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Careers in the hotel industry and how you can find your role

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The hotel industry is an exciting and ever-changing field to work in. If you are looking at starting a career in hospitality, you might be wondering what kind of career path you could follow and what kind of roles you can aspire to.
In this article, we’ll go over the different types of hospitality roles that you’ll find in the hotel industry at different levels. We’ll discuss what different duties and responsibilities some could require, as well as the skills and education needed to succeed in the hotel industry.

What is the hotel industry?

The hotel industry encompasses everything to do with lodging and boarding for guests, and it is a major part of the hospitality sector.

The hotel industry includes hotels, B&Bs, hostels, motels, resorts, and more. Of course, this means there is a big focus on customer service skills and working directly with guests, but there are many elements of the hotel industry that might not be immediately obvious.

For example, every hospitality business will need managers to handle the smooth operations of the company.

There are also lots of different areas within the hotel industry, as hotels often offer restaurants, bars, spas, and other amenities for guests, which means there are plenty of different types of jobs in a hotel or resort.

Hotels and the economy

The hotel industry is a major player in the global economy. With the rise of international travel, hotels and hospitality have been a growth industry that is predicted to keep growing.

This means that hotel management careers can be a great route if you want to work in an industry with a dynamic environment and lots of potential for advancement, with new jobs in hospitality cropping up frequently.

This is just one of the reasons that hospitality industry careers are so popular. It also means that if you have aspirations of starting your own hospitality business, there is plenty of room for new hotels, resorts, or other venues to enter the market. With international business and tourism still going strong, the hotel industry can be very lucrative and exciting.

Types of careers in the hotel industry

There are many different careers in the hotel industry. The different roles cover a wide range of responsibilities, meaning that you can find a range of roles to suit many skills and interests. Some of the main employment opportunities in the hotel industry include:

Hotel management careers

This encompasses a wide range of leadership roles responsible for overseeing the overall operations and strategic direction of hospitality establishments.

Hotel management careers require strong leadership, communication and problem solving skills. This is true for general managers who provide top-level leadership to department heads who manage specific areas such as sales, marketing, and operations.

Professionals in these roles are responsible for ensuring exceptional guest experiences, maximizing revenue and profitability, and maintaining high standards of service and hospitality.

Hotel operations jobs

These roles are vital to the day-to-day functioning of hospitality establishments, encompassing various roles such as front desk agents, guest service agents, and room attendants.

Operations professionals are the frontline staff responsible for greeting guests, managing reservations, and ensuring that guest rooms are clean and well-maintained. Attention to detail, excellent communication skills, and a strong customer service orientation are essential for success in hotel operations jobs.

These roles play a critical role in delivering exceptional guest experiences and maintaining the overall reputation of the hotel.

Sales and marketing careers

The goal of a sales professional or marketer is to drive revenue and attract guests through effective sales and promotional strategies.

They are responsible for developing and executing marketing campaigns, managing relationships with clients and partners, and maximizing brand visibility and engagement.

Strong communication, negotiation, and analytical skills are essential for success in sales and marketing careers, as well as a deep understanding of market trends and consumer behavior.

Food and beverage careers

This sector includes roles such as chefs, bartenders, and restaurant managers responsible for delivering exceptional dining experiences to guests.

These professionals are responsible for menu planning, food preparation, and service delivery, as well as managing inventory, staffing, and financial performance.

Creativity, culinary skills, and a passion for hospitality are essential for success in food and beverage careers, as well as strong leadership and organizational abilities to oversee restaurant operations effectively.

Housekeeping jobs

Essential for maintaining cleanliness and orderliness in hospitality establishments, ensuring that guest rooms and public areas meet high standards of cleanliness and hygiene.

Housekeeping staff, including room attendants and housekeeping supervisors, are responsible for tasks such as cleaning, laundry, and replenishing amenities.

Attention to detail, physical stamina, and time management skills are essential for success in housekeeping jobs, as well as a commitment to providing exceptional service and hospitality to guests.

Engineering and maintenance careers

Here, the focus is on ensuring the safety, functionality, and upkeep of physical facilities and equipment.

