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How to Become a Hotel Manager

Do you love hospitality and customer-focused operations? Are you an excellent manager with an eye for detail, and impeccable people skills? If this sounds like a dream position, you might love working as a hotel manager!

Hotel managers oversee several different types of staff, monitor performance and quality, manage inventory, budgets, customer issues, and more! From delegating and creating shifts to managing expenses to establishing rates, there’s little a hotel manager won’t handle.

Hotel managers are required to keep amenities and services at acceptable levels, and more efficiently organize staff activities. Without managers, you’d have trouble establishing reliable shifts for employees, ordering supplies, managing expenses, or even resolving customer complaints. 

Managers combine their administrative skills with great forecasting abilities and attention to detail. Anticipating the needs of staff and customers, being able to prevent major and minor issues from occurring, and resolving ongoing pain points are vital tools of the trade. Having great soft skills, like verbal and written communication abilities, will get you far as well.

Sample job description

We’re currently seeking a proven hospitality leader to be our next hotel manager. Our hotel is the premier destination for travelers visiting the city. We’re looking for an engaging, inspiring leader who has experience as a hospitality manager. The chosen candidate will be reporting directly to the managing director, and working closely with other executive committee personnel, hotel staff, and customers. We’re looking for someone with outstanding customer service, and a keen eye for quality control. If you’re a proven manager with a desire to provide outstanding service we invite you to apply.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Work closely with management, peers, and staff to ensure top-quality service and amenities
  • Coordinate, administrate, and manage all day-to-day operations
  • Continuously ensures guest service expectations are met and exceeded
  • Create and provide staff development and motivation programs
  • Create and review budgets and expenses, set objectives and targets
  • Create staff schedules
  • Participate in operations meetings to create action plans
  • Represent the hotel

Education and experience

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum 3 years experience in hospitality leadership or management position

Required skills and qualifications

  • Exceptional management skills
  • Ability to budget and forecast staff scheduling and finances
  • Ability to create and maintain relationships with contractors, vendors, and guests
  • Basic computer skills, specifically the MS Office Suite
  • Excellent time management and prioritization ability
  • Approachable demeanor, highly developed people skills
  • Ability to work nights, weekends, and holidays
  • Ability to work well under pressure
  • Ability to handle confrontations and resolve disputes
  • Great attention to detail

Preferred qualifications

  • 5 years experience in leadership or management position in hospitality, specifically hotel management
  • 2 years experience in a senior leadership position
  • Experience in an upscale hotel environment

Typical work environment

Hotel managers will sometimes work in an office environment. More often, they’ll spend most of the day on their feet. As a hotel manager, you’ll be attending meetings, visiting rooms, walking the hotel grounds for quality checks, meeting with guests, staff, and vendors. You’ll spend several hours standing and walking, and quite a bit of time seated at a desk working on administrative tasks.

Typical hours

The typical work hours for a hotel manager are typically expected to be quite flexible. Hotels are 24-hour operations, and management will be expected to provide service on weekends, holidays, and late nights. There also may be an expectation to be reachable at other times and remain on call for emergencies.

Available certifications

Being a hotel manager requires very specific kinds of knowledge. As such, there are a few different types of certifications that offer a well-rounded basis for maintaining a competitive edge:

  • CHA. The Certified Hotel Administrator is a rewarding and highly regarded path that provides a great entry point for managers, executives, and owners of any hotel, motel, or lodging company.
  • CRME. The Certified Hospitality Revenue Management executive demonstrates the holder’s ability to create and manage revenue streams created in the hospitality environment. The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International provides this certification, making it globally recognized and makes you a valuable resource.
  • CAE. The Certified Association Executive offers a wide range of credentials tailored to hospitality executives. Specifically designed for the industry leaders, this certification will offer an invaluable toolset to maintain a high professional and personal standard. After receiving this certification, you’ll be highly competitive in the job market.
  • CHIA. Certified in Hotel Industry Analytics demonstrates your ability to grasp the foundational metrics and methodologies used and applied by the most successful hotels in the world. This will demonstrate the applicant’s ability to approach problem-solving with an analytical and solution-focused mindset, with the end objective being long-term success for the company.

Career path

Your journey to becoming a hotel manager begins by obtaining a degree at an accredited university. Generally speaking, a bachelor’s degree will be the minimum expectation for the level of education required.

After you’ve obtained an education, getting a job in the hospitality world is key. There aren’t any better ways to become experienced in hotel operations than by diving in, so grabbing any job and working your way up is a great start.

Snagging any certifications along the way will go far in demonstrating your interest and passion in the career, and your growing expertise in hospitality management. Working your way up to any positions of leadership and responsibility would be the end objective at this stage.

Once you’ve obtained some seniority in a position of leadership, you can leverage your education, your experience, and knowledge to make yourself a desirable and competitive candidate for a hotel manager.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 11-9081

2020 Employment48,100
Projected Employment in 203048,500
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 9% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift4,200 increase

There will always need to be someone handling the administrative side of companies, and customers and clients will always expect someone to be around to answer for services offered. As long as there is staff, there will need to be someone to schedule, train, and organize them. And as long as there are expenses, someone will need to balance the budget. 

For that reason, you’ll continue to see a demand for managers in every hotel for the foreseeable future.