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Front Desk to Front Office: Hotel Receptionist Career Path

by | CAREER TIPS

The reception area of a hotel is a dynamic place, with many moving parts that must come together to make sure guests are 100% satisfied with their experience. 

If you are dedicated to delivering top customer service and have a keen eye for details, then the hotel receptionist career path may be the perfect journey for you. For recent hospitality management students, this is an excellent entry-level position to get your start.

Working as a receptionist allows you to meet interesting international travellers, learn about different cultures, and become more of a global citizen without ever leaving the hotel front desk. 

And, many hotels promote from inside their own reception departments so if you work hard and show leadership potential, you could quickly move up the career ladder to a higher level with the same property. 

With the right dedication to the hotel receptionist career path, you could go from checking guests in at the front desk to front of house manager in a matter of years.

The Three Level Career Path for a Hotel Receptionist

The career path for a hotel receptionist is divided into three levels: junior, mid, and senior. Salaries for each level of the career path will vary depending on where you work, your experience level, and what type of hotel you work in.

Junior Level (Average Salary: €14,000 – €25,000)

The entry-level at the front desk of a hotel is where you will sharpen your natural soft skills and start to build the necessary hard skills to proceed down this career path.

Working as a hotel receptionist gives you a ton of experience dealing with customers face-to-face. These daily interactions help build your interpersonal skills while also developing your intercultural communication skills. You will take calls and check-in guests from around the world so it’s important to be able to communicate with people from a variety of cultures. 

Understanding the hotel’s computer systems and how to navigate them is an extremely important hard skill for a receptionist to have. This knowledge will make your job easier and allow you to help guests more quickly when there is a problem such as a double booking or an incorrect room assignment.

Use your time as a hotel receptionist wisely; you can learn a lot at the front desk and gain insight into how hotels operate and generate revenue. It’s extremely valuable information that can put you on the path to a promotion. After 1 – 2 years of experience in this position, you’ll be ready to move up the ladder. 

Mid Level (Average Salary: €22,000 – €28,000)

If you show you have top customer service skills, a strong attention to detail, and what it takes to be a good team leader, you could be promoted to head receptionist.

A head receptionist is responsible for making sure that the reception area runs smoothly and efficiently at all times. You will be there to support the rest of the reception staff and create a welcoming environment for the guests whenever they come to the front desk.

As a head receptionist you should start to understand more about the inner workings of a hotel and how it makes its money. While you won’t be in a management role, you will gain experience managing people as you supervise and lead the rest of reception staff to deliver an excellent experience for your guests.

Depending on the size and type of hotel, you can expect to spend 4 – 8 years in the mid level of this career path. If you feel that you’ve learned and done all you can in a role with a specific company but haven’t been promoted to manager, this may be the point to check out the job market to see what is out there. You may be able to move up to a management position more easily by moving on to another company.

Senior Level (Average Salary: €25,000 – €38,000)

Once you’ve gained a significant amount of experience, skills, and knowledge as a head receptionist you will be ready to move up to a management role within the reception department. Depending on the size of the hotel, there may be both a front office and front of house manager but in smaller hotels these may be combined into one position.

As front office/front of house manager, your organizational, administrative, and personnel management skills will be put to the test. 

The front office/front of house manager is responsible for recruiting and training staff, leading team meetings, and coordinating all aspects of the front office to deliver top customer service while following protocols. They must communicate with other departments, like housekeeping and events, to make sure everybody is on the same page. 

You will also be responsible for generating revenue for the hotel. The reception area is the hub of a hotel, so it is the perfect place to sell the guests on the services and amenities that your establishment offers. It’s important to train your reception staff on how to sell these services, as well, as they have much more direct contact with the guests. 

Ready to Take The First Step in Your Hospitality Career Path?

This career path allows you to pursue your hospitality career goals in a more professional environment. If you want to find a job that lets you meet interesting people from all around the world and climb the corporate ladder at the same time, then a career in hotel reception could be the right fit for you. So, head over to Hosco to check out our hotel receptionist job openings and start your hospitality journey today.

And if you feel you could use an extra boost to your hospitality CV before taking the next step in your path, Hosco has a range of courses to help you develop your skills and become a top hotel receptionist. 

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