Bed and Breakfast Innkeeper
How to Become a

Bed And Breakfast Innkeeper

The complete career guide to be a Bed And Breakfast Innkeeper: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $57,810
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 7.6%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Flexible Hours
    Career Attribute

Bed and breakfast innkeepers run small lodging establishments, usually out of their own homes. They rent out rooms of the home for one or more nights, and they offer more personalized service and attention to guests than traditional hotels, often cooking one or multiple meals for staying guests.

Recommended Schools

What is a Bed And Breakfast Innkeeper?

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in bed and breakfast innkeeper roles:

  • Manage room bookings, and market lodgings through multiple outlets
  • Interact with guests to determine needs and ensure pleasant experiences
  • Handle guest complaints and work to resolve issues
  • Perform administrative tasks like booking rooms, creating bills, and collecting payments
  • Cook, clean, and stock needed items, and help guests find nearby attractions they may enjoy

A Day in the Life

Bed and breakfast innkeepers run small hotels, usually out of their own homes. They allow one or more guests to rent rooms for a night or longer, and cater to guests’ need more attentively than traditional hotels. Bed and breakfast innkeepers perform the tasks that many different employees would handle in a hotel—they book reservations, check in guests, cook meals, clean rooms, and change bed linens, and help guest resolve issues or find nearby attractions, restaurants, and activities of interest.

In some cases, the bed and breakfast innkeeper may keep staff to help with responsibilities, and in other cases, he/she may perform all of the roles. In addition to normal lodging operations, the innkeeper must also work to market his/her B&B inn through multiple venues. The innkeeper may manage a website, purchase ads in travel magazines, or stock informational brochures at tourist bureaus. They also handle all booking, billing, and collection activities, ensuring the profitability of the bed and breakfast.

Because bed and breakfast inns are usually considered more quaint and personal establishments, the decorations and state of the home used as the inn is important. When not managing guests, bed and breakfast innkeepers may spend a lot of time performing house repairs, decorating and redecorating rooms, painting inside and out, and choosing the perfect furniture and accessories to provide the right tone and feel for the establishment. They also spend time restocking goods for guests’ convenience.

Typical Work Schedule

Most bed and breakfast innkeepers are self-employed, so they can keep whatever hours they choose. If they want to work only in the summer, they can offer rooms seasonally. If they only want to work weekends, they can offer reservations on weekends only. When they do have guests, they may have tasks to attend to during the full stay, at any time during the paid-for 24 hours or more.

Typical Employers

Most bed and breakfast innkeepers are self-employed and manage their own bed and breakfast establishments. A few may be employed to manage or operate bed and breakfasts owned by other individuals who do not have the time or ability to operate the establishments themselves.

Recommended Schools

How To Become a Bed And Breakfast Innkeeper

Since most bed and breakfast inns are independently owned, the basic requirement for running a bed and breakfast is owning a house that’s large enough to rent rooms out to guests. Generally, houses used as B&Bs are older homes that have been restored and intricately decorated, and those that have multiple bathrooms or multiple floors to allow guests more privacy. Once your property is ready for guests, you’ll need to apply for a business license and get your property zoned appropriately, if needed.

Becoming familiar with legal rules and regulations will be critical before you open for business. It may be worth meeting with a lawyer to discuss options and concerns before moving forward. Parking restrictions, liquor licenses, and demands to upgrade appliances or pools may be required to operate legally. Every state, county, and municipality has different regulations, so studying the laws yourself or employing a lawyer or expert to inform you of requirements is critical.

Since you’ll be self-employed, no formal education is required to operate a B&B, and you can open an establishment whether you have professional innkeeping experience or not. However, college coursework or a degree in business, hospitality management, or marketing can be hugely helpful in running a profitable business. Additionally, experience working in hotels or inns is also beneficial because it allows you to anticipate guest needs and learn how to resolve guest problems.

Bed And Breakfast Innkeeper Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Bed And Breakfast Innkeeper salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Bed And Breakfast Innkeeper's can make an average annual salary of $57,810, or $28 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $36,700 or $18 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #297 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Bed And Breakfast Innkeeper. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Bed And Breakfast Innkeepers

  • 1.9%   Doctorate
  • 7.8%   Masters
  • 33.2%   Bachelors
  • 9.3%   Associates
  • 24.1%   College
  • 18.8%   High School
  • 5%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Bed And Breakfast Innkeeper job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 3,700 jobs for a total of 52,100 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 7.6% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #292 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Bed And Breakfast Innkeepers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Self-employed workers 15,800 700 1%
RV (recreational vehicle) parks and recreational camps 1,100 300 0%
Management of companies and enterprises 900 --- ---

Want To Be a Bed And Breakfast Innkeeper? Get Started!

Generate your free SmartPlan™ to identify colleges you like, and potential ways to save on a degree or certification program toward your career with courses, offers, and much more!

Enroll Now and Get Started

or Learn More →