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Top 11 Hospitality Associate Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top hospitality associate certifications and their benefits for career advancement.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications are important for hospitality associates in the job market as they demonstrate a level of commitment and knowledge that employers look for. In addition, certifications provide evidence of an individual’s ability to perform in a professional setting and can give potential employers an indication of their skill level. Certifications also potentially increase an individual’s salary prospects and can open up new career paths, such as management or consulting roles. Finally, certifications may be required for certain positions or promotions, so having them can make a person more competitive in the job market.

The purpose of this article is to review the top certifications for Hospitality Associates and explain how they can help advance a hospitality associate's career.

What are Hospitality Associate Certifications?

Hospitality Associate Certification is a program designed to train and certify individuals in the hospitality industry. The certification is designed to improve customer service, increase profitability, and enhance the overall guest experience. This certification can help hospitality professionals gain a more comprehensive understanding of the industry and its various aspects, such as customer service, housekeeping, food preparation, front desk operations, and marketing. With this knowledge, hospitality professionals are better equipped to provide exceptional customer service and create an enjoyable experience for guests. Additionally, this certification can help hospitality professionals stay up-to-date on best practices within the industry and build their resumes with a tangible credential. Obtaining this certification demonstrates to potential employers that an individual has taken the time to invest in their professional development and has acquired a comprehensive understanding of the hospitality industry.

Pro Tip: Utilize your hospitality associate certification to develop your knowledge and understanding of the hospitality industry, as it can be an invaluable tool in helping you to understand the expectations and requirements of a successful hospitality professional.

Related: What does a Hospitality Associate do?

Top 11 Hospitality Associate Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Hospitality Associates today.

1. Certified Hospitality Supervisor (CHS)

Certified Hospitality Supervisor (CHS) is a professional certification program offered by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute. The CHS program is designed to provide hospitality professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively manage, supervise, and lead staff in a hotel or lodging environment.

The CHS program consists of three courses: Supervision for Hospitality Managers, Leadership for Hospitality Managers, and Human Resources Management for Hospitality Managers. Each course takes approximately six weeks to complete and can be taken online or in a classroom setting. Upon completion of all three courses, participants are eligible to take the CHS exam which tests their knowledge of hospitality management topics such as customer service, human resources management, and financial management.

To get certified as a CHS, individuals must complete all three courses and pass the CHS exam with a score of 70% or higher. The cost of the program varies depending on the format chosen; online courses typically cost around $1,000 while classroom courses may cost up to $2,000.

2. Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE)

Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) is a professional certification program offered by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI). It is designed to recognize hospitality educators who demonstrate excellence in teaching and have achieved a high level of professional development. The CHE program requires participants to complete an extensive curriculum that covers all aspects of hospitality education, including course design, instructional strategies, assessment techniques, and industry trends.

The CHE program takes approximately two years to complete. During this time, participants must complete a series of online courses and exams as well as attend an in-person seminar. Participants must also submit a portfolio demonstrating their knowledge and expertise in the field of hospitality education.

To get certified as a CHE, you must first meet the eligibility requirements set forth by AHLEI. These include having at least five years of teaching experience in the field of hospitality or related fields; holding a bachelor’s degree or higher; and meeting other requirements depending on your individual qualifications. Once you have met these requirements, you can apply for certification through AHLEI’s website.

The cost of becoming a Certified Hospitality Educator varies depending on your individual circumstances. Generally speaking, it will cost between $1,000-$2,500 to become certified, which includes fees for application processing, course materials, and exam fees.

3. Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA)

The Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) is a professional certification program offered by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI). It is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of knowledge and expertise in the hospitality industry. The CHA designation is recognized worldwide as a symbol of excellence in hospitality management.

To become certified, an individual must complete a minimum of 60 hours of approved educational courses, pass an exam, and maintain their certification through continuing education credits. The courses cover topics such as hotel operations, finance and accounting, human resources, marketing and sales, food and beverage operations, technology applications, and more.

It typically takes between 6-12 months to complete the required courses and exams for the CHA certification. However, this timeline can vary depending on how quickly you are able to complete the coursework.

To get started on your CHA certification journey, you will need to register with AHLEI and purchase the Certification Package which includes all of the required course materials and access to online study tools. The cost for this package varies depending on whether or not you are an AHLEI member but typically ranges from $400-$500 USD.

Once you have completed all of the necessary requirements for your CHA certification, you will be eligible to receive your official certificate from AHLEI which will serve as proof that you have achieved this prestigious designation.

4. Certified Food and Beverage Executive (CFBE)

Certified Food and Beverage Executive (CFBE) is a professional certification program designed to recognize individuals who have achieved the highest level of excellence in the food and beverage industry. The CFBE is awarded by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF).

