Types of Certification

Professional certifications vary within the hospitality industry, in part because the fields that comprise it are so numerous. Some hospitality positions require certification, while others offer voluntary certifications, which can serve as a benefit to the employee in terms of higher earning potential and greater job possibilities. Check with your employer to learn more about required or optional certifications, or inquire at the post-secondary school you attended or at any professional organizations to which you belong.

Following are some hospitality careers that offer, or require, employee certification. Also included for each is a brief description of the process one must follow to become certified.

Recreation Workers

Recreation workers in technical and professional occupations may earn certification from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) by passing an exam. To qualify for the test, a person must fit into one of three categories: either have earned a bachelor’s degree in a field such as leisure services, park resources or recreation from a program accredited by the NRPA or have at least one year of work experience if the program is not accredited; or have earned any other bachelor’s degree and possess at least three years of pertinent, full-time work experience; or have completed at least five years of full-time recreational work experience. An individual must follow through with continuing education requirements to remain certified.

Certified Hospitality Trainer

The Certified Hospitality Trainer (CHT) designation has become popular recently as people recognize that proper training of employees is essential to keeping up with competition in the market place. “Customer service is the competitive edge and training is the key to great customer service,” commented Barbara Blankenship, director of professional certification at the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) in an article by Quintessential Careers.

To qualify to earn the CHT certification, a person must have a two-year hospitality degree from an accredited school and be working in positions such as training executive or department head at their company with two years of full-time experience. Alternatively, an individual could also be presently employed with a company, and have similar job titles full-time for at least three years.

Gaming Services Fields

In the gaming industry, certification and training are not always required but are generally recommended. Many casinos have their own education standards for employees, and frequently require certification. Post-secondary schools often have classes that can help students begin preparing for certification.

Lodging Managers

High school juniors and seniors can participate in the two-year, Lodging Management Program offered by the AHLA to learn management principles in business. Completion of the program can help with earning a “Certified Rooms Division Specialist” certification. Other hotel and lodging associations offer certification as well and generally require participants to complete coursework, gain work experience and take exams.

Certification Resources

Consider a resource such as the Certification and Accreditation Programs Directory to learn more about certifications that may be available to you and could help benefit your career.



Last Updated: 05/23/2014

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