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Definition of a Duty Manager in a Hotel

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Hotel Duty Managers possess a busy, emotionally taxing job that requires them to be incessantly on their toes and ready for the worst-case scenario. They ensure that the hotel operates efficiently and effectively when the General Manager is not there. Duty Managers must have a kind personality, an excellent attention to detail and thrive in a fast-paced work environment.


Hotel duty managers provide the hotel with a person who is authorized to make managerial decisions upon the absence of the General Manager. The General Manager is not able to be present at all times, and the hotel needs a manager for the times when he is not there. Some larger hotels also employ a duty manager when the General Manager is present. In these cases, the Duty Manager performs the more basic managerial tasks, while the General Manager concentrates his efforts to the more complex assignments.


The responsibilities of a duty manager are broad ranging. However, the most important roles of a duty manager are to maintain order and ensure guest satisfaction. For instance, complaining guests seeking a refund speak to the current shift's Duty Manager to voice their displeasures. Additionally, the Duty Manager makes overflow reservations in the case of an accidental over-booking. In essence, The Duty Manager is the on-property contact for anything and everything that goes awry on her shift, and it is her responsibility to make a wise decision to restore order.


Duty managers work a wide variety of shifts, but the most common shift is evenings since this is when the General Manager is not on the property. A duty manager typically records thirty to forty hours per week. Also note that hotels located in seasonal destinations give their duty managers more hours during peak season and less during slow season.


The salary for a hotel duty manager ranges from $30,000 to $60,000 per year, with the average being around $45,000. Salaries for duty managers differ depending on education, training, experience, and location. Numerous hotels also offer duty managers incentive bonuses, retirement plans and health insurance. As is the case with any job, pay and benefits will differ from company to company.

Training and Education

To become a hotel duty manager, it is necessary to know the inner workings of a hotel. Many universities offer two and four-year degrees in hotel management. The American Hotel and Lodging Association also offers certifications earned through distance learning courses. However, many hotel duty managers received their knowledge through experience by working entry level positions such as front desk or concierge.


Derek Shropshire has been writing for hotel websites such as and since 2007. Shropshire has experience in real estate, and has managed a hotel since 2005. He graduated summa cum laude from Walters State Community College, earning an Associate of Science in general studies, and is currently an English major at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

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