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Restaurant & Catering Management Major

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Restaurant & Catering Management

686 Associates's Degrees Annually
167 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
#58 in Popularity (Associate's)
$41,240 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Restaurant & Catering Management Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many restaurant, culinary, and catering management/manager graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Basic Certificate 706
Associate’s Degree 686
Undergraduate Certificate 236
Bachelor’s Degree 174

What Restaurant & Catering Management Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to restaurant, culinary, and catering management/manager and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Restaurant, Culinary, and Catering Management/Manager Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in restaurant, culinary, and catering management/manager should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Food Production - Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

Skills for Restaurant, Culinary, and Catering Management/Manager Majors

When studying restaurant, culinary, and catering management/manager, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Abilities for Restaurant, Culinary, and Catering Management/Manager Majors

As you progress with your restaurant, culinary, and catering management/manager degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

What Can You Do With a Restaurant & Catering Management Major?

People with a restaurant, culinary, and catering management/manager degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Chefs and Head Cooks 9.6% $48,460
Cooks, Private Household 5.2% $37,590
First-Line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers 9.3% $32,450
Food Service Managers 9.0% $54,240

Who Is Getting an Associate’s Degree in Restaurant & Catering Management?

686 Associate's Degrees Annually
57% Percent Women
49% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major is dominated by women with about 57% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of restaurant, culinary, and catering management/manager majors is as follows:

Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 40
Black or African American 120
Hispanic or Latino 151
White 291
International Students 27
Other Races/Ethnicities 57

Geographic Diversity

Restaurant, Culinary, and Catering Management/Manager appeals to people across the globe. About 3.9% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Restaurant & Catering Management Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $36,190 to $52,160 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to restaurant, culinary, and catering management/manager. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Restaurant & Catering Management Major  ( 36190 to 52160 )
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )

Some careers associated with restaurant, culinary, and catering management/manager require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for restaurant, culinary, and catering management/manager careers below.

Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 15.3%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 36.4%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 17.2%
Some College Courses 11.2%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 17.3%
Bachelor’s Degree 3.3%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 1.0%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.9%

Online Restaurant & Catering Management Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 163 schools offered some type of restaurant, culinary, and catering management/manager program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 72 3
Certificate (1-2 years) 52 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 2 0
Associate’s Degree 111 0
Bachelor’s Degree 0 0
Post-Baccalaureate 72 3
Master’s Degree 0 0
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Restaurant & Catering Management Worth It?

The median salary for a restaurant, culinary, and catering management/manager grad is $41,240 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 3% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $26,800 after 20 years!


You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to restaurant, culinary, and catering management/manager.

Major Number of Grads
Culinary Arts/Chef Training 12,205
Baking & Pastry Arts/Baker/Pastry Chef 4,964
General Cooking & Related Culinary Arts 4,765
Food Preparation/Professional Cooking/Kitchen Assistant 1,210
Other Culinary Arts & Related Services 734
Bartending/Bartender 289
Culinary Science/Culinology 225
Institutional Food Workers 193
Wine Steward/Sommelier 112
Food Service, Waiter/Waitress, & Dining Room Management/Manager 98
Meat Cutting/Meat Cutter 46


*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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