How HFTP Certification Can Advance Your Career

When it comes to certifications, it seems that there are so many letters a hospitality accounting, finance or technology professional can add behind their name: CHAE, CHTP, CA, CFE, CGA, CFF, CGMA, CPA, CMA, CHIA, etc. How do you determine which designation provides the greatest benefit? One thing we know for sure is that those who have earned certifications offered by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) receive higher salaries than those without industry certifications. This was evident in the results from the 2016 HFTP Compensation and Benefits Survey conducted by the HFTP Americas Research Center at the University of Houston.

In order to get the full picture of the impact HFTP certifications make on salaries, detailed analysis was performed on the results from the 2016 survey. This analysis looked at the data from several different perspectives: industry segment (hotel vs. club), job title (CFO, controller, IT director, etc.) and job function (accounting and finance vs. information technology). The numbers speak volumes.

HFTP offers the only designations for finance and technology professionals who are working in the hospitality industry.

First of all, analysis for all respondents indicates that CHAE designees receive a 16 percent higher salary, CHTP designees receive a 9.7 percent higher salary and individuals with both certifications reported receiving a 57.3 percent higher salary compared to their non-certified counterparts. Wow! Nearly a 60 percent increase in salaries for those with both HFTP certifications.

Those with the title of information technology director or manager of information technology indicated a 16.7 percent higher salary for those with the CHTP designation versus their non-certified counterparts. The greatest salary impact was reported by chief financial officers in the club industry who have earned both the CHAE and CHTP certifications. These individuals reported an 86.8 percent higher salary (non-certified: $107,698, CHAE & CHTP: $201,221).

Active certificants have reported higher salaries and various career advancement opportunities.

Of course, individuals do not seek certifications solely for a salary increase, and salary increases are not solely based on certifications. Other factors to take into consideration are the individual’s ambition, work ethic and a desire to prove their proficiency of knowledge in certain topical areas. These are characteristics of motivated individuals who are looking for a way to set themselves apart from the crowd.

As part of the 2016 HFTP Compensation and Benefits Survey, respondents were asked to provide information on other benefits of obtaining industry certifications. In this case, salary did not even make it into the top three reasons. Salary increase (25.7 percent) was a full 20 percentage points behind the taker of the top spot: personal accomplishment (45.7 percent). The other two reasons, which rounded out the top three, included: career advancement (43.0 percent) and industry recognition (29.8 percent).

Becoming certified indicates that you are committed to professionalism, continuing education, and your chosen career path.

For those who have already earned the CHAE or CHTP designations, congratulations! You are a member of a group of individuals that has gone above and beyond to prove your dedication to the hospitality industry. If you are new to the industry, or have been thinking about taking the CHAE or CHTP exam, now is the time. Make a New Year’s resolution to earn one or both of these certifications in 2017!

For further information on HFTP certifications contact HFTP Certification Manager Robin Bogdon at or +1 (512) 220-4021.

HFTP Certification Infographic>

Tanya Venegas, MBA, MHM, CHIA is the executive director at the HFTP Americas Research Center at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston. Contact Tanya via email at or via phone at 713-743-1839. 

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About the Author: Tanya Venegas