Career Profile: Hotel Front Desk Clerk
If you go on a trip, you will likely stay at a hotel at some point. The person you meet first at any hotel is the front desk clerk. People in this job have a very necessary role in keeping hotels organized and welcoming places. If you enjoy meeting people and keeping information available, the job of hotel front desk clerk could be right for you.
When people go to a hotel, they need to pay for their stay, find their rooms, and receive their keys. Sometimes they need information about tours, restaurants, and places to visit. Front desk clerks can help with all of that.
Basically, front desk clerks greet new guests, take payments, and help guests with whatever they need. They respond to guests’ complaints or questions. These clerks answer phones and take messages for others if necessary, make or cancel reservations, check people in or out of the hotel, keep a record of where and how many guests are staying at the hotel, and sometimes help with cleaning or maintenance. The job might be more complicated at a large hotel than at a small country inn, but the main tasks are the same.
Educational requirements for hotel front desk clerks vary, but a high school diploma is normally required, as well as basic computer skills. A two- or four-year college diploma in hotel management or hospitality can also be very helpful, as well as a trade certificate in guest services. If possible, completing an internship at a hotel or similar place related to the hospitality industry is a good idea. Check the requirements for a particular hotel or chain of hotels, since these conditions can vary.
In general, job prospects for hotel front desk clerks tend to be very dependent on the economy and other factors. When the economy is good, people tend to travel more often, and hotels need more staff to keep up with their needs. Like in many other industries, the demand for hotels has decreased during the pandemic, making it more difficult to find work.
Hotels still need to stay open for business travellers and others who need a place to stay. However, job prospects will likely be moderate in the next year or two, although openings will always be available if people are willing to move to other cities or provinces for jobs.
Generally, the job of front desk clerk at a hotel is not very physically demanding, but it can be tiring and stressful. Hotel guests can be difficult, and sometimes the clerk must attend to their needs while also answering phones and taking care of other tasks. People in this role might sometimes supervise other staff, and they need to be good at dealing with others. Some experience in dealing with people from other countries is also useful, since guests could come from anywhere in the world.
People who are calm, friendly, and well-organized can do well as front desk clerks. The hours can be long, and people in this role should have a certain degree of stamina. Although people can continue in this job for many years, they generally move into other roles as they age. In most cases, wages in this role start at just over $12 per hour and can rise to more than $19 per hour or between about $25,000 and $41,000 per year. More jobs are likely to be available in large cities than in small towns, but even a small country inn would need a front desk clerk.
The hotel industry can be difficult but also rewarding. If you like to help people feel good about their travels, the role of front desk clerk might be right for you.
Glassdoor. “Hotel Front Desk Clerk.” https://www.glassdoor.ca/Job-Descriptions/Hotel-Front-Desk-Clerk.htm.
Job Bank. “Hotel Front Desk Clerk in Canada.” https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/marketreport/outlook-occupation/6545/ca.
Indeed. “Hotel Front Desk Clerk.” https://ca.indeed.com/hire/job-description/hotel-front-desk-clerk.
Payscale Canada. “Front Desk Clerk: Hourly Rate.” https://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=Front_Desk_Clerk/Hourly_Rate.