The CFBE program requires applicants to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and abilities in key areas of food and beverage operations, such as menu development, cost control, customer service, marketing, legal compliance, and financial management. To be eligible for the CFBE designation, applicants must have at least five years of experience in the food and beverage industry.

To earn the CFBE designation, applicants must complete an online application form and submit two letters of recommendation from current or former employers. They must also pass a comprehensive examination that covers topics related to food and beverage operations. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions covering various aspects of foodservice management.

The cost for the CFBE program is $595 USD for NRAEF members or $695 USD for non-members. This fee includes access to study materials and practice exams prior to taking the actual exam. The exam can be taken at any Pearson VUE testing center located throughout the United States. Once an applicant has successfully passed the exam, they will receive their official CFBE certificate from NRAEF within four weeks of completing all requirements.

5. Certified Hospitality Sales Professional (CHSP)

Certified Hospitality Sales Professional (CHSP) is a professional certification program designed to equip hospitality sales professionals with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the hospitality industry. The program is administered by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI).

The CHSP certification requires candidates to complete a two-day workshop and pass an exam. The workshop covers topics such as sales strategies, customer service, marketing, negotiation techniques, communication skills, and more. Upon successful completion of the workshop and exam, candidates are awarded the CHSP designation.

To get certified as a CHSP, individuals must first register for the two-day workshop. Registration fees vary depending on location but generally range from $700-$900 USD per person. After completing the workshop and passing the exam, individuals will receive their CHSP designation within 4 weeks of completion.

6. Certified Meeting Professional (CMP)

Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) is an internationally recognized professional designation for meeting and event professionals. It is awarded by the Convention Industry Council (CIC), a coalition of organizations representing all aspects of the meetings, conventions, and exhibitions industry. The CMP credential recognizes individuals who have demonstrated expertise in meeting management, including planning, logistics, financial management, risk management, contract negotiation, and more.

It typically takes at least two years to complete the necessary requirements to become a CMP. The process includes completing a minimum of 25 hours of continuing education in approved areas related to meeting and event planning; passing an exam; and having at least three years of full-time work experience in the meetings industry.

In order to get certified as a CMP, applicants must first submit an application with proof of their educational background and work experience. Once their application has been approved by the CIC, they can then register for the CMP exam. After passing the exam, applicants must submit proof that they have completed at least 25 hours of continuing education in approved areas related to meeting and event planning.

The cost for becoming a Certified Meeting Professional varies depending on where you live and what type of membership you have with the Convention Industry Council (CIC). Generally speaking, it costs approximately $450 USD to become a CMP if you are not already a member of the CIC. This fee covers both your application fee and your exam fee.

7. Certified Lodging Manager (CLM)

Certified Lodging Manager (CLM) is a professional certification program offered by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI). The CLM program is designed to provide hospitality professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively manage lodging operations. The CLM program focuses on key areas such as customer service, financial management, human resources, marketing, operations, and technology.

The CLM certification can be obtained in two ways: either through an online self-study course or through an in-person instructor-led course. The online self-study course consists of five modules that cover topics such as customer service, financial management, human resources, marketing, operations, and technology. It takes approximately 40 hours to complete the online self-study course. The in-person instructor-led course consists of three days of classroom instruction and one day of field experience. This option takes approximately four days to complete.

The cost for the Certified Lodging Manager (CLM) program varies depending on whether you choose the online self-study or in-person instructor-led option. For the online self-study option, the cost is $595 USD plus applicable taxes and fees; for the in-person instructor led option, the cost is $1,295 USD plus applicable taxes and fees.

8. Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP)

Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP) is a certification program developed by the International Customer Service Association (ICSA). The program is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated excellence in customer service and hospitality.

The CGSP certification involves completing an online course, passing a written exam, and participating in a one-day interactive workshop. The online course consists of four modules covering topics such as communication, customer service principles, problem solving, and customer service strategies. The written exam tests knowledge of the material covered in the online course. Finally, the interactive workshop provides an opportunity for participants to practice their skills through role-playing scenarios and group activities.

The entire process takes approximately two weeks to complete. It costs $395 USD to register for the CGSP certification program. Once certified, individuals must renew their certification every three years by completing additional training or attending workshops offered by ICSA.

9. Certified Revenue Management Executive (CRME)

Certified Revenue Management Executive (CRME) is a professional certification for revenue management professionals. It is a globally recognized designation that demonstrates an individual’s expertise in the field of revenue management, and is awarded by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI).

