business open to losing their key staff members.

If you are looking for your next role in hospitality or trying to figure out which career path is the most lucrative, here is our guide to the top paying roles in the hospitality industry.

Top paid roles in Hospitality and Tourism

Hotel Manager

A hotel manager is the top role in a hotel environment, overseeing all aspects of the operation across the hotel, from room service and housekeeping through to guests services and front of house. To ensure a hotel runs like a well oiled machine, a hotel manager must be highly experienced, pragmatic and able to solve problems quickly. 

A hotel manager is an essential part in making sure everything is up to point
A hotel manager is an essential part in making sure everything is up to point – Swan-shaped towel

Great hotel managers are hard to find, so the compensation is generally very lucrative to attract and keep a good manager. A great hotel manager can be the difference between a highly profitable, fully booked hotel and a poorly performing hotel on the brink of bankruptcy.

The average salary of a hotel manager can range from €40,000 to 100,000 depending on the size of the hotel and how successful the hotel is. Many hotel manager roles benefit from annual bonuses for meeting or exceeding sales targets for the hotel. A bonus perk of the job is discounted or complimentary stays at the hotel as well as meal provision.

Restaurant Manager

A restaurant manager, much like a hotel manager, oversees every facet of a restaurant’s operations, from the kitchen and bar team to the front of house and service team. Restaurants can be extremely busy and chaotic, so a manager who can keep cool under pressure is extremely valuable in this role.

Average salaries for a restaurant manager can range from €35,000 up to €80,000, depending on the size and type of restaurant; typically the high salaries are reserved for high end or boutique eateries. Perks include discounted meals, free meals at work, and discounts at any partner businesses like bars or hotels.

Executive Chef

An executive chef holds the top responsibility within the kitchen in a restaurant hotel, taking charge of the menu creation, budgeting, inventory and supplier relations, as well as staff management. This role involves juggling a lot of responsibilities simultaneously, and is a well rewarded role as a result. A great executive chef who comes up with creative, delicious recipes can make or break a restaurant.

An executive chef is an important job
An executive chef is an important job

The average salary for an executive chef can be anything from €50,000 to €120,000 depending on the chef’s reputation, the standard of restaurant and the size of their kitchen team. High salaries are generally reserved for chefs who have made a name for themselves either locally, nationally or internationally, as their name is part of what draws customers to the restaurant.


A sommelier is a highly specialised role in a high end restaurant, responsible for all wine related activity in the hotel. The sommelier typically creates the wine menu, liaises with wine suppliers, trains bar staff and recommends food and wine pairings to customers.

A sommelier is responsible for all wine related activity in the hotel
A sommelier is responsible for all wine related activity in the hotel – wine bottles on a shelf

Due to the highly specialised training that is often required to become a sommelier, this role is in high demand and as such is paid considerably well. For a highly trained and well experienced sommelier, salaries can reach up to €150,000.

Another high paid job is a Hospitality Consultant, why not check what that is and what this job involves? We also share with you some of the best career advice we’ve had, during our chat with the owner of Ireland’s oldest pub, Paul O’Kane!