Professionals in these roles, such as maintenance technicians and engineering managers, are responsible for tasks such as repairs, preventive maintenance, and facility upgrades.

Technical skills, problem-solving abilities, and a strong understanding of building systems and regulations are essential for success in engineering and maintenance careers, as well as a commitment to guest satisfaction and operational efficiency.

Event-based careers

These involve planning, coordinating, and executing a wide range of events and functions, including weddings, conferences, and banquets.

Event coordinators, banquet managers, and catering supervisors are responsible for ensuring that events run smoothly and meet the expectations of clients and guests.

Strong organizational, communication, and multitasking skills are essential for success in event-based careers, as well as creativity and attention to detail to create memorable experiences for guests.
Within all parts of the hotel industry, there are many different positions with a range of responsibilities, from entry-level jobs to senior appointments. This means there are plenty of opportunities to advance, even if you start at an entry-level job.

Entry-level jobs in the hotel industry

Many entry-level jobs in the hospitality industry involve directly dealing with guests and customers. People in these roles benefit a great deal from having excellent customer service skills. There are also various back-of-house roles as well and roles available include the following.

Front desk agent

This is the first point of contact for guests, and front desk agents are responsible for providing a warm welcome, checking guests in and out, and assisting with inquiries and requests.
They must have excellent communication and customer service skills to interact effectively with guests from diverse backgrounds.

Attention to detail is essential for accurately processing reservations and payments, while multitasking abilities are necessary for managing multiple tasks simultaneously during peak periods.

Guest service agent

These agents play a crucial role in ensuring guest satisfaction by addressing inquiries, handling reservations, and facilitating smooth check-in and check-out processes.

They must possess strong communication skills to effectively communicate with guests and provide accurate information about hotel services and amenities. Again, like the dront desk agent, attention to detail is paramount for success and payments accurately, while problem-solving abilities are put to test resolving guest issues and concerns promptly.


In this vital role, housekeepers are responsible for maintaining cleanliness and tidiness in guest rooms and public areas, ensuring that guests enjoy a comfortable and hygienic stay.

They must have attention to detail to clean rooms thoroughly and replenish amenities, as well as physical stamina to perform repetitive tasks such as vacuuming and lifting heavy objects.

Time management skills are needed for completing tasks efficiently within designated timeframes, while being able to work in a team will help them collaborate with colleagues to ensure all areas are cleaned to standard.

Room attendant

In this role, staff assists guests with various tasks, including delivering room service orders, handling luggage, and fulfilling guest requests.

They must have strong customer service skills to interact courteously with guests and provide assistance as needed.

Attention to detail is essential for ensuring that guest rooms are prepared according to the hotel’s standards and that all guest requests are fulfilled accurately and promptly.

Flexibility and adaptability are necessary for addressing unexpected guest needs and maintaining a positive guest experience.

This role is usually in restaurants or bars within hotels. They are responsible for taking orders, serving food and drinks, and providing attentive service to guests.
Servers must possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills to interact courteously with guests and take orders accurately.

Multitasking abilities are essential for managing multiple tables and requests simultaneously during busy periods, while teamwork skills are necessary for collaborating with kitchen staff to ensure orders are prepared and delivered promptly.


Cooks, including kitchen porters and junior chefs, work in hotel kitchens to prepare food and drinks for guests.

They must have strong culinary skills to follow recipes accurately and prepare dishes to standard, as well as creativity to develop new menu items and presentations.

Attention to detail is essential for maintaining food safety and quality standards, while time management skills are necessary for coordinating food preparation and ensuring timely delivery to guests. Collaboration and communication skills are used for working effectively with other kitchen staff to ensure smooth operations.


Mid-level jobs in the hotel industry

There are plenty of mid-level roles in the hotel industry, which you can either advance to from an entry-level role, or which you can land with the right education and experience.
These are some of the many jobs you can get with a hospitality management degree. A hotel manager job description will often involve handling a specific sector, such as the following:

Sales manager

Tasked with meeting sales targets and handling large contracts, the sales manager plays a critical role in driving revenue for the hotel.

