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Hotel Hierarchy of Positions
Every job in the hotel industry demands a lot from its employees, including booking reservations, handling guest requests, catering weddings, outfitting rooms, fixing elevators or leaky showers, cooking for a company brunch and reserving theater tickets and dinner dates. Like in any other business, there is a totem pole of positions, from the highest ranking CEO to the lowest ranking dishwasher or parking lot attendant. But no matter what the role, each person working in a hotel reflects on the hotel standards.
Managing a hotel starts from the top with the hotel company's chief executive officer. The CEO is in charge of making all final decisions concerning the hotel, running meetings and presentations, launching new hotels and making the final decision on general managers for individual hotels. After the CEO, the hotel's general manager is the hotel's go-to person for all issues, from guest complaints to giving the final say for hotel events and agreements. A hotel general manager often hires an assistant manager to help with more time-consuming projects including working with human resources to hire and lay off employees, working with accounting services and generally overseeing the work of all other hotel employees.
According to salary charts from Indeed.com, other managerial employees--listed from higher paid to lower paid positions--include the regional director of sales and marketing, human resources director, events director, events coordinator or assistant director, banquet manager, restaurant director or manager, supervising engineer and the front office manager.
Front Office Employees
Front office employees run the hotel's front desk. These employees book reservations, take guest requests, direct guest issues or complaints to management, guide guests to concierge services and ensure that the hotel guest is satisfied with her stay.
The top front office employee is the front office manager. The manager oversees all front desk operations, handles special guest requests and ensures that all departments--housekeeping, bellmen, and door attendants--are performing duties as assigned. This manager might also hire or lay off employees along with the human resources department.
In larger hotels with more than 60 rooms, the second from the top is often the guest services manager, who is responsible for overseeing guest services to ensure that all guests are provided for and treated with polite, courteous and efficient attention. The manager also directs guest service agents, making sure to maximize room revenue and occupancy.
Other front office positions, from highest pay to lowest, include all front desk agents, reservation specialists, telephone operators and uniformed services, including bellmen, door attendants and valet workers.
Food and Beverage Department
Food and beverage services at a hotel require expert management. A hotel in a prime location must manage a high volume of guests and cater to their special requests and tastes. The hierarchy of a hotel restaurant starts with the restaurant manager or director. This manager oversees food preparation and health and sanitation standards. She is also responsible for ensuring guest satisfaction and representing the hotel’s standards and styles.
Following the restaurant manager are the assistant manager, chef, banquet director, and sommelier, or wine director. There are usually three or four assistant managers to fill in when there are absences and cover the hotel around the clock, aid the restaurant manager in directing employees and ensure top restaurant quality at all times. Other positions, from highest to lowest, include the sous-chef, bartenders, servers and room service attendants, table bussers, coffee shop baristas and cashiers, if the hotel has a café. Last, but not least, are dishwashers and kitchen cleanup staff.
Sales, Accounting and Administration
Office administration roles, including marketing, sales, accounting, payroll and invoice services, might be combined, depending on the size of the hotel and its staff, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2010 report.
Maintenace, Cleaning and Engineering
Hotel employees with the lowest pay and profile work in housekeeping and maintenance. But they are of the utmost importance to the hotel's reputation and quality assurance.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, hotel management training programs include courses in housekeeping, maintenance, and engineering management so that managers know how to direct employees in this line of work. The rest of the hotel staff relies on these workers to create clean, functional and enjoyable spaces for their guests.
Hotel managers and assistant managers oversee housekeeping employees and follow-up on guestroom service calls to ensure each guest's room meets the hotel’s quality standards.
Noelle Carver has been a freelance writer since 2009, with work published in "SSYK" and "The Wolf," two U.K. literary journals. Carver holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature from American University and a Master of Fine Arts in writing from The New School. She lives in New York City.