Whether traveling for business or pleasure, hotel guests want to have their needs met in pleasant surroundings, and a lodging or hotel manager is the person who makes that happen. The hotel manager is in charge of everything from supervising concierge services to balancing the budget and ordering supplies.
The job requirements and education necessary for a career as a hotel manager vary depending on the type and location of the lodging. A bed and breakfast in Vermont may simply require a certificate in hospitality while a larger hotel chain in Los Angles may insist that managers possess a master’s degree in business administration.
It’s possible to manage a small hotel with an associate degree and a few years of experience in the industry. Larger hotels and resorts require at least a bachelor’s degree in business or hospitality management or even a master’s degree in business, hospitality or hotel management.
Most degree programs have a work-study unit so that candidates will get job training as they continue their education.
Hotel managers are responsible for organizing all aspects of the hotel. They must keep the guests happy and balance the budget at the same time. Depending on the size of the hotel, they may supervise the housekeeping and foodservice staff as well as monitor reception and guest services.
The daily job duties of a hotel manager may include:
Many managers use their experience to open up their own hotels or inns. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 54 percent of hotel managers are self-employed.
The salary range for hotel managers varies according to the location and size of the hotel. The manager of a large, metropolitan hotel will earn twice as much as a counterpart in a small bed and breakfast. Not all of the benefits of the job are financial — many managers enjoy perks such as meals, parking, laundry services and even free lodging.
According to the BLS, the median salary for a hotel manager was $42,320 in 2006, with the highest 10 percent earning over $82,510 per year. The growth in the industry is expected to be about average, expanding 12 percent through 2016.