How to Become a Lodging Manager
Full-service facilities may prefer to hire candidates who have a degree in hospitality or hotel management.
To enter the occupation, lodging managers typically take one of three paths: a high school diploma combined with several years of experience working in a lodging facility, a bachelor’s degree in hospitality or hotel management, or an associate’s degree or certificate in hotel management.
Lodging managers typically need at least a high school diploma to enter the occupation. High school students interested in becoming a lodging manger may benefit from taking classes in hospitality management, which may be offered at some high schools.
Full-service facilities may prefer to hire candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in hospitality or hotel management. Hotel management programs typically include instruction in hotel administration, housekeeping, food service management, and hotel maintenance, as well as in business subjects such as accounting, marketing, and sales. Systems training is also an integral part of many degree programs, because lodging facilities use hospitality-specific software in reservations, billing, and housekeeping management. Employers may seek candidates whose degree is from an accredited hospitality management program.
At limited-service facilities, candidates with an associate’s degree or a certificate in hotel, restaurant, or hospitality management may qualify for lodging manager positions. Technical institutes and vocational or trade schools also may offer courses that are recognized by the hospitality industry.
Work Experience in a Related Occupation
To enter the occupation, lodging managers with a high school diploma or its equivalent typically need experience working in guest services, at the front desk, or in related positions. Candidates with a degree often have experience too, which they gain through internships or by working as a management trainee.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Professional certification may be beneficial. For example, the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) offers the Certified Hospitality and Tourism Management Program (CHTMP) for high school students, which requires passing exams and completing industry work experience. College students and working professionals can obtain the Certification in Hotel Industry Analytics (CHIA) through AHLEI.
Lodging facility employees who show leadership potential and have several years of experience may qualify for assistant manager positions.
Large facilities, including well-established chains, may offer better advancement opportunities than small, independently owned ones. For example, opportunities may include advancing from assistant manager to manager or from managing one facility to managing several in a region.
Business skills. Lodging managers need to operate a facility that is profitable. To do so, they must be able to address budget matters and coordinate and supervise workers.
Customer-service skills. Lodging managers must have excellent customer-service skills. Satisfying guests is critical to a facility’s success and helps to ensure their loyalty.
Interpersonal skills. Lodging managers interact regularly with many different people. They must be effective communicators and be able to have positive interactions with guests and staff, even in stressful situations.
Leadership skills. Lodging managers must establish a productive work environment, which may involve motivating personnel, resolving conflicts, and handling guests’ complaints.
Listening skills. Lodging managers must have excellent listening skills for attending to the needs of guests and maintaining a good working relationship with staff.
Organizational skills. Lodging managers need to keep track of many different schedules, budgets, and people at once.
Problem-solving skills. Lodging managers must be able to resolve personnel issues and guest complaints.