Strong negotiation skills are essential for securing deals, while strategic thinking is required to develop sales strategies that align with business objectives. Leadership abilities are necessary for guiding and motivating the sales team to achieve their goals.

Sales managers can earn up to and around $135,863.

Marketing manager

Also known as the brand manager, the marketing manager oversees advertising campaigns, promotions, and branding initiatives to enhance the hotel’s visibility and attract guests.

Creative thinking is essential for developing engaging marketing materials and messaging, while analytical skills are necessary for evaluating campaign performance and adjusting strategies as needed. Proficiency in social media management and branding is important for maximizing brand exposure and engagement.

Marketing managers can earn up to and around $134,424.

Revenue manager

Responsible for hotel revenue management, the revenue manager utilizes data analysis and market predictions to set prices and maximize income.

Strong analytical skills are essential for interpreting data and making informed pricing decisions, while strategic planning abilities are necessary for optimizing revenue streams. Attention to detail is crucial for monitoring market trends and identifying opportunities for revenue growth.

Revenue managers can earn an average salary of up to $127,145.

Restaurant manager

Oversees the on-site restaurant or bar, ensuring efficient operations and exceptional guest experiences.

Leadership skills are essential for managing staff and delegating responsibilities, while customer service abilities are necessary for addressing guest inquiries and concerns. Financial acumen is important for managing budgets and controlling costs, while creativity is required for developing menu offerings and promotional activities.

Restaurant managers may earn around $58,442.

Banquet manager

Manages catering and large events within the hotel, working closely with the head chef and front-of-house staff to ensure seamless execution.

Strong organizational skills are essential for coordinating event logistics and managing resources effectively, while communication abilities are necessary for liaising with clients and vendors.

Attention to detail is crucial for ensuring that events meet client expectations and adhere to quality standards.

The average salary for a banquet manager is $51,312.

Guest services manager

Oversees front-of-house staff and manages reservations and services offered to guests.

Leadership skills are necessary for supervising staff and maintaining high service standards, while communication abilities are important for interacting with guests and addressing their needs.

Organizational skills are essential for managing reservations and coordinating guest services efficiently.

Guest services managers make roughly $54,200.

Learn more about Hospitality Careers

Senior-level jobs in the hotel industry

Hotels also have senior roles where people oversee a department or division. While it is possible to progress to these roles through experience in other hospitality jobs, the most common route into these roles is by getting a hospitality degree. Some of these roles include:

General manager

As the highest-ranking executive in the hotel, the general manager provides overall leadership and direction for every arm within a hotel. Strong leadership, strategic planning, and decision-making skills are essential for overseeing all aspects of hotel operations and ensuring profitability.

Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are necessary for interacting with staff, guests, and stakeholders, while financial acumen is important for managing budgets and financial performance.

General managers can earn around $118,000.

Director of sales

Leads the sales team in achieving revenue targets and securing contracts.

Strong leadership and negotiation skills are essential for guiding the sales team and closing deals, while strategic thinking is required for developing sales strategies aligned with business goals.

Communication abilities are important for building relationships with clients and partners, while analytical skills are necessary for evaluating sales performance and identifying opportunities for growth.

Sales directors can earn roughly $195,525.

Director of marketing

This role is focused on overseeing marketing initiatives to enhance brand visibility and attract guests.

Creativity is essential for developing engaging marketing materials and campaigns, while strategic planning skills are necessary for aligning marketing strategies with business objectives.

Communication abilities are important for collaborating with internal teams and external partners, while analytical skills are required for evaluating marketing performance and adjusting strategies as needed.

Marketing directors can expect to earn around $186,642.

Director of operations

Responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations and ensuring efficiency and effectiveness across all departments, especially with deliveries, staff assignments, housekeeping, and everything else that needs to run seamlessly.

Strong leadership and organizational skills are essential for managing department heads and coordinating workflow, while problem-solving abilities are necessary for addressing operational challenges.

Communication skills are important for fostering teamwork and collaboration, while strategic thinking is required for driving continuous improvement.

