Hospitality Management Education Creates ‘Jacks of All Trades’

According to a recent First Research, Hotel and Motel – Lodging Report, the U.S. hospitality industry includes about 30,000 companies that operate 50,000 individual locations, with combined annual revenue over $90 billion. And…it’s growing. One area of rapid growth is small lodging facilities that are either independently owned (Indies) or are owned and operated by larger hotel chains. Often, these facilities operate under a name separate from the parent group. The facilities are sometimes small enough that company staff may be limited to a general manager and a few full and/or part time office personnel. Many independently operated facilities are family-run providing great personal connection and familiar faces for return visitors.

A Very Talented Person

Therefore, these huge corporations running chains of small facility operations call upon a hospitality manager who is a multi-talented “Jack of All Trades.” In small facilities, a successful manage will not only be responsible for operations but may need the skills to physically perform many functions from unclogging a clothes dryer to vacuuming the motel pool. It is important that this type of lodging manager have instruction and experience dealing with every facet of small facility operation including restaurant management (if present), vendor relations (linen purchasing) and complete computer skills to run the motel’s web-based guest reservation system. Additionally, thus individual must be to attract, hire, train and retain whatever personnel will be employed at the facility.

Why Small Facility Management

There are several advantages managing a small hotel/motel operations including:
One-on-one connection is available as a working condition where managers interact with customer/guests and have a direct impact on the lodging experience.
Big Fish in Small Pond experience can lead a very successful manager to greater professional heights. Professionals who post successful tenures that are easily recognizable can attract attention from corporate supervisors or other motel/hotel owners which helps propel a career.
Smaller operations can create excellent lifestyles for both single professionals as well as family-oriented managers.
Small facility management usually allows managers the opportunity to become involved in community activity that not only benefits the facility, but also helps enhance the manager’s personal life and professional career.
Small facility management sometimes is accompanied with on-facility housing which can be a great benefit to single managers and ones with families in tow.

How is the Money?

Compensation varies greatly depending upon the size and complexity of a hotel operation. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median annual earnings for small-facility managers is $42,320. The middle 50 percent earn between $31,870 and $58,380. The lowest 10 percent earn below $25,000 and the highest ten percent earn more than $80,000.

Learn the Trade

Regardless the size of the operation, the best career path in hospitality management is to earn a professional degree. The large, multi-national hotel chains prefer professionals with at least a bachelor’s degree. Because the pay may have to be lower at smaller facilities, owners here tend to look at management experience or an associate’s degree as entry-level qualifications. The BLS claims job outlook will continue to grow by five percent each year in the coming decade. Much of this opportunity comes through an expected expansion in luxury resort and vacation facilities where professionals with a bachelor’s degree will have the competitive edge when it comes to being hired.

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