Hotel Operations Manager: Job Description and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a hotel operations manager. Get a quick overview of the requirements and details about education, job duties and responsibilities to find out if this is the right career for you. View article »

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  • 0:01 Essential Information
  • 0:23 Job Description
  • 1:10 Job Requirements
  • 2:34 Employment Outlook and…

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Video Transcript

Essential Information

In order to be successful, hotels need an experienced hotel operations manager to oversee day-to-day operations. Duties include supervising the work staff and interacting with customers to ensure satisfaction. Prospective professionals may qualify for this job with a bachelor's degree, or related work experience and a certificate or associate's degree.

Job Description

Hotel operations managers oversee the entire operations of a lodging establishment. Operations include human resources, housekeeping, security, public relations, food service, sales and finances. It is the hotel operations manager's job to deal effectively with customers, bosses and staff workers while keeping the hotel running smoothly.

A hotel operations manager may have assistants or assign department heads to help manage the hotel. Creating a work schedule, hiring new employees, and training staff are all duties a hotel operations manager can perform. While company executives usually set various hotel polices, the hotel operations manager will sometimes get to assign special discounts or honor advertising promotions.

Job Requirements

Degree Level Bachelor's degree (associate or certificate may suffice at smaller properties)
Degree Field(s) Hotel, business or hospitality management
Licensure/Certification None
Experience Prior hotel or lodging experience; management training programs available
Key Skills Leadership, motivational, communication, customer service, supervisory, and management skills
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 8% growth
Average Annual Salary (2015) $57,810

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The ideal education for a hotel operations manager is a bachelor's degree in hotel, business or hospitality management. In some cases, a general liberal arts degree at this level is acceptable if the applicant has hospitality work experience. The same is true for job candidates at smaller hotel chains who hold an associate's degree or certificate. The graduate should come from a program accredited by a reputable organization, such as the Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging Association. Programs are available across the United States at universities, vocational schools and community colleges.

Prospective managers benefit from having prior work experience working for a hotel or other type of lodging. This can be acquired through school internships or by getting hired in an entry-level position, working as an assistant or front desk clerk, for example.

Working in an entry-level position helps the individual understand the inner workings of a hotel from the ground up. Observing how each department works while gaining experience can lead to in-house promotion opportunities, especially after one has earned a degree. Many hotels and hotel chains offer managerial trainee programs for employees.

Demonstrating strong leadership and motivational skills is important for the hotel operations manager when supervising employees. Strong communication skills are also essential in meeting the needs of the customers and making sure their stay is a satisfactory one.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

In 2015, lodging managers earned an average annual salary of $57,810, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Employment for lodging managers was expected to increase by 8% from 2014-2024, per the BLS. To become a hotel operations manager, it helps to have a college degree and plenty of experience in the industry.

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