Lodging Managers

Summary

lodging managers image
Lodging managers greet and register guests.
Quick Facts: Lodging Managers
2014 Median Pay $47,680 per year
$22.93 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education High school diploma or equivalent
Work Experience in a Related Occupation Less than 5 years
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2014 48,400
Job Outlook, 2014-24 8% (As fast as average)
Employment Change, 2014-24 3,700

What Lodging Managers Do

Lodging managers ensure that guests on vacation or business travel have a pleasant experience at a hotel, motel, or other types of establishment with accommodations. They also ensure that the establishment is run efficiently and profitably.

Work Environment

Because hotels are open 24 hours a day, evening and weekend work is common. Most lodging managers work full time and are often on call. The work can be pressure filled and stressful.

How to Become a Lodging Manager

Many applicants can qualify as a lodging manager by having a high school diploma and several years of experience working in a hotel. However, most large, full-service hotels require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree. Hotels that provide fewer services generally accept applicants who have an associate’s degree or a certificate in hotel management or operations. 

Pay

The median annual wage for lodging managers was $47,680 in May 2014.

Job Outlook

Employment of lodging managers is projected to grow 8 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Applicants with a bachelor’s degree in hotel or hospitality management are expected to have the best job opportunities. Applicants can expect strong competition for most jobs.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for lodging managers.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of lodging managers with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about lodging managers by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Lodging Managers Do

Lodging managers
Lodging managers ensure that company standards for guest services are met.

Lodging managers ensure that guests on vacation or business travel have a pleasant experience at a hotel, motel, or other types of establishment with accommodations. Lodging managers also ensure that the establishment is run efficiently and profitably.

Duties

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 hold more than 1,000 guests. Services can vary by providing a room, granting access to a swimming pool, offering a free breakfast, having a full-service restaurant, having a lobby, operating a casino, and 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, administration, marketing and sales, purchasing, security, maintenance, recreational facilities, and other activities. For more information, see the profiles on human resources managers; public relations and fundraising managers; financial managers; advertising, promotions, and marketing managers; and food service managers.

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.

Work Environment

Lodging managers
The majority of lodging managers work in traditional hotels and motels.

Lodging managers held about 48,400 jobs in 2014. More than half were employed in the traveler accommodation industry, which includes hotels and motels. 

Most of the remainder worked in other lodging establishments, such as recreational vehicle (RV) and recreational camps, youth hostels, inns, boardinghouses, bed-and-breakfasts, casinos, and resorts. About 1 in 3 were self-employed.

The pressures of coordinating a wide range of activities, turning a profit for investors, and dealing with dissatisfied guests can be stressful.

Work Schedules

Most lodging managers are employed 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
Most full-service hotel chains prefer candidates with a degree in hospitality or hotel management.

Many applicants can qualify as a lodging manager by having a high school diploma and several years of experience working in a hotel. However, most large, full-service hotels require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree. Hotels that provide fewer services generally accept applicants who have an associate’s degree or certificate in hotel management or operations. 

Education

Currently, some states and the District of Columbia offer high school academic training for prospective lodging managers.

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. System’s 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’s degree or 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.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

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.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Aspiring 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, the Certified Hospitality & Tourism Management Professional. College students and working professionals can also obtain the Certification in Hotel Industry Analytics (CHIA) through AHLEI.

Advancement

Large hotel chains may offer better opportunities than small, independently owned hotels for advancing from assistant manager to manager or from managing one hotel to being a regional manager. However, these opportunities usually involve relocating to another city or state.

Important Qualities

Business skills. Lodging managers address budget matters and coordinate and supervise workers. Operating a profitable hotel is important—as is the need to motivate and direct the work of employees.

Customer-service skills. Lodging managers must have excellent customer-service skills when dealing with guests. Satisfying guests’ needs is critical to a hotel’s success and helps to ensure customer loyalty.

Interpersonal skills. Lodging managers need strong interpersonal skills because they interact regularly with many different people. They must be effective communicators and must have positive interactions with guests and hotel staff, even in stressful situations.

Leadership skills. Lodging managers must establish good working relationships to ensure a productive work environment. This objective may involve motivating personnel, resolving conflicts, and listening to complaints or criticism from guests.

