How to become a Hotel Manager

Hotel Manager

A hotel manager is involved in the day to day running of a hotel. They will oversee the hotel’s operations, manage staff, and play an active role in all of the hotel’s activities.

A hotel manager is responsible for the functional running of a hotel. They will generally work across all areas – including housekeeping, food and beverage, and entertainment – and supervise staff, create budgets, keep records, and make plans. 

Hotel managers of smaller properties will have a hands-on role in the entire running of the hotel. However, professionals who are working in larger, multinational hotels may be in charge of just one department and be part of a broader management team. 

A hotel manager’s duties will vary depending on whether they are the general manager or department manager. However, they could include: 

  • Creating budgets for different departments and ensuring that these are carried out. 
  • Making business targets for the hotel and brand.
  • Working with the marketing department to evaluate marketing methods. 
  • Recruiting staff in all areas of the hotel.
  • Staff management, including scheduling, progress reports, and promoting. 
  • Dealing with customers in cases that other staff have not been able to resolve.
  • Working out any licensing necessities or issues.
  • Being on hand for any other problems that arise in the everyday functioning of the hotel.

Candidates could begin on this career path by obtaining a degree or diploma in hotel management, hospitality management, or a related subject. Graduates from other courses could also apply for graduate apprenticeships or training programmes. 

It is also viable to enter this career with just vocational experience. Candidates could first take a junior position working in a hotel. This could be anything from being a part-time waitress to working as a bellboy. Any experience in a hotel is hugely beneficial as it will help the candidate understand the industry. Showing interest in the runnings of the hotel will set a candidate up for future promotion within the company. 

Other hospitality experience is equally beneficial; any work at a bar, restaurant, or pub will give candidates customer service skills, which are essential for hotel managers. 

Hotel managers must have a friendly and professional persona and be quick-thinking and able to solve problems independently. Often, they will have the final decision in all tasks from marketing to individual customer complaints, so they must be confident in their choices. 

They should be good with logistics and prioritising, as they will often need to work on multiple projects and with various departments. They need to be determined and be able to accept criticism, as they will constantly be getting feedback on their work. While it is not essential, speaking another language could strengthen a candidate’s application. 

Hotel managers generally work long hours, including evenings and weekends. Sometimes they will be required to live in the hotel, but they will be compensated for this. 

The typical career ladder will progress from a front of house manager to a deputy manager, head of a department, and then a general manager. However, in larger hotels hotel managers may become head of a particular department such as human resources or finance. 

Many hotel managers become self-employed, choosing to open their own hotel after a few years of hotel experience. 


What degree is most commonly held by a Hotel Manager?

  • Bachelor of Hospitality Management
  • Diploma of Tourist and Hospitality Management
  • Ba Tourism and Resort Management
  • Associates Degree Business Administration and Management

Career Transportability across Countries

Transportability: High
Hotel management is a very transportable role. International companies often have vacancies around the world and will accept applications from experienced foreign managers. Knowledge of another language is beneficial for this role; this could be either the language of the country or the main language of tourists coming to the country.

What is the Salary of a Hotel Manager?

Experience Average salary | year
Hotel Manager $45,000 £27,000 $36,033
Senior Hotel Manager $75,000 £39,000 $42,500
Head Hotel Manager $110,000 £42,500 $60,000

What skills are needed to become a Hotel Manager?

  • Hospitality Management
  • Hotel Management
  • Hospitality Industry
  • Hospitality
  • Customer Service
  • Hotels
  • Food & Beverage
  • Front Office
  • Micros
  • Revenue Analysis
  • Pre-opening
  • Rooms Division
  • Management
  • Resorts
  • Event Management
  • Restaurants
  • Tourism
  • Banquets
  • Yield Management
  • Catering
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Leadership
  • Property Management Systems
  • Training
  • Restaurant Management

Hotel Management Courses

Although a considerable amount of the knowledge to become a hotel manager is gained vocationally, theoretical knowledge is equally important. Taking some supplementary courses will strengthen a candidate’s application and give them useful knowledge for the job. At FutureLearn, we have many suitable courses for prospective hotel managers, including courses about hotel revenue management and hotel market analysis.
  • Hotel Revenue Management: the Strategy and Tactics of Hotel Room Pricing

    How does hotel room pricing affect hotel revenue management Find out with this course from Glion Institue of Higher Education

  • How to Perform a Hotel Market Analysis and Valuation

    Learn how to gather and process data for a comprehensive hotel market analysis

  • Introduction to the Travel & Tourism Industry: Passport to the World

    Explore how the global travel and tourism industry works learn how to start your career in the worlds fastest growing industry

  • Understanding Data in the Tourism Industry

    How can you benefit from using data in your tourism business Learn the opportunities of tourism data with this online course

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