How to Become a

Hotel Manager

The complete career guide to be a Hotel Manager: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $57,810
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 7.6%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Problem Solving
    Career Attribute

Hotel managers oversee one or multiple aspects of operations within a hotel. In small hotels, the hotel manager may oversee front desk, housekeeping, and foodservice employees. In a large hotel, managers commonly oversee operations and employees for a specific function, such as catering or guest relations.

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What is a Hotel Manager?

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in hotel manager roles:

  • Recruit, hire, train, and manage hotel staff
  • Oversee all interactions with guests to ensure that people staying in the hotel have pleasant experiences
  • Handle guest complaints and work to resolve reported issues
  • Perform administrative tasks like revenue paperwork, register reconciliation, and payroll
  • Monitor room rates and notify guests when rooms are sold out for the evening

A Day in the Life

Hotel managers have a variety of responsibilities that can vary greatly depending on the size of the hotel managed. In small hotels, there is often a single general manager who oversees the functions of all business areas, such as the front desk, housekeeping, and foodservice staff. In larger hotels with more amenities like a casino or one or more restaurants, there may be a variety of managers and assistant manager who share responsibilities. Hotel managers in larger hotels often manage a single area.

The primary responsibility of a hotel manager is to ensure guests staying at the hotel have a pleasant experience. This means ensuring the grounds, public areas, and rooms are clean; all appliances and amenities in rooms are functional; and all food is prepared correctly and served on time. The manager makes sure guests are taken care of properly when checking in and out at the front desk, and he/she is responsible for addressing and resolving any issues reported during a guest’s stay.

Hotel managers may also have a variety of administrative responsibilities. They hire and train new staff members, complete payroll, and fill in for employees when short-staffed. They may also have responsibilities for setting room rates and increasing or decreasing rates based on current demand. Additionally, some hotel managers may have larger responsibilities for running a profitable business, and may oversee marketing activities or brainstorm and implement ways to increase profitability.

Typical Work Schedule

Hotel managers generally work full-time hours, and overtime is common as well. Because hotels are usually open 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, hotel managers may need to work irregular hours that include evening, weekend, overnight, and holiday shifts.

Hotel Manager Specializations

  • General managers oversee all operations within a hotel, and in larger hotels, often manage several other managers or assistant managers as part of their responsibilities.
  • Front-desk managers oversee guest service operations at a hotel’s front desk and are the primary point of contact for resolving guest issues during their stay.
  • Event managers are employed by hotels that host meetings, conventions, and other events. They book clients for meeting and event rooms and coordinate staff activities related to organizing and orchestrating events hosted at the hotel.

Career Progression

  • Early Career: Guest Services Representative, Valet, Bellhop, Housekeeper, Clerk, Server
  • Mid-Career: Assistant Guest Services Manager, Head Housekeeper, Foodservice Manager
  • Late Career: General Manager, Event Manager, Regional Manager

Typical Employers

Most hotel managers work for hotels and motels—both large and small—across the U.S. Those that do not work in hotels and motels may be employed by RV parks, hostels, bed and breakfasts, or casinos.

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How To Become a Hotel Manager

There are several possible career paths that aspiring hotel managers can take to qualify for work in this career. The first requires only a high school diploma. For some hotels—particularly smaller chains—starting in an entry level position and staying with the same hotel for many years can eventually earn you a manager position. Usually, individuals on this path start off working in guest services, as a bellhop, a valet, or housekeeper, and move their way up the ladder gradually through promotions.

For larger hotels, some college education is usually required to qualify for hotel manager positions. In some cases, a certificate or associate’s degree in hotel management or hospitality administration may be sufficient when combined with ample experience working in hotels. In other cases, employers will only hire managers who’ve earned a bachelor’s degree with a major in a field related to travel and tourism or hospitality management. The best path depends on the type of hotel you want to work in.

Often, hotel management positions are highly competitive, so having a bachelor’s degree can make candidates stand out. Earning an industry certification can also help candidates become more competitive. A popular certification program is offered through the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute. It’s a two-year program that focuses specifically on concepts in hospitality and hotel management and results in a Certified Hospitality & Tourism Management Professional credential.

Hotel Manager Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Hotel Manager salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Hotel Manager's can make an average annual salary of $57,810, or $28 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $36,700 or $18 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #297 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Hotel Manager. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Hotel Managers

  • 1.9%   Doctorate
  • 7.8%   Masters
  • 33.2%   Bachelors
  • 9.3%   Associates
  • 24.1%   College
  • 18.8%   High School
  • 5%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Hotel Manager job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 3,700 jobs for a total of 52,100 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 7.6% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #292 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Hotel Managers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Self-employed workers 15,800 700 1%
RV (recreational vehicle) parks and recreational camps 1,100 300 0%
Management of companies and enterprises 900 --- ---

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