Lodging managers ensure that traveling guests have a pleasant experience at their establishment with accommodations. They also ensure that the business is run efficiently and profitably.
What they do
Lodging managers typically do the following:
- Inspect guest rooms, public areas, and grounds for cleanliness and appearance
- Ensure that company standards for guest services, décor, and housekeeping are met
- Answer questions from guests about hotel policies and services
- Keep track of how much money the hotel or lodging facility is making
- Interview, hire, train, and sometimes fire staff members
- Monitor staff performance to ensure that guests are happy and that the hotel is well run
- Coordinate front-office activities of hotels or motels and resolve problems
- Set room rates and budgets, approve expenditures, and allocate funds to various departments
A comfortable room, good food, and a helpful staff can make being away from home an enjoyable experience for guests on vacation or business travel. Lodging managers occasionally greet and register guests. They also try to make sure that guests have a good experience.
Lodging establishments vary in size, from independently owned bed and breakfasts to motels with just a few rooms or to hotels that can have thousands of guest rooms. Larger hotels with more amenities lead to a greater range of duties for lodging managers, such as granting access to a swimming pool, operating a casino, or hosting conventions.
Many lodging managers use online social media for marketing purposes.
The following are examples of types of lodging managers:
General managers oversee all lodging operations at a property. At large hotels with several departments and multiple layers of management, the general manager and several assistant managers coordinate the activities of separate departments. These departments may include housekeeping, human resources, room operations, marketing and sales, purchasing, security, maintenance, recreational facilities, and other activities. For more information.
Revenue managers work in financial management, monitoring room sales and reservations, overseeing accounting and cash-flow matters at the hotel, projecting occupancy levels, and deciding which rooms to discount and when to offer special rates.
Front-office managers coordinate reservations and room assignments and train and direct the hotel’s front-desk staff. They ensure that guests are treated courteously, that complaints and problems are resolved, and that requests for special services are carried out. Most front-office managers are also responsible for adjusting bills.
Convention service managers coordinate the activities of various departments, to accommodate meetings, conventions, and special events. They meet with representatives of groups to plan the number of conference rooms to be reserved, design the configuration of the meeting space, and determine what other services the groups will need, such as catering or audiovisual requirements. During a meeting or event, they resolve unexpected problems and ensure that hotel operations meet a group’s expectations.
The pressures of coordinating a wide range of activities, turning a profit for investors, and dealing with dissatisfied guests can be stressful.
Most lodging managers work full time. Because hotels are open around the clock, working evenings, weekends, and holidays is common. Some managers must be on call 24 hours a day, particularly if they reside at the lodging establishment.
How to become a Lodging Manager
Lodging managers usually take one of three education paths: a bachelor’s degree in hospitality or hotel management, an associate degree or a certificate in hotel management, or a high school diploma combined with several years of experience working in a hotel.
Most full-service hotel chains hire candidates with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality or hotel management. Hotel management programs typically include instruction in hotel administration, accounting, marketing and sales, housekeeping, food service management and catering, and hotel maintenance and engineering. Systems training is also an integral part of many degree programs, because hotels use hospitality-specific software in reservations, billing, and housekeeping management. The Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration accredits about 60 hospitality management programs.
At hotels that provide fewer services, candidates with an associate degree or a certificate in hotel, restaurant, or hospitality management may qualify for a job as a lodging manager.
Also, many technical institutes and vocational and trade schools offer courses that are recognized by the hospitality industry that may help in getting a job. Currently, some states and the District of Columbia offer high school academic training for prospective lodging managers.
Hotel employees who do not have hospitality management training, but who show leadership potential and have several years of related work experience, may qualify for assistant manager positions.
High school students can enroll in the Hospitality and Tourism Management Program (HTMP) offered by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI). The HTMP is a 2-year program that teaches management principles and leads to professional certification. College students and working professionals can also obtain the Certification in Hotel Industry Analytics (CHIA) through AHLEI.
The median annual wage for lodging managers was $54,430 in May 2019. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $31,380, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $105,720.
Employment of lodging managers is projected to decline 12 percent from 2019 to 2029.
Stays in traditional lodging establishments have been declining as short-term rentals have risen and offered competition. Both leisure and business traveler bookings at hotels and bed-and-breakfast establishments have declined due to the increase in available options offered by online booking sites, which make it easier for individuals to rent out their space. This is expected to result in decreased demand for lodging managers.
Similar Job Titles
Bed and Breakfast Innkeeper, Front Desk Manager, Front Office Director, Front Office Manager, Guest Relations Manager, Guest Service Manager, Hotel Manager, Night Manager, Resort Manager, Rooms Director
General and Operations Manager, Food Service Manager, Gaming Manager, First-Line Supervisor of Office and Administrative Support Workers, First-Line Supervisor of Transportation and Material-Moving Machine and Vehicle Operators
The trade associations listed below represent organizations made up of people (members) who work and promote advancement in the field. Members are very interested in telling others about their work and about careers in those areas. As well, trade associations provide opportunities for organizational networking and learning more about the field’s trends and directions.
- American Hotel and Lodging Association - AHLA is the singular voice representing every segment of the hotel industry including major chains, independent hotels, management companies, REIT’s, bed and breakfasts, industry partners and more.
- IEHA - A 1,300-plus professional member organization for persons employed in facility housekeeping at the management level.
- International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education - International CHRIE (ICHRIE), a non-profit professional association, provides programs and services to continually improve the quality of global education, research, service and business operations in the hospitality and tourism industry.
- American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute - AHLEI works to provide hospitality organizations and schools with quality resources to train, educate, and certify hospitality professionals, initially as the educational arm of the American Hotel & Lodging Association and since February 2017 as part of the National Restaurant Association’s Training & Certification Division.
Magazines and Publications
- Hotel Management
- Hotels Magazine
- Today’s Hotelier Magazine
- Cleaning and Maintenance Management Magazine
- Hospitality News Magazine
- Heart of Hospitality Magazine
Whether on vacation or traveling for business, hotel guests depend on the ability of lodging managers to ensure they have a pleasant stay. Lodging managers have a lot to do, such as inspecting guest rooms and public areas, training staff, and taking care of bookkeeping. When a plumbing disaster occurs or bad weather causes cancellations, these managers keep lodging operations running. There are different types of lodging managers: general managers oversee the work of several department managers… revenue managers focus on managing finances, including room sales and reservations… while front office managers coordinate reservations and direct front desk staff. Convention service managers represent all hotel services from accommodations and catering, to providing screens and projectors for groups organizing conferences, meetings, and special events. Managers may be on call 24/7 and may have to work evenings, weekends, or holidays. They work at lodgings ranging from hotels with 1,000 guests… to exclusive resorts… to intimate bed and breakfasts, remote country inns, urban youth hostels, and casual camps. Some lodging managers live on site. Many applicants qualify with a high school diploma and several years’ hotel work experience, but most large hotels expect applicants to have a bachelor’s degree in hospitality or hotel management. Hotels with fewer services accept applicants with an associate’s degree or certificate in hotel management or operations.
Content retrieved from: US Bureau of Labor Statistics-OOH www.bls.gov/ooh,
CareerOneStop www.careeronestop.org, O*Net Online www.onetonline.org