Hotel and Lodging Careers

Hotels are busy environments with many working parts. Therefore, managing a hotel requires organization, teamwork, strong leadership skills, the ability to multitask, the ability to work well under pressure and problem solving skills.

Since hotels are part of the hospitality industry, hotel managers must uphold high standards of service. A hotel’s reputation is important for future business and must be maintained. Aside from ensuring that all departments of the hotel run smoothly, the primary concern of a hotel manager is ensuring that hotel guests are comfortable and satisfied.

Skills and Tasks

Successful hotel managers must have extensive knowledge of hospitality, excellent customer service skills, excellent communication skills, composure, sociability and flexibility. The everyday tasks of a hotel manager vary depending on the size of the hotel. Larger hotels usually have managers for each department, including housekeeping, food and beverage, amenities, security, transportation and others.

Larger hotels with this arrangement also have one general manager that each department head must report to. Smaller hotels usually only have one hotel manager who oversees every department. Managers at small hotels typically interact with hotel guests more often than managers at large hotels, who may spend more time dealing with the heads of different departments.

The typical tasks of a hotel manager include:

  • Setting a budget and ensuring the hotel stays within it.
  • Hiring staff and organizing training for new staff members.
  • Making sure the hotel is maintained at all times.
  • Overseeing hotel events.
  • Ensuring that the hotel obeys laws regarding licensing, health and safety.

Salary

Salaries of hotel managers depend on factors like level of responsibility, time spent in the industry and the type of hotel. Hotel managers working in luxury hotels and large chain hotels typically earn more. However, expectations for their job performance are also greater. Hotel managers working in hotels, inns, hostels, bed and breakfasts, small independent hotels and budget hotels typically earn less.

Qualifications

Employers of hotel managers weigh experience above all other qualifications. However, a bachelor’s degree is usually required in larger hotels. Sometimes, these large hotels accept an associate’s degree or certificate in conjunction with work experience.

The level of education required also depends on the requirements of the position. Specifically, employers of hotel managers look for experience in managerial positions, as well as in catering or retail environments. Obtaining an internship in hospitality can be very helpful in eventually attaining a hospitality job. Many hotel managers start out working in menial positions at the hotels they manage and work their way up.

Having a degree in a relevant subject will also improve your chances of landing a position as a hotel manager. These subjects include management, hospitality and tourism studies. Some hotels even offer graduate training programs for prospective employees. Many colleges and universities offer extensive hospitality programs, with courses such as food and beverage management, event planning and management, food service operations, developing a hospitality business and other related courses.

Pros and Cons

Hotel managers work long hours. Often, they have to work late nights, on the weekends or on public holidays. Problem solving is a major part of the position, so if something goes wrong, hotel managers are sometimes required to stay overtime until the issue is resolved. For instance, if the plumbing or electricity of the hotel malfunctions, the hotel manager is the person in charge of calling someone to get it fixed, implementing innovative strategies for damage control and reassuring guests.

On the other hand, working as a hotel manager can be extremely rewarding. The few guests who stay for an extended period of time, as well as frequent visitors of the hotel, can be interesting and warm people. Getting to know these few guests is always a pleasure, especially when they express their gratitude. Although few, these guests make up for the difficult guests a hotel manager must deal with on a daily basis.

Furthermore, hotel managers are extremely connected with the best resources in the industry. This includes chefs and caterers, entertainers, housekeepers, security personnel and many others. If a hotel manager ever wanted to throw a party, it would be fairly easy to plan and probably significantly cheaper than standard prices. The network of a hotel manager is considerably large and can be extremely beneficial to have for future jobs.

Helpful Tips

Hotel management careers can be easily obtained when starting out early on. Picking a specific field of interest and sticking with it will go a long way. For example, someone who knows they eventually want to end up working in a luxury hotel should pursue education related to luxury hotel operations and apply for internships at luxury hotels.

Spending time at one hotel is also beneficial for growth. Becoming as familiar as possible with the operations of one hotel will ensure expertise that can later be applied to the management of various other hotels.

Hotel management careers require a tolerance for a busy schedule and a love of people. If either of these conditions are difficult to accept, then hotel management may not be the right career for you.

Career Paths

Since hotel managers must oversee the operations of various departments, they have extensive experience in multiple industries. A hotel manager’s skill set can be highly valuable in many other positions, including positions in other vocational careers like food service, human resources, marketing, cruise ship services, airline services, hospital administration and even finance. Some hotel managers will cross over into other managerial positions in restaurants, casinos, clubs or the like. Others aspire to open their own hotels.

With the globalization of today’s world, positions in hotel management are in high demand. As the tourism sector becomes more global, the hotel management job market will continue to see growth. However, the market may also see an influx of individuals who are interested in becoming hotel managers. This may make finding a job more competitive. If you are looking to become a hotel manager, now is the time to get qualified.

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