Hospitality managers oversee the general operations of lodging facilities, primarily hotels, casinos and convention resorts. They coordinate and supervise departmental tasks, such as housekeeping, front office, food and beverage, room service, maintenance, among others, related to the routine operations of the property. They extend hospitality to guests by providing leadership and oversight of the many aspects that contribute to a favorable guest experience and the smooth and efficient running of a hotel.
Job Profile and Primary Duties
Hospitality managers lead and direct hotel operations. They are senior members of the hotel staff and usually have reporting responsibility for the hotel's department heads, such as finance controllers, directors of human resources, executive housekeepers and other assistant hospitality managers. Hospitality managers develop and communicate standard operating procedures, establish standards for customer service, manage budgets, approve expenditures and provide leadership to staff. They also confer with department heads to coordinate activities that support the collective running of a hotel.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
Hospitality management careers involve frequent human interaction and communication. The basic competencies required to carry out the responsibilities of a hospitality manager include business acumen, excellent communication, leadership, relationship building and interpersonal skills. Knowledge of the best practices and procedures for customer service, hospitality management, hotel operations and motivating and disciplining hospitality workers are particularly useful. Hospitality managers with advanced knowledge of hotel operations, human resources and business management techniques perform extremely well.
Hospitality managers employed by larger hotel chains almost always require a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Hospitality companies generally prefer candidates with degrees in hospitality, hotel or business management. Some companies may accept candidates with liberal arts degrees if combined with sufficient experience in the hospitality industry. Management courses and training programs are available to lodging managers seeking to advance their career. Hospitality corporations may fund continuing education programs for their associates, particularly ones who demonstrate leadership potential.
Large hotel chains generally offer better opportunities for career advancement. Hospitality managers may broaden their career opportunities by relocating to a different hotel or seeking employment with another hotel chain. Some may move on to management positions in a hotel chain’s corporate or regional offices. Hospitality managers with American Hotel & Lodging Association (H&LA) certifications may fast-track their professional advancement. Certification programs usually involve a combination of coursework, examinations and related job experience.
Factors, such as hotel size, type, market, brand and parent hospitality company can dramatically affect a hospitality manager’s compensation. Hospitality management positions in United States average annual earnings of $67,684 to $124,169, as of 2010, according to national income trends from SalaryWizard. The average 2010 expected salary for a hospitality manager in the United States is $95,399.