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Consumer Service Careers

Ever since the 1960’s, consumer service careers have been on a rise.

Consumer service careers refer to numerous jobs. Some common examples include food and dining, lodging and travel services. In the service industry, employees work with customers to help achieve an overall goal.

Because employees work directly with clients, communication is a vital part of any consumer service career. You must be able to take what the client wants and shape it into a reality.

Several subcategories of consumer service careers exist. This makes it a versatile industry, which appeals to a number of different employees. Because so many possible career paths exist, the requirements vary depending on the category you want to specialize in and the industry you plan to join. Some of the most popular consumer service careers are noted below.

Culinary Jobs

A career in the culinary arts focuses on food production. Culinary workers are found in numerous industries. Catering companies employ culinary workers for small and large events. Culinary workers are commonly found in health care as well, where they prepare specialized food for patients and visitors.

In the entertainment industry, culinary workers prepare food for actors and a production team. Businesses employ their own culinary team as well. This is especially common in larger buildings, such as college campuses. Several possible jobs for culinary workers are available, such as line cooks, banquet chefs, dietary managers and caterers.

No matter what type of culinary job you have, several shared skills are required. Food preparation is the most important skill for culinary jobs, but communication and creativity are both important as well. Culinary workers must be able to communicate with clients and with their team.

Most culinary work is done in either small or large groups depending on the scope of the project. Everyone must be on the same page in the kitchen to avoid messing up meals. This is especially important when culinary workers share the same kitchen space. One mistake in the kitchen can easily cascade and affect the rest of the chefs.

A culinary education is helpful for chefs, but not necessarily a requirement. Restaurants and catering services commonly prioritize practical cooking experience. For advanced positions, such as a head chef, you need at minimum five years of experience to be considered as a viable candidate.

Chefs normally work long hours. Chefs constantly work under pressure. You and your team must be able to handle busy lunch and dinner rushes. Culinary careers are demanding but typically pay well, even for an entry-level position. According to studies from 2017, chefs make on average around $46,000 annually.

If you do not want to cook but are still interested in a culinary job, administrative and managerial positions are available as well. Your employer may still want you to have some culinary experience, even if you are not directly cooking during these jobs.

Beauty Jobs

Jobs in the beauty industry require either a license or state certification. The exact certification requirements change depending on where you work. While you technically only need the base certification, your employer may add eligibility requirements. If all you need is certification, attend cosmetology school.

Beauty school classes cover a number of areas, helping students become makeup artists, massage therapists, hairdressers and nail technicians.

Beautician skills are important, but so are people skills. Beauty technicians spend most of their day interacting with clients. A good attitude is important, otherwise, the technician risks chasing away customers.

Something else to keep in mind is how often you are on your feet working as a beautician. Beauticians work traditional business hours, but most of that time is spent standing up. During slow days there is a chance to take a break, but during busy hours beauticians often treat clients back to back.

Beauticians most commonly work in either a spa or salon, but a few other locations exist in the beauty industry. Beauty training is useful in a few other careers as well, such as marketing and cosmetic sales.

Hotel Management Jobs

Hotel management careers are part of the hospitality industry. Despite the name, hotel management careers include any job at a motel, resort, hostel or bed and breakfast. Hotel staff typically work alongside other employees, with the hotel manager acting as the team leader.

Hotel managers keep everything running smoothly at the hotel. They have different responsibilities, such as managing guest services, organizing events at the hotel and keeping track of the budget. Hotel managers oversee the housekeeping and kitchen staff as well. Hotel managers help out in these departments, but this largely depends on the establishment and the overall size of the team.

Hospitality training is key for hotel managers, as is managerial experience. Hotel owners value past experience from hotel managers, but most require potential applicants to have hospitality or managerial degree. Few employees are able to start off as hotel owners without having first worked in a hotel in some capacity.

Hotel management is a full-time job. Hotel managers frequently work over the weekend. Holidays are especially busy for hotel managers as well since an influx of travelers visits the hotel on holiday vacation. To succeed as a hotel manager, you need strong people and communication skills. Multitasking and organizational skills are important for hotel managers.

Travel Agent Jobs

Travel agents help clients travel across the United States. Travel agents typically specialize in either business or vacation trips, although some travel agents deal in both. Travel agents are commonly associated with the tourism industry.

The requirements to become a travel agent vary depending on the state, but most require a business license. Other states only require certification, such as the Certified Travel Associate or Certified Travel Counselor certifications. Unlike other types of certification, travel agent certification must be renewed annually.

Select travel agents work alone, while others work in small groups. Communication, research and organization skills are all important for travel agents. As of writing, travel agent jobs are on a slow decline due to a number of online sites offering similar services.