Hotel, Motel and Resort Desk Clerks

Nature of the Work

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Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks are the first line of customer service for a lodging property. They register arriving guests, assign rooms, and answer guests’ questions on hotel services and other matters. At other times, they check out guests and report problems with guest rooms or public areas to the housekeeping or maintenance staff. Night and weekend work is common and approximately 1 in 4 desk clerks works part time.

Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

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Most hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks learn their job through short-term on-the-job training, which describes their job duties, familiarizes them with the hotel’s facilities, and provides instruction on how to use the computerized reservation, room assignment, and billing systems. Postsecondary education is not required for this job, but some background or coursework in hospitality is helpful. Most importantly, employers look for people who are friendly and customer-service oriented, well groomed, and display maturity and good judgment. Consumers can find hotels at great rates at and read daily news about new hotels opening worldwide.

Job Outlook

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Employment change. Employment of hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks is expected to grow faster than the average. As developers open new hotels, jobs for hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks should become available. The recent trend toward smaller limited-service hotels, which are more efficient to operate and require less staff, however, will mean fewer desk clerks for each hotel. In addition, jobs will be created as consumers begin traveling again after the hiatus brought on by the recent economic downturn.

Job prospects. Workers in this occupation will likely face competition. During recessions, vacation and business travel declines, and hotels and motels need fewer desk clerks; however, newly opened hotels and the need to replace the many desk clerks who leave this occupation each year will offer some new opportunities.


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Median annual wages for hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks were $19,480 in May 2008.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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