Hotel managers oversee operations at various types of hotels and other lodging facilities. They are responsible for the day-to-day activities of workers in the front office, kitchen, and dining rooms, as well as the accounting, bookkeeping, purchasing, and housecleaning departments. They handle any complaints or problems that may arise concerning employees or guests of the hotel. They create the standards by which hotel employees are evaluated, as well as standards for service, room prices, advertising, and publicity.
A hotel manager's duties are largely determined by the size and type of facility in which they work. Large hotels usually require hotel managers to focus on administrative tasks such as directing the heads of the various departments, such as the convention manager, food manager, personnel manager, recreation manager, and sales manager. Some large hotels tend to centralize a great deal of these positions so the individual branches do not have to have responsibility for them. Hotel managers who manage small- to medium-sized hotels usually function as owner-operators and manage all functions of the facility. They usually hire employees themselves, and they often help with work such as inspecting rooms, setting tables, and other tasks that need to be completed.
Those interested in the occupation of hotel manager should have a few very important personal qualities. They need to have excellent oral and written communication skills. They must be good at working independently and as a member of a team. They should have excellent problem-solving skills and the ability to remain calm under intense pressure.
Salaries of hotel managers vary tremendously. In hotels with fewer than 100 rooms, hotel managers make between $7.70 and $14.50 per hour. In hotels with more than 100 rooms, they make between $9.20 and $22.20 per hour and sometimes more. Some managers in large, prestigious hotels in metropolitan or resort areas earn $10,000 per month.
Training and Education
Most hotel managers have a bachelor's or associate degree in hotel administration. Depending on the level of training and experience prior to being hired, managers may be assigned different types of entry-level work. Many begin their work for an employer by training in account departments or as an assistant to a department manager. Some universities offer four-year hotel management programs, which are highly recommended for those serious about a career in the industry. For those attending colleges without a formal hotel management program, courses in business administration, law, labor relations, and economics are encouraged. The American Hotel and Motel Association offers a program of professional certification to employees already working in the industry.
Between 2002 and 2012, employment of hosts and hostesses is expected to increase faster than the average. More lodging facilities will be built as a result of a growing population and economy. This will spur demand for employees who can successfully manage these facilities and give them an edge in an increasingly competitive industry.
To learn more about hospitality, retail, and travel related careers, please visit our section on Hospitality Schools for more information.