Hotel Guest Service Agent: Job Description and Education Requirements

Working as a hotel guest service agent requires no formal education. Learn about the training, job duties and experience needed to see if this is the right career for you.

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Essential Information

Hotels depend on guest service agents to provide courteous and professional service to guests who are checking into or out of the facility, and to offer assistance to guests as needed during their stay. No formal education beyond a high school diploma is required for this job, though relevant programs are available. On-the-job training and previous customer service experience are the most important qualities for most employers.

Required Education High school diploma or GED; certificates and associate's degrees in customer service and hospitality are available
Other Requirements One to two years of professional experience in customer service; on-the-job training
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022) 13% for hotel, motel and resort desk clerks; 23% for concierges*
Median Salary (2013) $20,400 for hotel, motel and resort desk clerks; $27,810 for concierges*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description

Guest service agents answer telephone calls from guests seeking to make or cancel hotel reservations. They greet arriving guests, assign rooms, issue keys and ascertain guest payment and billing information. Agents answer guest requests for assistance and coordinate with housekeeping, bell service staff and management to fulfill guest requests. They provide guests with access to hotel services, forward in-room meal requests and ensure that mail, faxes and packages are delivered in a timely manner. Agents also deal with irate guests and find ways to resolve issues to the guest's satisfaction. They may also serve as concierges, assisting guests with ground transportation, restaurant or entertainment reservations and providing other information about the locale.

Agents may also be responsible for bookkeeping duties, including maintaining a cash drawer, preparing bank deposits and posting charges for items that guests may order or use during their stay. Upon checkout, agents calculate the guest's final bill and collect payments. Employers may seek out candidates who demonstrate proficiency and honesty in handling money for this position.

Educational Requirements

Hotels hiring guest service agents may require a high school or General Educational Development diploma and one to two years of customer service experience. Many agents begin their careers with on-the-job training under direct supervision of a front desk manager or another experienced worker. In-house training may include learning how to use the billing and reservation computer systems, managing a multi-line telephone system, familiarity with the hotel facilities, customer service and communication skills.

While a background in customer service or hospitality may be helpful, most employers simply seek out candidates who demonstrate responsibility, friendliness and proper grooming. Agents who wish to advance their careers may seek out additional training workshops or certification courses in hospitality and business management.

Salary and Employment Outlook

Hotel guest service agents may work as concierges or desk clerks at hotels, motels and resorts. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in May 2013 that concierges made a median annual salary of $27,810, and desk clerks made a median of $20,400. The BLS projects that the job outlook for clerks should be average, with 13% growth, and opportunities for concierges are predicted to increase 23% from 2012 to 2022.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics