Certified Hospitality Supervisor: Certification & Career Info

Feb 27, 2019

Learn how to become a certified hospitality supervisor. Research the job description and the education and certification requirements, and find out how to start a career in hospitality and hotel management.

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  • 0:02 Should I Become a…
  • 1:09 Step 1: Obtain a…
  • 2:09 Step 2: Gain Work Experience
  • 2:55 Step 3: Become Certified
  • 3:53 Step 4: Pursue Career…

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Should I Become a Certified Hospitality Supervisor?

Degree Level High school diploma or equivalent; bachelor's degree preferred
Degree Field Hotel management or similar field
Licensure/Certification Voluntary certification available
Experience 5+ years of experience
Key Skills Customer-service, problem-solving, leadership, listening, interpersonal, organizational, and managerial skills; ability to use related customer relationship and facilities management software; familiarity with tools like credit card processing machines
Salary $57,810 (2015 average for all lodging managers)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employer job postings, O*Net OnLine

Hospitality supervisors, also known as lodging managers, oversee the everyday functions and staff of hotels, motels, and other lodging facilities. Some of the job duties of these supervisors include managing hotel grounds, buildings, and equipment as well as planning and developing grounds and facilities. They may also be responsible for directing personnel involved in maintenance and development, keeping records, and handling mail distribution. This portion can be quite stressful. Supervisors are often on-call around the clock and have to deal with demanding or difficult customers.

For that reason, strong customer-service, problem-solving, listening, and interpersonal skills are key. Also essential are organizational and leadership skills, as well as familiarity with hospitality management technology, like scheduling software. While the education and experience requirements for a career in hospitality management may be flexible, the requirements for certification are generally more specific. Let's take a look at the steps you might take to become a certified hospitality supervisor.

Step 1: Obtain a Bachelor's Degree

Although not required by all employers, obtaining a bachelor's degree can be beneficial for prospective hospitality supervisors. Related programs include bachelor's degrees in hospitality management and in hospitality and tourism. In these programs, the curriculum often includes coursework in hospitality management, hospitality law, leadership, business finance, and hotel operation, as well as internship opportunities. Students can also find certificate and degree programs in related areas, such as facility management.

During college it's important to develop communication and interpersonal skills, which can give you an edge in the job market. After all, hospitality supervisor jobs involve working directly people, so these professionals need excellent listening and speaking skills. An individual might opt to take electives in skill-building areas like public speaking, communications, and human resources. They may also join campus or community organizations to develop networking and people skills.

Step 2: Gain Work Experience

Many hospitality supervisor positions require several years of work experience in the hospitality industry. You can join the industry through entry-level hospitality positions, such as hotel front desk clerk, concierge, sales coordinator, or support staff. With time and demonstrated skills, you may earn promotion to more advanced positions. For instance, a front desk clerk might be promoted to front desk manager. From there, the worker might pursue a more advanced hospitality supervisor position, which generally comes with greater responsibility, more complex duties, and higher pay. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, lodging managers earned an average annual salary of $57,810 as of May 2015.

Step 3: Become Certified

With experience and skills, you may become certified through a professional organization. One major certifying body is the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute. The institute offers the Certified Hospitality Supervisor credential, which requires three months of supervisor experience or a degree from an accredited school. Candidates may skip the experience and education requirements if they hold other qualifying certification or complete a specialized training program. They must also pass an exam covering such topics as time management, team building, effective communication, and conflict resolution. Keep in mind that maintaining certification involves fulfillment of activity requirements like seminars and courses every five years. Other related certification options offered by the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute include the Certified Hotel Administrator and Certified Hospitality Facilities Executive designations.

Step 4: Pursue Career Advancement

After becoming certified, you may be qualified for more advanced positions within the industry. Depending on the size of the hotel or parent company, you may be able to advance from supervisor to director, or you might advance to a regional position that has you oversee several lodging facilities. Supervisors with an advanced degree, certification, and experience are more viable candidates for these senior positions.

Experience is the main requirement for a career as a certified hotel administrator, though post-secondary training can improve job prospects and help in the pursuit of certification.

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