There are approximately 52,600 hotel and motel managers working in the United States. Nearly 28 percent of these workers own their own hotel or motel.
Some major employers in the industry are Inter-Continental Hotels Group (Candlewood Suites, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn), Choice Hotels International Inc. (Comfort Inn, Econo Lodge, Sleep Inn), and Wyndham Hotel Group (Days Inn, Super 8, Ramada, Howard Johnson, Travelodge). These companies have properties located nationwide and abroad.
Long-term experience is important in this industry. It is wise to work at least one year at a company before moving to another. Employers are likely to question applicants who have had more than four employers in less than two years.
The position of general manager is one of the top rungs on this career ladder. It's unlikely this would be your first industry job. In today's highly technical age, experience, though still important, is not enough for job advancement. Most candidates have some postsecondary education; many have at least a bachelor's degree in hotel, business, hospitality, or restaurant management. Graduates entering the hotel industry usually pay their dues by working as assistant managers, assistant departmental managers, or shift managers. Many hotels and motels have specific management training programs for their management-bound employees. Employees are encouraged to work different desks so they will be knowledgeable about each department.
Your school's career center, the local library, and the Internet can all be helpful when researching college programs or specific businesses.
The average tenure of a general manager is between six and seven years; those who have worked as a GM for 10 years or more usually view their job as a lifetime commitment. Managers who leave the profession usually advance to the regional or even national area of hotel and motel management, such as property management or the administrative or financial departments of the lodging chain. Some may opt to open their own hotel or motel franchises or even operate a small inn or bed and breakfast. The management skills learned as a general manager can be successfully utilized in any avenue of business.
During high school, look for a part-time job in hospitality, such as in a restaurant or local hotel.
Enroll in the Hospitality and Tourism Management Program created by the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute, or look for opportunities with other professional organizations. Visit https://www.ahlei.org/academic/high-school/hospitality-and-tourism-management-program for more information.
Visit different hotels and make notes on the decor, atmosphere, and service; talk to workers there about their jobs; participate in an information interview with the manager to find out more about the career.