How Do You Become a Hotel Manager?

Hotel ManagerThere are many ways to become a hotel manager, but most to day’s successful applicants have the right combination of education and experience to ease quickly into the job. This position, which can often oversee hundreds of rooms and thousands of staff members, carries high stakes for those who are successfully promoted into it, and this means that most major hotel companies are looking for candidates who at least have hospitality experience and a bit of education relevant to management of staff and key resources. There are several ways to acquire both of these assets prior to applying for a managerial role in any major hotel.

First, Get the Right Type of Educational Background

A management position is not something to be taken lightly, whether it’s in a major hotel or a major financial firm on Wall Street. Hiring managers value the educational background of their applicants, generally because this education means that they will have the skills needed to ensure financial stability, low staff turnover rates, customer satisfaction, and to make sure that other long-term objectives are met. For the most part, however, hotel management positions require no more than a four-year degree from a regionally accredited college or university. This stands in stark contrast to many other management jobs in business and finance, where a graduate degree is considered the best method of beating the competition.

For those considering a management role in the hospitality industry, several relevant degrees are worth considering. The first, and perhaps the most obvious, is a degree in hospitality management or tourism management. Both of these degree programs teach the specific job skills that candidates will need to know if they wish to properly manage guests, hotel policies, staff, finances, and the appeal of a given hotel brand across seasons and special events. Other degrees relevant to the industry include a traditional business or management degree, a degree in marketing, or any combination of communications, public relations, and hospitality courses.

Gain the Experience Necessary to Succeed in a Management Position

As with virtually all management positions, it’s tough to get the job without the proper amount of experience beforehand. Since managing a hotel requires a great deal of expertise in finance, marketing, customer service, and staff management, most major brands require several years of experience in an assistant manager position, or several more years working in a non-managerial capacity within a major hotel brand. This allows the hiring manager, or the hiring committee, to assess the applicant’s previous record of accomplishments when leading a smaller team, or assisting in the management of a team, and makes them more inclined to hire a candidate who has excelled in these areas.

In some cases, hotels may hire management trainees that lack this type of experience. Even so, they’ll typically be looking for other types of experience. This may include internships in the industry, research or leadership roles in a college campus setting, or other indications that the applicant can sufficiently manage tasks and staff members once they emerge from the training program itself.

Related Resource: Supply Chain Management

Meeting Key Requirements Make it Easy to Land the Job

As with virtually all management positions, hotels require their applicants to bring the right blend of experience and education to the job. This often means holding at least a four-year college degree, preferably in a business or hospitality field. It also means having experience in the hospitality or tourism industry in the past, including previous supervisory experience that can showcase the applicant’s talents, according to US News and World Report. The combination of these two things will make it far easier to successfully become a hotel manager.