Hotel front desk clerks make room reservations, provide information and services to guests and receive payments. They are the "frontline" for hotels, as they greet customers and assign rooms.
People in this occupation:
Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Note:Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Source: 2021 Job Bank Wage Report
Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook
10 year expected job openings: 1,300
Hotel front desk clerks perform the following duties:
Working conditions can vary depending on the size of hotel. Front desk clerks working in large hotels will likely work with guests at the front desk for their entire shift. These workers will likely also work with other front desk clerks. In smaller hotels, or during the winter season, a front desk clerk may work alone and may also perform more varied roles, including administrative work.
Most hotels are located in urban centres. However, individuals may also be employed in resorts and lodges in rural areas or in smaller establishments throughout the province. The pace of the work can be fast during peak periods.
As hotel front desks must be staffed almost around the clock, these workers are often required to work nights, very early mornings, and evening and weekend shifts.
Front desk clerks provide services to guests throughout their stay, which may range from making restaurant reservations to arranging security for celebrity guests., Front desk clerks must tend to guests needs, so they may have to deal with difficult situations when a hotel guest has a complaint.
Hotel front desk clerks spend a good portion of the work day on their feet. They also spend a good deal of time on the phone and using computer terminals for booking reservations. Technological advances are also changing the way front desk clerks operate, so they increasingly use email and search the internet to find answers to guests' questions.
Hotel front desk clerks may also have a dress code.
Source: 2016 Census
Completion of secondary school is generally required. Employers may also require post-secondary courses in hospitality service or business.
Certification is available, but not required by employers. “Emerit” professional certification is available from go2, the official “emerit” representative in B.C. This certification leads to the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council's designation Tourism Certified Professional (Front Desk Agent).
For more information about programs offered specifically for this career, visit EducationPlannerBC.
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Many of the expected openings will result from new accommodations or the expansion of existing businesses. The other openings will arise due to the need to replace those who retire or move on to other occupations.
Older hotel properties are renovating and expanding to meet market demand. Other properties are merging under specialty property management firms that wish to target particular markets. This changing marketplace is, in part, creating new demand for these workers.
The 2010 Olympic Winter Games has resulted in some of the growth in tourism as those who visited the province for the Games return to travel to other areas.
New hospitality program graduates often find positions as front desk clerks, room checkers or reservations agents.
Front desk clerks can move immediately to concierge positions, office or housekeeping supervisors, or sales associates.
Workers with experience and further education may progress to positions in the sales and marketing department of the hotel or to other positions, such as front office supervisor or manager, rooms division manager, director of guest services, assistant hotel manager, hotel general manager or director of sales.
Hotel front desk clerks may also progress to supervisory positions in other areas of hospitality and tourism, food and beverage services, or recreation.