As the job title suggests, hotel front desk managers supervise the activities that take place on the front desk, from verifying registrations to helping customers check in and out. In some hotels these managers might also take on additional duties such as supervising housekeeping staff. Salaries for front desk managers can vary widely by the type and location of the establishment. A front desk manager at a huge luxury hotel in a popular tourist destination, for example, is likely to earn a higher salary than the manager of a small hotel along a lonely stretch of interstate highway. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not break out salary data specific to front desk managers. Instead, it includes them in the broader job category of lodging managers. A degree in hospitality or hotel management can help front desk workers step into management positions.
Average Annual Salary
Across the United States, lodging managers reported an average salary of $54,800 a year to the BLS in 2012. Half of all lodging managers brought home between $36,250 and $64,190 a year. The lowest-paid 10 percent earned $29,290 or less per year, while the highest-paid 10 percent made $89,530 or more. The median salary, or midway point between the lowest and highest salaries, was $46,810 per year.
Pay by State
Among the states, Delaware ranked No. 1 in average salaries for lodging managers at $89,280 a year. Many of the highest-paying states were those that contain popular tourist destinations. For example, Nevada reported an average salary of $86,250, New York reported an average of $80,800, Hawaii reported an average of $67,870 and Florida reported an average of $66,280. The lowest-paying state in the nation for lodging managers was Iowa, where they averaged $38,480 per year.
Pay by Experience
According to Concordia University, lodging managers who graduate with a hospitality degree earn a median starting salary of $37,668. This increases to a median salary of $48,280 with five to nine years of experience, and a median of $57,995 with 10 to 19 years of experience. Hospitality managers with more than 20 years of experience reportedly enjoyed a median salary of $75,778 per year.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the number of lodging manager jobs to increase 8 percent from 2010 to 2020, which is below the 14 percent projected growth rate for all occupations. This relatively low rate of growth is partly because some hotels are looking to reduce the number of managers in an effort to lower the cost of doing business and improve profits. Management jobs at luxury hotels and resorts will likely see the highest number of applicants. Those seeking employment in the field should plan to pursue a bachelor's degree in hospitality management or a closely related subject to improve their chances of getting a job.