Hotel Motel Desk Clerk

How to Become a Hotel Desk Clerk
Job Duties of a Hotel Desk Clerk
Skills and Qualities Needed to Become a Hotel Desk Clerk
Hotel Desk Clerk Salaries
Influential Professionals in this field
Leading Organizations in this Field
Top Cities for Hotel Desk Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How to become a Hotel Desk Clerk

Post secondary education is not required for a job as a hotel or motel desk clerk. Hospitality degrees and certificate programs do exist, and may aid individuals looking for employment in larger or more upscale hotels. Most individuals in this profession receive on the job training in the form of an orientation and further guidance from an experienced clerk. Orientations usually include information regarding job duties, services offered by the facility, customer service skills, and training regarding the reservation, room assignment, and billing systems used. Additional learning of company procedure and policies usually continues beyond initial training.

What does a Hotel Desk Clerk do?

Hotel and motel desk clerks are the first line of service for hotel guests. They are always in the public eye when on duty and their behavior and job performance influence the public's impression of their establishment. Desk clerks are responsible for a myriad of services for lodging guests with strikingly similar responsibilities across the range of hotels and motels in business today. Responsibilities include registering guests at check in, assigning rooms, keeping track of room assignments, checking guests out, and preparation and explanation of charges. Desk clerks are also available to answer questions about hotel services, the local community, or matters of public interest. In smaller lodging facilities, desk clerks may perform additional services as necessary for the smooth and efficient running of the establishment.

Hotels are open twenty four hours, seven days a week which demands employment of desk clerks at all times. About half of all desk clerks work part time. Of those that work full time, many have variable schedules. Those in this career are usually on their feet for the duration of their shifts and may experience especially hectic times when several guests are checking in or out at the same time or when a guest becomes upset or angry.

What skills or qualities do I need to become a Hotel Desk Clerk?

Hotel and motel desk clerks need to be quick thinkers who are able to multitask even when under pressure. Individuals should also be able to work as part of a team and have excellent interpersonal skills and customer relations. Employers are generally looking for individuals who are friendly, well groomed, and display self confidence. Successful clerks also have a clear speaking voice and are usually fluent in English. Proficiency in another language can also be beneficial. Good spelling and computer literacy are also important for aspiring desk clerks.

How much do Hotel Desk Clerks make?

Earnings of hotel and motel desk clerks vary based on a number of factors including individual worker characteristics, geographic location, season, size of hotel, and services offered. In 2006 the median annual earnings for all hotel and motel desk clerks were $18,460. The middle fifty percent earned between $15,930 and $22,220.

Employment in this industry is expected to grow faster than average with desk clerks benefiting from increasing business and leisure travel with consumers shifting away from long vacations toward shorter and more frequent trips. Larger hotel chains offer more opportunities for advancement since they tend to have career ladder programs and may even offer management training programs.

Who are some influential professionals in this field?

Sue Brush is the senior vice president of Westin Hotels and Resorts based out of White Plains, New York. In this role she is responsible for the overall marketing of the Westin brand. She defines brands used in the hotels, adds new innovations and programs, maintains communication with hotel managers, and works to market the Westin brand name. Brush is responsible for Westin's smoke free policy on all properties in all countries, which led the way in the industry for other hotels to begin doing the same. Brush is accredited by and a member of College of Fellows for the Public Relations Society of America and a former president of the Puget Sound chapter. In 1995 PRSA recognized her as the PR Professional of the Year and in 1996 she was recognized as Westin's Most Empowering Officer.

Joe McInerney is the current President and CEO of the American Hotel and Lodging Association and has over forty-five years of hospitality industry experience. Since his appointment he has reorganized the association to increase efficiency and strengthen operations. McInerney is a Certified Hotel Administrator and has been honored with several industry awards including The Lodging Conference's 2007 Above and Beyond Award, and the 1999 Stephen Brener Silver Plate Lifetime Achievement Award from Hospitality Magazine.

What are some leading organizations in this field?

The American Hotel and Lodging Association unites those in the hospitality industry dedicated to serving those who work in this field. They provide support for those working on the "front lines" and behind the scenes. This group also represents the industry to law makers on Capitol Hill. This association has been a leader in the lodging industry for over 100 years, and currently represents over 11,000 members. Student members are invited to attend conferences and events where they can meet potential employers from all over the United States. Student members are also given access to the latest news and information in the industry.

The International Hotel and Restaurant Association is a worldwide association that was founded in 1946 in Paris, France and has just moved to Geneva, Switzerland. This organization currently represents over 750,000 hospitality workers, operators, and suppliers in over 150 countries. The International Hotel and Restaurant Association is officially recognized by the United Nations and monitors and lobbies all international agencies that are estimated to influence 300,000 hotels and 8,000,000 restaurants.

What are the top cities for Hotel Desk jobs?

Individuals interested in pursuing a career as a hotel or motel desk clerk should be able to find open positions in Atlanta, Georgia, and Saint Louis, Missouri. In Texas, San Antonio and Austin both have several desk clerk openings. Another city with good prospects is Charlotte, North Carolina.

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