What is Professional Certification?

A professional certification shows that you have obtained the skills and knowledge you need to deliver service to customers at an acceptable level of quality. To earn such a designation, you will likely have to pass an exam recognized by an association or other organization that sets the standards for your industry. With a certification, you can boost your earning potential and the number of hospitality jobs you are qualified to hold.

Although it is often a voluntary process, certification may be required by your employer, or by the field in which you work. If you want to teach water-related activities, for example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that you will likely have to pass a lifesaving certification course. Casinos are another industry where individual businesses often set their own training requirements for employees, including certification. States and communities may have other certification standards for their employees, and these could differ from one locale to another.

In the hospitality industry, professional certification is generally a good move to consider if you are hoping to work your way up within your company, or if you want to steer your career towards other parts of the hospitality industry. While the same advancement could certainly come with hard work and plenty of years on the job, certification may be the tool you need to reach your goals a little faster.

Hospitality professionals have cited a few benefits to earning professional certification, according to Quintessential Careers. They explained that their knowledge of current industry trends grew, and that they gained a reference point with which to compare what they knew against industry standards. New managers noted that they have also learned more about how to handle customers and employees.

Training certifications, such as the Certified Hospitality Trainer, have been quite popular in recent history, Barbara Blankenship, director of professional certification at the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) told Quintessential Careers. “The interest in the training certification has exploded because the market place has become so competitive. The key to outperforming the competition is through training.”

Hospitality careers encompass a variety of occupations, including hotel managers, gaming services operators, restaurant managers and even event planners. Because of the number of occupations available, the number of certifications available in this industry is similarly diverse. Consult with the college or university you attended, your employer, or any professional organizations to which you already belong to learn more about certifications you might consider pursuing.

Some of the organizations offering certification in the hospitality industry are the National Recreation and Park Association, AHLA’s Educational Institute and the American Culinary Federation.

Last Updated: 05/23/2014


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