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Hotel Manager Training and Career Education Program Overviews

Hotel management requires meticulous attention to detail, savvy business management tactics and excellent interpersonal communication skills. Hotel managers obtain these skills by working in the industry for years or by completing degree programs in hospitality management or hotel administration.

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Training Programs and Recommendations

Hotel managers anticipate, prepare for and manage guest expectations, requests and complaints. Many do not hold formal degrees in hotel management, but instead begin their careers with entry-level positions working the front desk. This type of day-to-day operations experience may lead to a career in hotel management. However, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports individuals with bachelor's or master's degrees in hotel management have the best opportunities. Some hotel chain franchises require hotel managers to have at least associate's or bachelor's degrees plus several years experience prior to employment.

Formal Education

Individuals interested in becoming hotel managers often complete associate's, bachelor's or master's degree programs in hospitality and restaurant management, hospitality or hotel administration. The undergraduate degree programs emphasize primary hotel operation and management theories and skills. Graduate degree programs in hotel management combine existing professional knowledge with comprehensive hotel and resort planning, development and management strategies.

Associate of Arts in Hospitality Management Program

Many hotel managers complete associate's degree programs in hospitality management. This primary degree program trains students for entry-level supervisory roles in hotel management. Students take fundamental courses in English, business math, advertising, marketing, economics and hospitality management. Excellent interpersonal communication skills are also emphasized. Many degree programs combine traditional classroom learning with practical hotel management internships. Upon completion, students are capable of supervising various operational departments within hotels.

Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management Program

A bachelor's degree program for hotel managers offers traditional, comprehensive business management knowledge and skills. Students take courses in hospitality, foodservice management, sanitation and safety, facility planning and management, managerial accounting and interior design. These courses enable future hotel managers to not only supervise daily operational staff but also advance short-term and long-term operations, finance, sales and marketing initiatives.

Master of Management in Hospitality Program

Graduate degree programs in hospitality are geared toward senior-level hotel administrators, such as general managers, district managers and hotel developers. A master's degree program focuses on hotel administration and includes advanced courses in accounting, finance, hotel management, facilities design, human resource management, communications, marketing and business law. This degree program strengthens entrepreneurial acumen and emphasizes a stream-lined approach to advertising, marketing and sales goals.

Job Experience

Actual hotel or related industry experience is de rigueur when seeking hotel management employment. Although formal degrees in hospitality offer an edge over non-degree applicants, on-the-job experience plays an equally important role, especially for demonstrating proven leadership skills and revenue-generating hotel operations growth. Most employers desire middle managers to have at least three years experience in the hotel business. Upper-level administrators may need 5-7 years experience in hotel operations.

Licenses and Certifications

The American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute offers various professional certifications for the hospitality industry. These certifications are voluntary and offer credibility for hotel executives. Larger hotel chains are requiring many general managers and hotel managers to complete professional certifications upon employment.

Hotel managers may obtain and use the designation Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) upon successful completion of the CHA examination. Certifications for CHAs are broken down according to eligibility requirements, such as education, experience or early entry. Those with formal degrees in hospitality adhere to different certification criteria than individuals with just job experience. Recertification is necessary every five years.

Additional Professional Development

According to the BLS, hotel managers may need additional training in culinary arts, food and beverage management and executive housekeeping. These areas are key components of day-to-day hotel operations. Extensive training helps hotel managers and administrators to better understand departmental needs, strategies and goals.

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