Hotel Manager: Job Description & Career Information

Hotel managers oversee the general operations of the lodging establishment that employs them while making sure all accommodations meet or exceed the expectations of their guests. Read about the training, skills, salary, and job outlook to see if you want to pursue this career.

Career Definition for Hotel Managers

A hotel manager may be employed by a family-style resort, a chain of budget hotels, or a luxury hotel. In some cases, he or she may even live on site. In larger establishments, the main responsibility of hotel managers may be to supervise the departmental managers who work under them. In smaller establishments, their duties may include managing staff, approving budgets, and solving problems with guests or employees. Regardless of which type or size of establishment they are overseeing, hotel managers are ultimately responsible for the smooth and profitable operation of the hotel that employs them.

Education Formal training not always required, but associate's or bachelor's in business management or hospitality may help secure a job
Job Duties Ensure smooth operation of business, manage staff, approve budgets
Median Salary (2018)* $53,390 (all lodging managers)
Job Growth (2016-2026)* 4% (all lodging managers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Formal training is not always required, but candidates with 2- or 4-year degrees in hospitality or business management may be more highly desired by some employers. The type of training that should be pursued depends upon your individual career goals. Budget-friendly hotels that offer few services may only require a hotel manager to have related work experience or to hold an associate's degree in business or hotel management. Up-scale hotels that cater to guests who expect many amenities will need more highly trained managers and may prefer candidates who've earned 4-year degrees in the hospitality or business field. Coursework for these programs may include such topics as marketing, hotel administration, accounting, economics, and computer training.

Required Skills

Hotel managers need sound organizational skills and should be self-starters. Strong communication and interpersonal skills will also be necessary, along with the ability to stay positive and professional during long work hours. Good leadership and problem-solving skills are required, along with a willingness to interact with travelers and employees from a wide variety of countries and cultures.

Career and Economic Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects slower than average growth of 4%, from 2016 to 2026 for lodging manager positions. In 2018, the bureau recorded the median annual salary for all types of hotel and lodging managers at $53,390, with the top ten percent earning $102,410 and up. Hotel managers may also enjoy benefits such as profit-sharing and annual bonuses. In some cases, housing and educational assistance may also be provided.

Alternate Career Options

Similar career options in this field include:

Food Service Managers

Although formal education programs aren't required for this position, managers with food service experience and bachelor's degrees may have the best job prospects. These managers are responsible for the smooth operation of businesses that prepare and serve foods to customers. An about as fast-as-average job growth of 9% was projected by the BLS for this occupation from 2016-2026. This position offered a median annual salary of $54,240 in 2018.

Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers

A college degree isn't always required, especially with the knowledge of property management, but many employers look for applicants with degrees in related fields, in addition to previous experience. These managers make sure properties look pleasant and operate smoothly. Faster than average increase of 10% was expected for these jobs from 2016 to 2026, and in 2018, these managers earned an annual median wage of $58,340, per the BLS.


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