Lodging managers held about 50,400 jobs in 2012. More than half were employed in the traveler accommodation industry, which includes hotels and motels.
Most of the remainder worked in other lodging establishments, such as recreational vehicle (RV) and recreational camps, youth hostels, inns, boardinghouses, bed-and-breakfasts, and resorts. About 39 percent were self-employed.
The pressures of coordinating a wide range of activities, turning a profit for investors, and dealing with dissatisfied guests can be stressful.
Most lodging managers are employed full time. Because hotels are open around the clock, working evenings, weekends, and holidays is common. Some managers must be on call 24 hours a day, particularly if they reside at the lodging establishment.
Many applicants can qualify as a lodging manager by having a high school diploma and several years of experience working in a hotel. However, most large, full-service hotels require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree. Hotels that provide fewer services generally accept applicants who have an associate’s degree or certificate in hotel management or operations.
Currently, 26 states plus the District of Columbia offer high school academic training for prospective lodging managers.
Most full-service hotel chains hire candidates with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality or hotel management. Hotel management programs typically include instruction in hotel administration, accounting, marketing, housekeeping, food service management and catering, and hotel maintenance and engineering. Computer training is also an integral part of many degree programs, because hotels use hospitality-specific software in reservations, billing, and housekeeping management. The Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration accredits about 60 hospitality management programs.
At hotels that provide few services, candidates with an associate’s degree or certificate in hotel, restaurant, or hospitality management may qualify for a job as a lodging manager.
Also, many technical institutes and vocational and trade schools offer courses that are recognized by the hospitality industry that may help in getting a job.
Work Experience in a Related Occupation
Hotel employees who do not have hospitality management training, but who show leadership potential and have several years of related work experience, may qualify for assistant manager positions.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Aspiring high school students can enroll in the Hospitality and Tourism Management Program (HTMP) created by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute. The HTMP is a 2-year program that teaches management principles and leads to professional certification: Certified Hospitality & Tourism Management Professional (CHTMP). Currently, 26 states plus the District of Columbia offer the program.
Large hotel chains may offer better opportunities than small, independently owned hotels for advancing from assistant manager to manager or from managing one hotel to being a regional manager. However, these opportunities usually involve relocating to another city or state.
Lodging managers typically have an interest in the Helping, Persuading and Organizing interest areas, according to the Holland Code framework. The Helping interest area indicates a focus on assisting, serving, counseling, or teaching other people. The Persuading interest area indicates a focus on influencing, motivating, and selling to other people. The Organizing interest area indicates a focus on working with information and processes to keep things arranged in orderly systems.
If you are not sure whether you have a Helping or Persuading or Organizing interest which might fit with a career as a lodging manager, you can take a career test to measure your interests.
Lodging managers should also possess the following specific qualities:
Business skills. Lodging managers address budget matters and coordinate and supervise workers. Operating a profitable hotel is important—as is the need to motivate and direct the work of employees.
Customer-service skills. Lodging managers must have good customer-service skills when dealing with guests. Satisfying guests’ needs is critical to a hotel’s success and helps to ensure customer loyalty.
Interpersonal skills. Lodging managers need strong interpersonal skills because they interact regularly with many different people. They must be effective communicators and must have positive interactions with guests and hotel staff, even in stressful situations.
Leadership skills. Lodging managers must establish good working relationships to ensure a productive work environment. This objective may involve motivating personnel, resolving conflicts, and listening to complaints or criticism from guests.
Listening skills. Lodging managers should have excellent listening skills. Listening to the needs of guests allows managers to take the appropriate course of action, ensuring guests’ satisfaction. Listening to the needs of workers helps managers keep good working relationships with the staff.
Organizational skills. Lodging managers keep track of many different schedules, budgets, and people at once. This task becomes more complex as the size of the hotel increases.
Problem-solving skills. The ability to resolve personnel issues and guest-related dissatisfaction is critical to the work of lodging managers. As a result, they should be creative and practical when confronted with problems.
The median annual wage for lodging managers was $46,810 in May 2012. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $29,290, and the top 10 percent earned more than $89,530.
In May 2012, median annual wages for lodging managers in the top four industries in which they worked were as follows:
|Administrative and support services||$58,670|
|RV (recreational vehicle) parks and recreational camps||48,460|
|Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar
Most lodging managers are employed full time. Because hotels are open around the clock, working evenings, weekends, and holidays is common. Some managers must be on call 24 hours a day.
Employment of lodging managers is projected to show little or no change from 2012 to 2022.
Despite expected growth in tourism and travel, fewer managers will be needed as the lodging industry shifts to building more limited-service hotels and fewer full-service properties that have separate departments to manage.
In addition, some lodging places are streamlining operations to cut expenses, by either eliminating some managers or scaling back the total number. Chain hotels, for instance, are increasingly assigning a single manager to oversee multiple properties within a region. Still, some large full-service hotels, including casinos, resorts, and convention hotels that provide a wide range of services to a larger customer base, will continue to generate jobs for experienced managers.
Those seeking jobs at hotels with the highest level of guest services are expected to face strong competition, as these positions are highly sought after by people trained in hospitality management or administration.
Applicants with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality or hotel management are expected to have the best job opportunities, particularly at upscale and luxury hotels.
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