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Hotel General Manager

Education and Training: Bachelor’s degree
Average Salary: $77,000
Job Outlook: Good

A hotel general manager is in charge of day-to-day operations in a hotel. It is their job to oversee employees, and to ensure that all the services which affect customers, such as housekeeping, catering and guest services are running smoothly. It is the job of the hotel general manager to ensure that employees are properly trained, and to recruit new staff members. They are also in charge of planning work schedules to ensure there is sufficient coverage. A hotel general manager will also be required to handle complaints from guests which cannot be adequately handled by other employees, or those which are sufficiently serious enough to warrant management attention.

It’s also part of the job description to meet and greet customers on occasion, especially those who are frequent guests or who are important. When there are special events or conferences being held at the hotel, it’s usually down to the general manager to ensure things run smoothly, and to generally be on hand to sort out any difficulties.
The general manager of the hotel is also responsible for maintenance and renovations, as it is their job to approve and supervise the work. They are also responsible for any other technical problems or problems which affect the running of the hotel. It is an incredibly responsible job, and anyone wishing to be in the hotel industry must be extremely people oriented and must be able to deal with stressful situations must keep calm. They also need to be excellent at organization. Anyone working in the hospitality industry has to be prepared to work long and antisocial hours, with weekend and evening work being common.

Education and Training Requirements

Hotel general managers tend to have college degrees in hotel management or restaurant management. The majority will have gone through an in-house training program at the hotel, and are likely to spend the first couple of years of their career handling mundane duties in order to fully understand the workings of the hotel. It’s not unusual for a hotel general manager to start their working life as a front desk manager, or to work in a restaurant management or as a convention services manager. This experience is invaluable as a hotel general manager needs to be successful and to understand a number of different jobs.

Getting the Job

Hotel general managers have frequently gained valuable management experience in other positions in the service industry before applying for this job. It’s definitely not something you can just walk into, and it’s worth applying for lesser positions in hotels to start off with, as hotels are extremely good at spotting a person’s potential. It’s highly likely that if you already have a good business background and are able to show good leadership skills you will be selected for further in-house training.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

Job prospects are reasonable for hotel general managers, and openings generally occur when experienced managers retire or choose to work in a less stressful industry. Although it is possible to advance in this job without a degree, the majority of top managers will have at least a bachelor’s degree, and many will also hold a Master’s degree. Hotel general managers who work for large chains may be offered opportunities for other management or executive positions within the company.

Working Conditions and Environment

While the conditions within the hotel are likely to be extremely pleasant, there is no doubting that it is an extremely stressful and demanding job. The hours can be antisocial, and make it difficult to plan for a personal life, and it may be necessary to relocate in order to obtain the very best jobs and to get on in this career. On the plus side, it is probably a very good career choice for anyone who wishes to work abroad, or in a different state.

Salary and Benefits

The average wage for an experienced hotel general manager is around $77,000, but some will earn significantly more, with top pay being around $146,000. The job is likely to bring good benefits as it is a management position and will include medical and health insurance, paid vacations, contributions to a retirement plan, and significant discounts on hotel accommodations and amenities.

Where to Go for More Information

Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration
PO Box 400
Oxford, MD 21654
(800) 257-7657

American Hotel and Lodging Association
1201 New York Ave. NW, Ste. 600
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 289-3177

Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging Association
800 N Magnolia Ave., Ste. 300
Orlando, FL 32803
(800) 344-4381

Additional topics

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