Hotel Manager

Note: Completion of a TAFE SA course does not guarantee an employment outcome. Formal requirements other than educational qualifications (eg licensing, professional registration), may apply to some occupations.

Job Prospects
Future growth over the next 5 years is stable.
Avg. weekly wage: $1,475
Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website 2019
A cosy room, nice food and hotel staff who put their guests' needs first. Hotel managers help ensure that all guests receive this level of service.

There are currently around 1,900 hotel managers employed in South Australia. Employment is largely full-time and most work in the accommodation, cafés and restaurants industry. Over half of persons in this occupation are male and over half are employed in the Adelaide metropolitan area. This occupation has an older age profile close to half of managers aged 45 years or older.
  • Inns for lodging have been in existence since biblical times. Nowadays, guests expect more than just a bed for the night! Hotel managers take on the complex role of overseeing all aspects of an establishment's operations, whether its a small family business or a world wide hotel chain.

    The type and size of the establishment determines the hotel manager's list of duties. In a smaller hotel, it's up to them to plan and coordinate the activities of the front office, kitchen, housekeeping, accounting and purchasing departments. They are involved in deciding the room rates, organising the advertising, recruiting staff and setting their performance standards. They may even greet the guests personally and pitch in and work in other areas of the business.

    According to a local hotel manager; the manager doesn't just sit back and delegate tasks to their staff. ''My job is very hands on. I'm often filling in for reception desk staff between shifts.'' In larger establishments the manager's role is more administrative with many of their responsibilities being delegated to other department heads, such as food and beverage managers and function coordinators. In hotel chains, the purchasing and advertising functions are usually centralised.

    Clerical and AdministrativeInfluencing and Personal Contact

  • There are generally no specific educational requirements to work in this occupation, however, it is recommended that you gain experience or qualifications to get the best possible chance of entering this occupation. Currently 21% of the Industry have certificate III or IV, 9% have Advanced Diplomas or Diplomas, 8% have Bachelor Degrees. While 56% have no post school qualifications it is recommended that further study be undertaken to maximise the chance of gaining employment in the industry.

    TAFE SA offers courses relevant to this occupation including the Diploma and Advanced Diploma of Hospitality. Pathways include Certificate II, II and IV in Hospitality.

    TAFE SA also offers a Bachelor of Tourism, Hospitality and Events Management that focus on the management and business skills necessary to become a successful manager.

    Still Unsure! Then try one of the many short courses also offered through TAFE SA. Check the website for the full list of short courses.

  • Good quality staff will always be required in this industry, however, employment forecasts indicate only average employment prospects. Competition for available jobs is intense. There is a relatively small number of hotels throughout the State and there is little movement among the people currently employed in these positions. Despite this, some do get the opportunity for interstate and overseas postings.

    Potential growth is expected from proposed major developments in the accommodation, cafés and restaurants industry.

  • Business wise, a successful manager needs to be a bit of a marketing whiz. If people don't stay at the hotel, then it may quickly go out of business. Managers must constantly sell the virtues of their establishment and be on the look out for new approaches, new markets and new services to offer. This may involve marketing the special features of an establishment, such as the function and conference rooms and allied facilities. Conferences often run for several days and with several hundred people attending the conference, guest occupancy rates go up. Hotel managers must be able to 'upsell' their facilities and know their client's needs. Many guests have come to expect access to business amenities such as a fax machine, e-mail and the Internet, as well as around the clock room service.

  • ''I thrive on pressure. We could be sitting on full occupancy and other guests arrive who would like a room. You've got to be able to think on your feet,'' says another hotel manager. Hotel managers need to be quick thinking to deal with a range of situations that can arise in the accommodation business. Be prepared to be a trouble-shooter when staff call in sick, plumbing in rooms doesn't work or the pool needs urgent attention. Sometimes guests may be dissatisfied with the services offered and it is the manager's role to be diplomatic and calm in all these difficult situations. Great communication skills are also important when dealing with staff, from cleaners to reception desk personnel. Working hours may be long but the vibrant social mood associated with this occupation is definitely a plus! ''The opportunity to meet new people every day is a real perk of my job.''

  • Many hotel managers gain valuable experience in other areas of hospitality. For example, one Hotel Manager spent 20 years in the hospitality business, working as a restaurant supervisor, food and beverage manager and assistant hotel manager before taking on a managerial role.

    Hotel managers may work in privately owned hotels, motels or resorts, or they may be employed by companies that operate a chain of businesses. Self employment opportunities are possible, but you will typically need substantial funds. Managers usually work in an office, but can often be found in other areas of the establishment, from the function rooms and foyer to the kitchens and leisure areas.

    For further information, contact:

    Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union (SA)
    Phone: (08) 8352 3511 or 1800 622 900 (FREECALL)