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What Lodging Managers Do About this section

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

Lodging managers ensure that guests have a pleasant experience at a hotel, motel, or other type of facility with accommodations. Lodging managers also plan, direct, or coordinate activities to ensure that the facility is efficient and profitable.

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 the lodging facility's policies and services
  • Interview, hire, train, and sometimes fire staff members
  • Monitor staff performance to ensure that guests are happy and that the facility is well run
  • Coordinate the facility's front-desk activities and resolve problems
  • Set budgets, approve expenditures, and allocate funds to various departments
  • Keep track of how much money the facility is making

A comfortable room and a helpful staff can make being away from home an enjoyable experience for guests. Lodging managers, who occasionally greet and register guests, try to make sure that guests have a good experience.

Lodging establishments vary in size, from bed and breakfasts with just a few rooms to resorts with thousands of rooms. Facilities are sometimes identified according to the level of amenities they offer, such as limited service or full service. The larger the number of amenities a facility provides—for example, a swimming pool, a casino, and a restaurant—the greater the range of duties for lodging managers who oversee them.

The following are examples of types of lodging managers:

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 facility operations meet a group’s expectations.

Front-desk managers coordinate reservations and room assignments and train and direct the facility’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-desk managers are also responsible for adjusting bills.

General managers oversee all lodging operations at a facility. At large establishments 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 human resources, marketing and sales, recreational facilities, and others. 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 direct a property’s finances. Their responsibilities include monitoring room sales and reservations, overseeing accounting and cash-flow matters, projecting occupancy levels, and deciding which rooms to discount and when to offer special rates.

Work Environment About this section

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

Lodging managers held about 51,200 jobs in 2021. The largest employers of lodging managers were as follows:

Traveler accommodation 65%
Self-employed workers 24
RV (recreational vehicle) parks and recreational camps 3

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

Work Schedules

Most lodging managers work full time. Work schedules may vary and often include evenings, weekends, and holidays. Because these facilities are open around the clock, some managers are on call 24 hours a day.

How to Become a Lodging Manager About this section

Lodging managers
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.

Education

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.

Advancement

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.

Important Qualities

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.

Pay About this section

Lodging Managers

Median annual wages, May 2021

Other management occupations

$97,630

Lodging managers

$59,430

Total, all occupations

$45,760

 

The median annual wage for lodging managers was $59,430 in May 2021. 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 $35,530, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $103,780.

In May 2021, the median annual wages for lodging managers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Traveler accommodation $59,430
RV (recreational vehicle) parks and recreational camps 50,570

Most lodging managers work full time. Work schedules may vary and often include evenings, weekends, and holidays. Because these facilities are open around the clock, some managers are on call 24 hours a day.

Job Outlook About this section

Lodging Managers

Percent change in employment, projected 2021-31

Lodging managers

18%

Other management occupations

7%

Total, all occupations

5%

 

Employment of lodging managers is projected to grow 18 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations.

About 7,100 openings for lodging managers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Employment

Much of the projected employment growth in this occupation is due to recovery from the COVID-19 recession of 2020 and is likely to occur early in the projections decade.

The return to pre-pandemic travel spending patterns will translate to strong demand for lodging managers in hotels and other lodging establishments at the start of the projections decade.

Stays in traditional lodging establishments have been declining as short-term rentals have risen and offered competition. This decline may limit overall demand for lodging managers.

Employment projections data for lodging managers, 2021-31
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2021 Projected Employment, 2031 Change, 2021-31 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

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

Lodging managers

11-9081 51,200 60,400 18 9,200 Get data

Contacts for More Information About this section

For information about lodging workers' professional development, training programs, and more, visit 

American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI)

Association of Lodging Professionals (ALP)

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

Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA)

International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education (CHRIE)

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Lodging Managers

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