Education and Training: High school diploma
Average Salary: $20,600
Job Outlook: Good
Porters are employed in transportation industries such as airlines and hotels where they carry baggage for travelers and guests. They are also known as bellmen, bellhops, or ground support agents.
A porter’s chief responsibility is transferring luggage to and from rooms and waiting areas manually or with carts. Hotel porters escort guests to their room, provide directions, and explain room features such as ventilation and locks. Additionally, some porters are also responsible for greeting guests when they are checking in.
Hotel porters may also be assigned cleaning duties for the reception and lobby areas. Some even run errands and take messages on behalf of guests. They also help assist guests with disabilities or special needs.
Education and Training Requirements
A high school diploma is all you need to get started as a hotel porter, though some have not even completed high school. Hotel porters typically learn on the job but skills like critical thinking and effective communication can greatly affect your chances of getting a job.
This job is best suited for people who are service oriented, like helping people, and have great English speaking skills.
Getting the Job
Getting the job of a hotel porter is easy – you can look up classifieds or simply contact a local hotel’s supervisor for available bellhop jobs. You will have a better chance of getting porter jobs at travel destinations and large cities.
Though no specific skills are required, the interview process tests communication skills and your ability to work in a team.
Job Prospects, Employment Outlook, and Career Development
By 2018, hotel porter jobs will increase by 10% because of an increase in globalization and development of suburban cities where hotels will be required.
Once you are employed as a hotel porter, you can move to other jobs in the hotel industry such as receptionist and supervisory roles. Since you can get started in this role with only a high school diploma, you must remember to get a college degree if you want to move on to better paying jobs in this industry.
Those who have a few years experience working as porters in hotels can then look for employment opportunities in airlines as ground support staff. Another option is to start work in luxury or boutique hotels which generally pay well and are frequented by guests who give bigger tips.
Working Conditions and Environment
Porters work indoors in air conditioned hotel environments. Work conditions for hotel porters are generally comfortable with the exception of lifting heavy luggage. People working in this industry must have good stamina and physical strength to allow them stand for long hours, climb stairs with luggage, and handle baggage.
Though not considered a stressful job, the amount of physical activity can be taxing for porters who have just started their career. Porters typically work in shifts and have 40 hour weeks.
Salary and Benefits
The average median salary of hotel porters was $20,600 in 2008, excluding tips. This could be higher in travel destinations, luxury hotels, and beach resorts. Tips also contribute to a major chunk of the average take home amount earned by porters.
They receive the same benefits as any other employees of the hotel like sick leave and paid time off.
Where to Go for More Information
American Hotel and Lodging Association
1201 New York Ave. NW, Ste. 600
Washington, DC 20005
Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education
2810 North Parham Rd., Ste. 230
Richmond, Virginia 23294