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Hotel Receptionist

Education and Training: No qualifications necessary as training tends to be in-house.
Average Salary: $25,000
Job Outlook: Good

A hotel receptionist is often the first person guests will speak to, either on arrival or when booking their accommodation, and as such it is up to them to represent the hotel in a favorable light. Anyone who has ever received bad service from a hotel receptionist will know it is extremely difficult to see past this, even if the hotel is a five-star establishment. It’s extremely important that hotel guests receive a warm welcome and that their bookings and all other inquiries are processed efficiently.

It is a hotel receptionist’s job to register guests as they arrive and to assign rooms. They have to be prepared to answer any questions about hotel services or other nearby amenities, and must remain polite and calm at all times. It is also their job to report any problems with guestrooms or with public areas to the maintenance or housekeeping staff, and to generally ensure that the front desk is well maintained so that guests receive a smooth and efficient service.

A hotel receptionist needs to have a neat, clean, and tidy appearance, and they also need to be extremely people oriented with a good attention to detail, and it is essential that they are well organized. They must be able to deal with any complaints in a calm and efficient manner and may often need to be highly diplomatic.

Education and Training Requirements

Although some hotel receptionists may have formal qualifications in travel and tourism, or the hospitality industry, it is not essential for this position. Much of the training is completed on the job, and most hotels will prefer to train their own staff and to familiarize them with the facilities within the hotel, and to establish exactly what their duties are. Hotels will also give training on how to use the computerized reservation system, how to assign rooms, and how to correctly bill guests when they check out.

Getting the Job

Although some hotels may require their receptionists to have prior experience, they are more likely to be looking for people who are friendly and customer service oriented. They’ll be looking for people who have sufficient maturity to deal with the responsibility of this position, and who are well groomed and polite. Anyone without prior experience is better off applying for a position in a smaller hotel in order to gain some experience before applying to one of the larger hotel chains.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

The job prospects for hotel receptionists are generally very good, as more and more hotels are being built around the world. However this job is susceptible to economic conditions, as during times of recession people travel less. Career development prospects will largely depend on whether hotel receptionists have any additional qualifications, although exceptional members of staff may be invited to join hotel management schemes. Hotel receptionists working for large international hotel chains may get the chance to work abroad for a while.

Working Conditions and Environment

Working conditions for a hotel receptionist are likely to be extremely pleasant, as most hotel receptions are very well maintained in order to present a favorable appearance to guests. However hotel receptionists are likely to be required to work in shifts and antisocial hours which can include late nights, early mornings, and weekend work.

Salary and Benefits

Salary and benefits are likely to be dependent on experience and the size of the establishment. Obviously a larger hotel in the city is more likely to employ experienced reception staff, and is likely to pay much more than a smaller hotel in a rural area. Benefits may include a uniform or clothing allowance, and some may provide meals on the job. Larger hotels are more likely to give employees additional perks such as health care insurance and paid vacations, and staff may also be eligible for discounts on accommodation within the hotel chain.

Where to Go for More Information

American Hotel & Lodging Association
1201 New York Ave., NW, Ste. 600
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 289-3117

Austin Community College
Eastview Campus, Bldg. 3000
3401 Webberville Rd.
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 223-5174

Kendall College
900 N Branch St.
Chicago, IL 60642
(888) 905-3632

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesHospitality and Recreation