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Work in Travel! It’s a Great Way to Launch a Career

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Work in Travel! It’s a Great Way to Launch a Career

By Howard Nusbaum, CEO and President of ARDA

January 24, 2013 

U.S. Travel Association 


The latest results of a new study “Travels Means Jobs,” conducted by the U.S. Travel Association, got a lot of play recently in the press...and for good reason. It found that people who start their careers in hospitality and travel end up with better earnings and growth potential—even if they move into other fields.

To provide insight into the benefits of a travel industry job and the career progression of workers who began in travel, the U.S. Travel Association analyzed data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Here are a few key findings:

  1. Earning Higher Wages: The average maximum salary for employees who start their career in the travel industry reaches $81,900 (significantly more than the other industries followed).
  2. Building the Middle Class: The travel industry is one of the top 10 largest employers of middle-class wage earners in the United States. More than half of all travel industry employees (53 percent) earn a middle class or higher salary.
  3. Promotional Educational Opportunities: One-third of the 5.6 million Americans who work part-time while continuing their education work in the largest component of the travel industry—leisure and hospitality (including timeshare).
  4. Leading to Rewarding Careers: Two out of five workers who start their careers in travel go on to earn more than $100,000 per year. The travel and hospitality industries offer a diverse workforce the real opportunity to develop a wide variety of life skills.

And I believe that timeshare (although not separated from other travel jobs in this study) has even another advantage over general travel jobs, with more positions in robust sales and marketing, regulatory compliance, and financial services. This job diversity offers timeshare employees the ability to start in resort operations and then move into finance, real estate, sales and marketing, and other disciplines while staying within vacation ownership and often within the same company.

As a board member of U.S. Travel, I am proud of these findings and am excited to have this data available as we recruit the next generation of professionals. And in our industry advocacy work, this critical data will serve us well as we engage local, state, and national leaders about the timeshare industry and its role in travel.  

Note: This blog post is based on a January 2013 Developments magazine article.   


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