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The hotel industry is just one part of a bigger industry, called hospitality. This includes travel and tourism, food and beverage, and recreation/leisure activities.

While the food and beverage portion of the hospitality industry is the largest (due to the fact that it is a part of the other sectors), the hotel/lodging and travel and tourism sectors are basically the foundation of hospitality. Tourism alone is a big industry for many countries, and with tourism and travel, comes the need for lodging.

That’s where hotels, motels, inns, resorts, lodges, and campgrounds come in. Where people travel, there’s almost always a need to stay in some sort of dwelling. The hospitality industry itself is a multibillion-dollar industry, so this should be true of the hotel sector, right? Well, that depends on which sector of the hotel industry you’re employed in.

Working in a Hotel

A hotel is made up of many components. There are the rooms and the lobby, and many hotels have dining areas or full restaurants, along with pools, spas, gyms, and much more. Here’s a list of several non-management hotel jobs along with their average annual salaries.

  • Front desk clerk: $25,490 per year
  • Concierge: $14.17 per hour
  • Bellhop/Porter: $12.54 per hour
  • Parking Attendant/Valet: $12.19 per hour
  • Cook: 12.04 per hour
  • Room Attendant: $11.18 per hour
  • Housekeeper: $11.08 per hour
  • Maintenance Technician: $18.27 per hour

The majority of these are considered entry-level positions, so they don’t pay as much as management positions. If you’re interested in the hotel/hospitality industry but haven’t received a formal education in this area, these are some good jobs to start with to get you familiar with the industry.

Managing a Hotel

Hotel management is one of the most popular jobs in the hospitality industry. The average salary of a hotel manager in the U.S. is $51,196 per year. Being the manager of a large hotel chain gives you the opportunity to travel. It usually takes a Bachelor’s degree in hotel management, hospitality, or business management to become a hotel manager, although it’s possible to become one with a high school diploma and several years of experience in the hospitality industry.

The main responsibility of a hotel manager is to oversee the operations of the entire hotel, including guest services, cleaning, maintenance, food and beverage, and any conventions or events being held at the hotel. Because customer satisfaction is a big part of the hotel industry, hotel managers are to coordinate with hotel owners to make sure that all staff are familiar with and trained in customer service policies. Managers are also responsible for coming up with the work schedules of all hotel staff.

Owning a Hotel

You don’t have to be the founder of a hotel to own one. Owning a hotel is a type of real estate property investment called commercial property investment. Unlike residential properties, commercial properties are usually places of business. Investing in a hotel is a good way to make some extra money, create passive income, and build long-term wealth.

There are several ways to be the owner of a hotel. You can buy stock in a specific hotel chain, you can buy a REIT (real estate investment trust) that owns hotels, or you can buy a hotel yourself. Buying a hotel may seem too expensive and out of the question for most people, but other types of lodging services, such as motels and inns cost considerably less upfront. But just like when taking out a loan to buy a home, you can take out loans called commercial loans for buying commercial properties.

To make the most money in the hotel industry, you’ll need to be the owner of a hotel in some way, whether through stocks, REITs, or buying a hotel. The return on investment is pretty good, but you have to have a clear understanding of commercial investments.

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