Many businesses are ramping up for the busy summer season and have ‘Hiring’ signs decorating their front doors. Finding employees has been a challenge for all sectors around the country and in Oregon so we’ve compiled a list of reasons why a potential employee should be looking to the tourism industry (think restaurants, hotels, retail shops) for their next job. Thanks to US Travel for the data in this article. 

This is THE BEST first job 

If you are a highschool student or perhaps you know of a high schooler who could really get out of the house this summer and even start their first job, look no further. Jobs in the travel or tourism industry are the best for first time employees. 

Over the course of more than 30 years, Americans whose first job was in travel experienced a pay increase of $72,900, 7% more than the gain of $67,900 for individuals whose first job was in other industries. This fact is particularly true for Hispanic Americans whose first job was in travel: this subgroup eventually achieved a maximum wage of $74,400, $9,700 higher than those whose first job was in other industries.” 

Simply put, you’ll make more money in the long run, set yourself up to be a savvy entrepreneur and ultimately go on to have a highly successful career. We know what we’re talking about because the travel industry provides the ‘first job’ for more Americans than any other industry. 

“The experience, transferable skills and knowledge gained from a first job in travel opens doors for individuals to own their own business and become entrepreneurs. Seventeen percent of Americans whose first job was in travel now own their own business and 19% consider themselves entrepreneurs—higher than the finance, manufacturing and healthcare industries”. 

You’ll be more successful and make more money

Whoa. Let’s back up a second. Did you hear that part about making more money in the long run? 

“Americans who began their career in travel went on to earn a maximum average salary of $82,400 by the time they were 50 years old—higher than workers whose first jobs were in manufacturing, health care and most other industries. For those who started their careers in the travel industry and eventually obtain higher education, completing at least a four-year college degree, the benefits increase. Those whose first job was in travel eventually obtained a maximum salary of $125,400, $11,800 higher than the $113,600 achieved for those who began their careers in other industries.”

Even though many tourism jobs are considered entry level, research shows that “those who start in travel ultimately go on to have highly successful careers—whether within or outside the travel industry.” Even if your end goal isn’t to be in tourism, having a tourism job will help you get there successfully. 

You can simultaneously attain a higher level of education

People on the Oregon Coast understand the fluctuation of tourism as seasons change. This translates to flexible jobs that are compatible with higher education opportunities that take place during the off season. The travel industry will help you attain higher educational goals. “Of the 6.1 million Americans working part-time while pursuing higher education in 2018, more than half, or 3.6 million, were employed in travel-related industries.  Nearly one-fifth (18%) of travel industry employees currently attend school, more than double the 8% of workers in other sectors of the economy.”

If you’re wondering ‘where are they now?’ we can say that “among workers who began their careers in the travel industry, nearly one-third (32%) eventually earned at least a bachelor’s degree, compared to 30% in health care, 18% in manufacturing and 16% in construction”. With the support of the travel industry, Oregonians can pursue higher education and successfully contribute to a productive workforce via the essential skills they gain. 

All the recruiters will want you 

It’s not uncommon to overhear someone say “I think every person should have to work in customer service at least once in their life”. Of course there are a number of reasons a person would believe that but we know in tourism that working at a restaurant, hotel or retail store will give you communication skills, customer service practice and problem solving opportunities that will be useful for the rest of your life. These also happen to be highly desired ‘soft skills’ that organizations are searching for in a new employee. 

“In a recent Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) survey, more than eight in 10 (83%) human resource (HR) professionals had trouble recruiting suitable candidates in the past year, primarily due to skills shortages. Three in 10 HR professionals cited candidates lacking the right workplace soft skills, such as communication, as a primary reason why organizations are struggling to hire suitable candidates. On-the-job training and firsthand experience are some of the most effective ways for individuals to develop these highly valued skills.”

Being able to ‘read a table’ and anticipate their needs before they ask for them, successfully interpreting a customer’s want to provide the best solution and getting along with clients and coworkers from all walks of life are invaluable skills that you will gain from a tourism job and boast about on your resume and future interviews. 

This is your crowd 

“While the workforce is becoming increasingly younger, the United States as a whole is becoming more diverse. As of 2016, the Hispanic population reached nearly 60 million, constituting 18% of the total U.S. population—and this population is expected to grow 2.7% annually between 2016 and 2026. This group is overwhelmingly younger: more than six in 10 Hispanic Americans were under the age of 35 in 2016 and their median age was 28. The Asian population is also expected to grow at a faster rate (2.5%) than overall average annual growth rate (0.6%) between 2016 and 2026.66.

The travel industry is much more reflective of demographic shifts than the rest of the economy, employing a younger and more diverse workforce than many other sectors. It is well positioned to provide underserved youth and less educated Americans with employment opportunities and a path to independence. Individuals employed in the travel industry are younger: 27% are between the ages of 16 and 24 compared to 9% of the rest of the economy. The average age of those employed in travel is 37.5 years compared to 43.2 years of those employed in other industries.

With the evolving demographics of America, the travel industry is best positioned to meet the needs of the future American workforce. Travel jobs provide a ladder to economic success, equipping Americans in practically all ranks and stations in life with the skills and experiences that can translate into a rewarding career.” 

So to all of you job searchers out there, look no further because the Oregon Coast has numerous businesses that would love to be the launching pad for your success. 

Have you worked your way up the tourism career ladder? If you’re willing to share your story, we’d love to hear it! Click this link to submit your tourism story.

– Written by OCVA