Traveling to the US on a J-1 Visa is a big step that will further your career. However, we realize that it’s not always an easy decision.

You are going to spend 12 months away from your friends and family — so it’s important that the journey be worthwhile. This program needs to help your career and help you achieve success after you return home.

It’s important for you to ask the right questions and set your expectations properly before you set off to get your Visa.

We help hundreds of aspiring hospitality professionals every year as they venture into the US to grow their resume. We’ve answered a lot of questions during that time from excited young people just like you.

6 Answers to Your Top Questions About J-1 Visa Jobs for Hospitality Students

We’ve answered hundreds of questions and helped thousands of interns and trainees over the years. This list represents 6 of the top-most questions that we get asked specifically about working a job during the J-1 visa program.

Related Reading: Frequently Asked Questions from J-1 Interns and Trainees

1. How Much Will I Get Paid?

You will receive paid training during your J-1 program. You will be treated just like an American employee and compensated comparably.

You can expect to earn the following amounts:

  • Front Office: Between US $10.00 to US $17.00 per hour
  • Food and Beverage: Average US $12.00 per hour (includes gratuity) – you will receive an hourly rate plus unlimited tips
  • Culinary: Between US $10.00 to US $17.00 per hour
  • Supervisors can expect to earn more.

2. What Taxes am I Responsible For?

Like everyone else who works in the U.S., you too have to pay your taxes BUT you don’t have to pay all of them.

When you arrive at your training your host company will ask you to complete two important tax documents, the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form and the W-4 Employees Withholding Allowance Certificate.

Taxes You Should Not Pay Include:

  • Social Security Tax
  • Medicare
  • Federal Unemployment

Taxes You Should Pay Include:

  • Federal Income Tax
  • State Income Tax
  • City Income Tax

Related Reading: Intern and Trainee Program Benefits

3. Can I Choose What City/State I Want to Work In?

Although we encourage you to provide us with any location preferences you may have, please remember that you may be limiting your placement options if you hold out for a certain location.

When you’re planning your destination, you should also consider that the high cost of living in popular tourist locations and how that relates to your wages. You can always travel and visit the tourist spots on weekends, vacation time, or during your 30-day grace period after your program ends.

If you ONLY want to be placed in a specific state and we will say no to any other state or opportunity we have available, then that is possible. However, it’s important to understand that you may wait an additional 3 months or more to find a placement and you will have to pay an additional fee.

4. What Hotel Brand Will I Be Placed In?

That will depend on what is available during your program dates and your experience. However, we have several luxury brand hotels/ resorts in the USA that are interested in providing you a PAID hands-on work and training platform, as a foundation for your career in hospitality.

We will place you with hotels such as Hyatt Regency, Hilton, Sheraton, Marriott, Westin, The Four Seasons, Intercontinental, W Hotel, Renaissance, PLUS many more!

5. What Job Positions are Available?

We have job placements for the rooms division, food & beverage, and culinary positions. These include jobs such as:


  • Front Office
  • Concierge
  • Reservations
  • At Your Service
  • Phone Operator / PBX
  • Night Audit


  • Server
  • Host/Hostess
  • Dining Room Attendant
  • Banquets and Events
  • In-Room Dining


  • All Levels Available – for American and Fine Dining hotels and resorts in the USA

Related Reading: View Open Positions for Interns and Trainees

6. What Type of Tasks Will I be Doing?

The tasks that you will ask to perform will vary by job position.

  • F&B Service Positions (restaurant, catering/banquets, hotel outlets) – the focus is customer service skill, US service standards, teamwork, communication, financial goals, sales/marketing, leadership
  • Beverage Service – focus must include cost control, service standards, sales and marketing, inventory, bar management.
  • F&B Host – focus includes restaurant “floor” management, teamwork, leadership, communication, customer service
  • Professional Culinary Training Positions – must be rotated through different levels
  • Resort Activities and Event Planning – focus must be on event planning, scheduling and marketing, cost control and learning the position in order to understand its management and overall role in the operation
  • Advanced Training/Supervisor Skills – Interns/Trainees are encouraged to learn about budgeting, marketing, management, and scheduling.
  • Front Desk/Concierge/Reservations

Related Reading: Do I Quality as an Intern or Trainee?

Are You Ready to Start Your Application?

Now that you’re armed with the information you need to help you make a decision, it’s time to take the next big step for your career.

Start your application with HPUSA and let us help guide you through the application progress to secure your visa and find employment in the US with a Host Employer.