This role typically has a salary of around $192,119.

Director of human resources

Manages all aspects of human resource management, including recruitment, training, and employee relations.

Strong leadership and interpersonal skills are essential for building and maintaining a positive workplace culture, while knowledge of employment laws and regulations is important for ensuring legal compliance.

Communication abilities are necessary for addressing employee concerns and facilitating effective communication within the organization.

Working as a HR director can get you a salary of around $184,041.

Director of finance

Manages financial operations, including budgeting, forecasting, and financial reporting.

Strong analytical and problem-solving skills are essential for analyzing financial data and making strategic decisions, while attention to detail is crucial for ensuring accuracy and compliance with financial regulations. Communication skills are important for presenting financial information to stakeholders and collaborating with other departments to achieve financial goals.

Finance directors can expect to earn around $197,521.

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Skills required for a successful career in the hotel industry

Hospitality industry careers can benefit from a wide range of different skills, all of which can be gained through a degree in hospitality management.

Building these skills can be fundamental to ensuring success in hospitality jobs. A lot of these are transferable skills that can be used in other roles as well, such as other tourism industry jobs or management roles.

There are many skills you can draw on such as these:

  • Communication skills for the hotel industry include written and verbal communication with guests, team members, and suppliers, and they are vital for building good guest experience
  • Customer service skills are vital for dealing with guests and members of the public
  • Time management skills help ensure that you can plan and manage several projects all at once
  • Leadership skills in the hotel industry are vital whether you are in senior or mid-level roles
  • Problem-solving skills are essential in the hotel industry as issues can arise in a fast-paced environment
  • Technological skills are vital as digital transformation in hospitality means that there are more ways hotels are using technology-based solutions

Opportunities for career advancement in the hotel industry

If you want to advance within the hotel industry, there are many ways you can work towards more senior roles. Getting experience in entry and mid-level roles can help you acquire the skills needed.

You can also look at continuing education in the hospitality industry to help you learn more skills and get professional certifications.

For example, you could look at a hospitality management degree, leadership training programs, or hotel management certifications programs. All of these can help ensure that you get promotions into more senior and specialized roles.

Emerging trends in the hotel industry

There are many hotel industry trends that can make hospitality an interesting sector to work in, including the following.

  • Digital transformation and the increase in tech use, such as social media, electronic communications, and high-tech services in hotels.
  • Personalization and customization mean clients have more expectations that hotels try to meet, especially in luxury tourism.
  • Sustainability in the hotel industry is important, including ensuring low carbon emissions and sustainability in the suppliers they use.
  • Health and wellness is a popular trend that increases options in the services that hotels can offer.
  • The short-term rental industry, such as Airbnb, presents new challenges and competition for hotels.
  • Seasonality in the hotel industry is becoming more widespread as people travel abroad for different types of holidays in different seasons.

Strategies to overcome challenges in the hotel industry

To be successful in hotel management, you’ll need to work on strategies to overcome hotel industry challenges. Some strategies that you would study in a hospitality degree include:

  • Hiring and retention strategies
  • Revenue management strategies
  • Diversification strategies
  • Risk management strategies

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Top employers in the hotel industry

There are many different companies that you could end up working for in the hotel industry. You could work in small companies and individual hotels, start your own hotel, or work for some of the top employers, such as:

  • Marriott International
  • Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc.
  • Intercontinental Hotels Group
  • Accor Hotels

Is the hotel industry a good career path?

Careers in the hotel industry can be exciting and interesting for many people, whether you want to become an event manager, a general manager, or anything else.

This is especially the case if you love working with customers and managing high-end businesses. There are also plenty of opportunities for advancement or branching out, such as moving to restaurant management or revenue management jobs.

Discover your new career in the hotel industry

The hotel industry is booming and shows no sign of stopping. This means that there is a huge variety of career opportunities in the hospitality sector waiting for you, including managerial roles that will make the most of the education you get from a hospitality school in Switzerland.

If you want to work in this fast-paced and fascinating field, you can gain excellent skills and experience by studying for a hospitality degree.

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