How To Become a Hotel Manager: A Step-by-Step Manual

Marketing 13 minute read 3rd June 2024

Hotel managers are the backbone of a hotel’s success. They lead the team, oversee guest experience departments, and serve as a point of contact for solving customer problems. This position’s importance makes it fulfilling and exciting, prompting many to wonder, “How to become a hotel manager?”

Before we answer that question, let’s get one thing straight. It’s not mandatory to get a degree to become a hotel manager.

However, if this is your preferred path, you’ll require more years of hands-on experience than people with a degree. That might prove harder to achieve in practice. So, be mindful when planning your career as a hotel manager.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s explore the step-by-step guide to “How do you become a hotel manager?”

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What Does a Hotel Manager Do?

A hotel manager oversees all aspects of the hotel’s day-to-day operations. The following is a list of activities that are part of any hotel management career. This will answer the question, “What does a hotel manager do?”

  1. Leading the team: Hotel managers recruit, train, and supervise employees across various departments, including front desk operations. They also ensure compliance with employment laws and create and execute hotel policies.
  2. Working on guest experience: Hotel managers play a major role in ensuring a positive experience for the hotel’s guests. They address guest concerns, make decisions using customer feedback, and solve any problems that might occur.
  3. Reputation management: Sometimes, hotel management duties also include handling a hotel’s online reputation and gaining and managing reviews.
  4. Financial management: A hotel manager’s financial responsibilities include managing budgets, controlling expenses, and setting ambitious yet achievable sales targets. They may also create financial reports and identify the best pricing strategies.
  5. Promotions and marketing: Lastly, managers handle promotions for accommodation bookings and marketing by planning events or overlooking the marketing team. Guest WiFi for accommodation is another useful tool.

Remember, large hotels have many different types of management positions to handle these duties. On the other hand, small hotels usually only hire a single person to oversee everything.

How Much Do Hotel Managers Make?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for hotel managers is $65,360. However, the actual number for “How much do hotel managers make” depends on experience, position, and the hotel itself.

For example, an entry-level hotel manager position can offer anywhere from $40,000 to $45,000 annually. Remember, entry-level typically means less than one year of experience.

You can expect this number to increase as you climb up the ladder. Highly experienced hotel managers might make up to $60,000, whereas luxury hotels even offer more than $100,000.

When you apply for hotel management jobs, you might also find salaries depending on working hours. Since hotels work around the clock, especially during holidays, managers must be active and put in more hours.

However, you can expect to work from 9 am to 5 pm on typical days.

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How To Become a Hotel Manager in 6 Steps

After reading the numbers, becoming a manager may be at the top of your list. However, it’s not as straightforward as it sounds.

Earlier, we mentioned that a degree isn’t mandatory. But there are still some educational requirements you need to fulfill. Moreover, some hotels explicitly mention a degree requirement.

Therefore, people who become successful hotel managers take things step-by-step. If you want to do the same, here’s how to become a hotel manager in six steps.

1. Fulfill the Educational Requirements

The first step is to fulfill the educational requirements. Even if you don’t want a degree, you’ll need a high school diploma.

If you’re ready to spend several years gaining hands-on experience to stand out, you’re welcome to skip a degree. This means you might have to start with basic positions like a receptionist in [the hospitality industry](

However, consider a hospitality degree if you want to start as a hotel manager as soon as possible. It will equip you with all the knowledge you need to start right away.

Moreover, hotels often favor degrees when hiring a manager because it shows you’re serious about the position. Once you have that degree, you can consider additional courses or even a master’s degree.

2. Acquire the Necessary Soft and Hard Skills

Once you have fulfilled the educational requirements, focus on gaining the necessary skills. This includes both specific and general skills as well as soft skills that can help you navigate this role.

If we talk about specific skills, the first thing you need to learn is how a hotel works. After all, how will you oversee the operations if you don’t know what they are? Moreover, you need to learn leadership and staff management. Hotel managers must also generate sales and hotel marketing ideas. These can include email marketing initiatives for hotels.

Moving on to general skills, you must acquire financial management skills, strategic planning skills, excellent customer service knowledge, etc. Moreover, you’ll need problem-solving skills, excellent communication, time management skills, confidentiality, and the ability to take initiative.

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3. Get Experience in the Hotel Industry

As you know, a hotel manager’s salary directly depends on their experience in the industry. If you want to be successful, you must let those numbers shine on your resumé. So, after getting the necessary education and skills, it’s time to put them to use.

There are various types of hotel managers, such as food and beverage managers, back-of-house managers, and event managers.

So, the internships or job opportunities you look for will depend on the type you want to pursue.

At this point, you don’t necessarily have to look for managerial positions. Taking up basic positions relevant to your goal will familiarize you with the role.

4. Apply To Entry-Level Positions in the Hospitality Industry

Your career as a hotel manager doesn’t have to start with management positions. In fact, recruiters often favor a diverse portfolio in this field. For most, this journey starts at the front desk!

Being a friendly face that welcomes guests or guides them around as a hotel concierge is a classic entry point.

However, these positions might be too basic for some tastes. If that’s the case, you can join the event service staff, housekeeping attendant, or food and beverage service staff.

Look for networking opportunities at events, explore social media platform groups, or visit job boards as a start.

5. Rise Through the Ranks

On your way to becoming a successful hotel manager, you wouldn’t want to be stuck with entry-level jobs. Therefore, continue exploring job boards, and as soon as you have enough experience, switch to a management position.

Some hotels hire managers from their staff by promoting them. For example, showing exemplary performance as an event staff member might get you promoted to an event manager position.

Rising through the ranks also means promotion from a specific department manager to a general hotel manager. Whatever path you take, the key is to always look for growth opportunities.

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6. Earn Relevant Certifications

In some cases, the previous step might require you to earn relevant certifications. After all, you must prove that you’re serious about your position and want to put in the effort.

Visit The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) website as a starting point. They offer various certifications that might be useful for your cause.

The best options include Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA), Food Safety Manager Certification, and Certified Hospitality and Tourism Management Professional (CHTMP.)

All in all, it’s not so straightforward to become a hotel general manager or a regular manager in the industry. As with all satisfying jobs, it requires commitment and persistence.

Stand Out as a Hotel Manager for Even More Success

Now you know how to become a hotel manager. However, your effort should remain consistent even after you’ve reached your desired rank. Other candidates might outrank you if you stop improving your skills and knowledge.

Always keep track of the latest industry trends and suggest new opportunities. This would be enough to set you apart.

Are you looking for some extra help in standing out as a hotel manager? At Beambox, we help businesses manage their reputations — online or offline. We utilize a dynamic approach to connect, attract, and retain customers. Start your Beambox free trial today!

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