NEW YORK (MainStreet) Theresa Zimmerman recently received complimentary lodging at a top luxury resort in Mexico for five days with two friends because she works at a luxury hotel chain in the U.S. "The perks make working in the luxury industry that much more enticing," said Zimmerman, a sales coordinator with Loews Regency Hotel on Park Avenue in Manhattan. "I receive extremely discounted room rates at all the properties as well as 50% off all food and beverage."
The 24-year-old New Yorker is among a recent wave of Millennials who studied the luxury market in college and have found higher paying jobs after graduating. In just the hotel management segment of the luxury industry alone, the average starting salary is $42,000.
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"Employers in the luxury segment of the hospitality industry offer the highest pay and typically the most comprehensive benefits to their associates," said William Frye, associate professor with the College of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Niagara University in New York.
It took Zimmerman several months just to learn the language of luxury, which includes phrases like "May I suggest," "My pleasure" and "Absolutely."
"One of the standards that is universal in the luxury industry is to protect the guest's privacy," said Zimmerman who graduated from Niagara University with a concentration in luxury hospitality operations.
In addition to the travel and hospitality industry, luxury-oriented jobs can be found at high end car, clothing, accessories, retailers and jewelry companies such as Maybach, Maserati, Prada Louis Vuitton, Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys, Gulfstream, Cessna, Cartier and Harry Winston.
"Every single interaction and detail matters from your appearance to your body language and even down to your business card," said Amy Domiano, a 23-year-old who works as a manager at The Shops in Manhattan's Columbus Circle. "It's all a representation of the brand."