The CRME program requires applicants to have at least three years of experience in hospitality sales or revenue management, as well as an understanding of the principles of revenue management. The program consists of two parts: an online course and an exam. The online course takes approximately 10-15 hours to complete, depending on the individual's knowledge level. The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and takes two hours to complete.

In order to be eligible for the CRME program, applicants must be current members of HSMAI and pay a fee which varies based on membership type. As of 2021, the fee for non-members is $595 USD while members can expect to pay $495 USD.

Once all requirements are met, applicants will receive their official CRME certificate from HSMAI within 6-8 weeks after completing their exam.

10. Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP)

Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP) is a professional certification program designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of expertise in hospitality technology. The CHTP program is administered by the International Society of Hospitality Technology Professionals (ISHTP).

The CHTP program consists of two parts: a written exam and an oral exam. The written exam covers topics such as technology trends, systems integration, security, customer service and more. The oral exam tests the candidate’s knowledge and understanding of hospitality technology.

To become a Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP), candidates must pass both the written and oral exams. The written exam takes approximately four hours to complete, while the oral exam takes approximately two hours. Candidates must also submit a professional portfolio demonstrating their experience in hospitality technology.

The cost for taking the CHTP certification exams varies depending on where you take them. Generally speaking, it costs about $200 for the written exam and $400 for the oral exam. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with submitting your professional portfolio or other materials required for certification.

11. Certified Hospitality Housekeeping Executive (CHHE).

Certified Hospitality Housekeeping Executive (CHHE) is a professional certification program offered by the International Executive Housekeepers Association (IEHA). It is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated excellence in hospitality housekeeping management.

The CHHE certification requires applicants to have at least five years of experience in hospitality housekeeping management and complete an online exam. The exam covers topics such as safety and security, guest services, cleaning and sanitization, budgeting and financials, personnel management, and quality assurance.

The cost of the CHHE certification varies depending on the type of membership you choose. For non-members, it costs $395 for the exam fee plus a $50 application fee. For IEHA members, it costs $295 for the exam fee plus a $50 application fee.

It typically takes up to three weeks to receive your results after taking the CHHE exam. If you pass the exam, you will receive your official CHHE certificate in the mail within six weeks.

Do You Really Need a Hospitality Associate Certificate?

Whether you need a hospitality associate certificate depends on the type of job you are looking for and your level of experience. If you have a few years of experience in the hospitality industry, then a certificate may not be necessary. However, if you are just starting out in hospitality or are looking to move up in your current position, a certificate can help demonstrate your commitment to the field and give you an edge when applying for jobs.

Having a certificate shows employers that you have taken the time to learn about the industry and that you understand its specific standards and requirements. A good certificate program will provide comprehensive knowledge of topics such as customer service, food safety, staff management, and financial management. It will also give insight into how to create successful business strategies for success in the hospitality industry. This knowledge can be invaluable when it comes time to apply for positions or promotions.

Having a certification from an accredited institution also gives potential employers assurance that you have received quality education in your chosen area of study, which can make them more likely to hire or promote you over someone without this credential. Additionally, having a certification may help open doors to new career opportunities or increase salary offers if employers feel confident that they are hiring someone who is well-versed in their field.

In short, whether or not you need a hospitality associate certificate depends on your level of experience and what kind of job opportunities you are looking for. However, having one can certainly give you an advantage when it comes time to apply for positions and promotions within the hospitality industry.

Related: Hospitality Associate Resume Examples

FAQs About Hospitality Associate Certifications

1. What is a hospitality associate certification?

Answer: A hospitality associate certification is a professional certification that recognizes individuals who have attained a certain level of proficiency in hospitality-related skills and knowledge. It demonstrates expertise in areas such as customer service, sales and marketing, food and beverage services, and property management.

2. What are the benefits of obtaining a hospitality associate certification?

Answer: Obtaining a hospitality associate certification can help you advance your career by demonstrating your commitment to the field, increasing your job prospects, and giving you an edge over other applicants when applying for jobs. Additionally, it can increase your earning potential by allowing you to access higher paying positions within the industry.

3. How long does it take to get certified?

Answer: The amount of time required to obtain a hospitality associate certification varies depending on the program you choose and how much experience you already have in the field. However, most programs typically require between six months to one year of study before taking the final exam.

4. What are the prerequisites for becoming certified?

Answer: Different certifying organizations may have different prerequisites for becoming certified, but most generally require applicants to have at least two years of experience working in the hospitality industry as well as completion of an accredited college or university program related to hospitality management or similar fields.

5. Are there any fees associated with getting certified?

Answer: Yes – some organizations charge application fees or registration fees when applying for certification exams or programs; however, these fees vary depending on the organization offering them. Additionally, many organizations offer discounts or financial aid options for those who qualify.