Motel Manager: Education & Career Overview

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a hotel manager. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and work experience to find out if this is the career for you.

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If you're interested in a career as a motel manager, you will typically need a degree in hospitality management and work experience in the field. The degree you complete usually depends on whether you work as a manager of a large, upscale hotel or a smaller motel with fewer amenities. Additionally, you will need to have strong marketing, management and customer service skills.

Essential Information

Undergraduate and graduate degree programs in hospitality management prepare students to work as managers of motels, hotels, resorts and other travel accommodations. Motel and hotel managers frequently hold an undergraduate degree and have several years of industry experience. Strong customer service skills and the ability to handle complaints diplomatically is a must.

Required Education Bachelor's degree or undergraduate certificate
Other Requirements Customer service experience
Projected Job Growth 8% from 2014-2024*
Median Salary (2015) $49,720 annually*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Education Options for a Career in Motel and Hotel Management

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), education and training requirements to become a motel, hotel or resort manager vary depending on the size of the establishment and the range of guest services offered (www.bls.gov). Large, upscale and full-service hotel chains typically require managers to hold a bachelor's or master's degree in hospitality management or a similar field; small motel or hotel chains with fewer guest amenities train and hire managers with a certificate or an associate's degree in a hospitality management field. In all cases, the BLS recommended hospitality experience for prospective motel and hotel managers in the form of internships and summer or part-time work in the industry.

Motel and hotel management positions require a combination of customer service, business marketing and management skills. Individuals interested in a career as a motel or hotel manager will need to be comfortable interacting with guests and resolving problems or complaints. Managers also hire, train, assign and observe hotel staff to make sure the operation runs smoothly. Managers are often responsible for ensuring the financial success of the establishment by setting room rates, creating promotional materials, setting budgets and adjusting the services offered by the motel, hotel or resort. Training, education and work experience can help potential managers acquire the skills to effectively run a lodging establishment.

Certificate Programs

Certificate programs in hotel or hospitality management can provide advanced training or continuing education for hospitality industry professionals. Undergraduate certificates prepare students for entry-level careers at lodging establishments and typically include 30-35 credit hours. Graduate certificates are intended for degree holders and include 12-15 credit hours of instruction to supplement a student's existing education and industry experience.

Associate's Degree Programs

An associate's degree in hospitality management allows students to enter the hospitality industry or transfer to a bachelor's degree program. In addition to general education requirements, an associate's degree introduces students to the hospitality industry with classes in housekeeping, food preparation, beverage service management and customer service. Students also take business, accounting, marketing and basic computer skills courses.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

In addition to general education requirements and a strong core of business classes relevant to the hospitality industry, a bachelor's degree in hospitality management includes a broader range of hospitality management courses, which may include hospitality law, economics, information technology and tourism. Electives may provide instruction on management of special events, theme parks, golf courses, resorts and restaurants. These programs also include internships as a graduation requirement.

Master's Degree Programs

Hospitality industry professionals who already hold an undergraduate degree can enroll in hospitality management master's degree programs to strengthen their management skills and stay updated on changes to the industry. Courses often include tourism and travel, convention center or resort management, strategic marketing, financial analysis and advanced accounting, as well as a variety of special topics selected based on the student's interest.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for lodging managers would experience average growth of 8% from 2014-2024. The median annual wage for this profession in 2015 was $49,720, the BLS noted.

Motel managers oversee staff, interact with customers and ensure the financial success of a motel. Degree programs that focus on hospitality management range from continuing education, advanced training, undergraduate or graduate certificate programs, to associate's, bachelor's or master's degrees. Demand for lodging managers, including those who run motels, is expected to grow at an average rate of 8% through the year 2024.

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