Listening skills. Lodging managers should have excellent listening skills. Listening to the needs of guests allows managers to take the appropriate course of action, ensuring guests’ satisfaction. Listening to the needs of workers helps managers keep good working relationships with the staff.

Organizational skills. Lodging managers keep track of many different schedules, budgets, and people at once. This task becomes more complex as the size of the hotel increases.

Problem-solving skills. The ability to resolve personnel issues and guest-related dissatisfaction is critical to the work of lodging managers. As a result, they should be creative and practical when confronted with problems.

Pay

Lodging Managers

Median annual wages, May 2014

Management occupations

$97,230

Lodging managers

$47,680

Total, all occupations

$35,540

 

The median annual wage for lodging managers was $47,680 in May 2014. 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 $28,630, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $94,780.

Most lodging managers are employed 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.

Job Outlook

Lodging Managers

Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24

Lodging managers

8%

Total, all occupations

7%

Management occupations

6%

 

Employment of lodging managers is projected to grow 8 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Expected growth in tourism, travel, and higher occupancy levels will contribute to the need for managers. However, as the lodging industry transitions toward more limited-service hotels and fewer full-service properties that have separate departments to manage—such as in-house restaurants and laundry—employment growth will be limited.

Some lodging places continue to streamline operations to cut expenses. Chain hotels, for instance, may choose to assign a single manager to oversee multiple properties within a local geographic area. Still, some large full-service hotels, including casinos, resorts, and convention hotels that provide a wide range of services to a larger customer base, will continue to generate jobs for experienced managers.

Job Prospects

Those seeking jobs at hotels with the highest level of guest services are expected to face strong competition, as these positions are highly sought after by people trained in hospitality management or administration.

Applicants with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality or hotel management are expected to have the best job opportunities, particularly at upscale and luxury hotels.

Employment projections data for lodging managers, 2014-24
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2014 Projected Employment, 2024 Change, 2014-24 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Lodging managers

11-9081 48,400 52,100 8 3,700 [XLSX]

State & Area Data

Occupational Employment Statistics (OES)

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link(s) below go to OES data maps for employment and wages by state and area.

Projections Central

Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices. All state projections data are available at www.projectionscentral.com. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. In addition, states may produce projections for areas; there are links to each state’s websites where these data may be retrieved.

Career InfoNet

America’s Career InfoNet includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.

Similar Occupations

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of lodging managers.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION 2014 MEDIAN PAY
Food service managers

Food Service Managers

Food service managers are responsible for the daily operation of restaurants and other establishments that prepare and serve food and beverages. They direct staff to ensure that customers are satisfied with their dining experience, and they manage the business to ensure that it is profitable.

High school diploma or equivalent $48,560
Gaming services occupations

Gaming Services Workers

Gaming services workers serve customers in gambling establishments, such as casinos or racetracks. Some workers tend slot machines, deal cards, or oversee other gaming activities such as keno or bingo. Others take bets or pay out winnings. Still others supervise or manage gaming workers and operations.

High school diploma or equivalent $19,940
Human resources managers

Human Resources Managers

Human resources managers plan, direct, and coordinate the administrative functions of an organization. They oversee the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring of new staff; consult with top executives on strategic planning; and serve as a link between an organization’s management and its employees.

Bachelor's degree $102,780
Property and community association managers

Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers

Property, real estate, and community association managers take care of the many aspects of residential, commercial, or industrial properties. They make sure the property is well maintained, has a nice appearance, and preserves its resale or leasing value.

High school diploma or equivalent $54,270
Sales managers

Sales Managers

Sales managers direct organizations' sales teams. They set sales goals, analyze data, and develop training programs for organizations’ sales representatives.

Bachelor's degree $110,660

Contacts for More Information

For information about career, professional development, and training programs, visit 

American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute

For information about schools and educational programs in hotel and restaurant management, including correspondence courses, visit

Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration

International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education  

For information about lodging news operations, visit

Hotel News Now

O*NET

Lodging Managers

Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Lodging Managers,
on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/lodging-managers.htm (visited February 10, 2016).

Publish Date: Thursday, December 17, 2015