To begin a career in hotel management, complete vocational training, select a career path, earn a college degree and complete an internship program. Hotel managers typically start off their careers as managers-in-training or as assistant managers in specific departments.
The Educational Institute of American Hotel and Lodging Association offers programs catering to high school juniors and seniors who want to venture into hotel management. The Lodging Management Program is available across the country and covers areas including management, housekeeping and reservations. Passing two exams at the end of the program and gaining at least 160 hours of work experience increases a student's chances of getting certified.
Deciding on the nature, size and type of hotel where you want to work helps to focus your education and skills. Options range from large commercial hotel chains to private resorts. Franchised and larger resorts and hotels typically offer more promotion opportunities compared to smaller ones.
Options for higher learning include a four-year bachelor’s degree, one- to two-year associate’s degree or one-year certificate program in hospitality management. These programs help to gain expert knowledge in customer service, tourism and marketing.
Lastly, students who complete internships are usually more attractive to prospective employers. This includes working on routine tasks such as reservation management. Internships also help to gain additional experience and to network within the hotel industry, making it easier to secure a permanent position.