Growth Trends for Related Jobs

How to Become a Hotel Rating Inspector

When you stay at a hotel, you want to make sure you have a clean, bug-free room and pleasant customer service experiences with hotel staff. Hotel rating inspectors evaluate hotels and issue a rating that helps you, the customer, decide between various hospitality options as you consider your visit to a city. Hotel evaluator jobs can be fun and rewarding, allowing you to travel and dine for free, but you’ll probably need a hospitality background and good writing skills to land a job in the industry.

Job Description

Although the idea of traveling the world and staying in hotels for a living may sound glamorous, hotel rating inspectors work hard. Hotel inspector companies have separate criteria for rating hotels, but they’re generally extensive. A rater for AAA has 80 physical attributes to look for when evaluating a property, and they are expected to be thorough in their evaluations.

As expected, hotel brand inspector jobs require extensive travel, although larger companies assign each rater to a specific territory. A rater may be required to work nights and weekends, depending on the nature of the inspection. A rater will not only assess guest rooms and common areas, but also hotel restaurants, public restrooms and front desk employees.

Education Requirements

Typically, professionals take hotel evaluator jobs after working in the hospitality industry for at least a brief time. Educational requirements vary by company, but AAA diamond inspectors must have both a hospitality background and a bachelor’s degree. Once hired, rating inspectors can typically expect to go through extensive training before starting work.

In addition to a solid understanding of the hospitality industry, hotel brand inspector jobs also look for someone with good writing skills. You’ll be expected to articulate what you’ve seen during your inspection, often in a publication or on a website with a large readership. Journalists and online content writers can also be a good fit for this position, particularly if they’ve been published as travel writers.

Hotel inspector companies often prioritize job candidates who have had some managerial experience in the hospitality industry. A background in running a hotel or restaurant in a way that ensures you are highly rated will give you great insight into what you need to look for as an inspector. If you manage a hotel, it can even give you an edge in becoming a rater for that chain since you’ll have insider knowledge of the corporate standards for each hotel.


Hotel ratings inspectors are most likely to work for hotel inspector companies, providing ratings services for companies like AAA and the Michelin Guide. Hotel chains also may hire their own raters to travel around on an undercover basis to inspect their various properties for issues. Having their own company inspector helps them get a preview of what a third-party rater might see, so they can fix any issues.

A related hospitality-style occupation is mystery shopping. Like hotel evaluator jobs, mystery shoppers travel to various locations to rate and review service and quality. Although some companies employ full- or part-time mystery shoppers, many of them work on a freelance basis and are paid a fee and reimbursed for any purchases they make.

Years of Experience and Salary

AAA inspectors report salaries averaging between $43,000 to $66,000, in addition to the travel reimbursements they enjoy. This is significantly above the $32,800 that one Michelin inspector reported as salary. However, the typical age of hotel raters is slightly older than that of some other occupations, with many inspectors choosing the career after spending numerous years in the hospitality or travel industries.

Job Growth Trend

Although information isn’t provided specifically for hotel rating inspectors, the hospitality industry is expected to see astronomical growth in the coming years. In addition to work with rating services like AAA and Michelin, professionals may find opportunities in hotel brand inspector jobs, in which they work directly for a hotel chain rather than providing independent ratings.

  • Obtaining experience in restaurant management is also an advantage to those who want to work as hotel ratings inspectors.
  • Being a hotel rating inspector might not be as glamorous as you might expect. Be prepared to travel a lot and be prepared to stay in some hotels that are less-than-stellar.

Stephanie Faris is a novelist and business writer whose work has appeared on numerous small business blogs, including Zappos, GoDaddy, 99Designs, and the Intuit Small Business Blog. She worked for the State of Tennessee for 19 years, the latter six of which were spent as a supervisor. She has written about business for entrepreneurs and marketing firms since 2011.