What degree do you need to be a hotel manager?

27th July, 2022

Hotel management is one of the most satisfying and challenging careers within the hospitality industry.

With the right skills, education and experience, hotel management could take your hospitality career to another level.

If you are someone with great interpersonal and organization skills, have meticulously high standards and are passionate about providing excellent customer service, hotel management could be the rewarding career you’ve been looking for.


What is a hotel manager

A hotel manager is responsible for overseeing the daily operations of a hotel or resort, ensuring efficient functioning across departments such as front desk operations, housekeeping, food and beverage, and maintenance. They manage hotel staff, uphold service standards, handle guest relations and oversee financial aspects to ensure profitability and guest satisfaction. A hotel manager plays a pivotal role in maintaining the hotel’s reputation and overall guest experience.


Hotel manager holding a tablet in the reception area

What do hotel managers do?

Managers are responsible for all the day-to-day operations of a hotel. This includes managing of employees and planning, coordinating, marketing and administering hotel services, including accommodation and catering.

Typical responsibilities include:

  • Manage budgets and set achievable sales targets
  • Maintain financial records
  • Recruit, train and supervise staff
  • Plan employee work schedules
  • Plan maintenance work, room bookings and events
  • Handle customer queries and complaints
  • Market the hotel business
  • Ensure health and safety and licensing compliance
  • Checking reports on guest experience

What is working as a hotel manager like?

Hotel managers are responsible for the day-to-day running of the hotel.

You’ll have responsibility for reservations, food services, housekeeping, staff, marketing, guest services and sales.

You’ll also be accountable for the financial management of the hotel.

Your working hours as a hotel manager will vary depending on the type of hotel you’re managing, its size, and its location.

However, you can expect to work regular unsocial hours, including weekends, late nights and bank holidays, as part of your shift pattern.

How to become a hotel manager

With so many career opportunities in hotel management, it’s both an exciting and competitive industry.

The main requirements for hotel management are that you must acquire hands-on hospitality experience and build the skills you need to be successful.

While getting into hotel management by working your way up the industry is possible, the best way to jumpstart a successful hotel management career is with a hospitality management degree.

This will give you an excellent foundation in hotel management which you can build on as you gain more experience.

You can get into hotel management by following these key steps:

1. Earn a degree in hotel management or hospitality-related field

A bachelor’s degree in hospitality from Les Roches will give you the knowledge, skills and practical experience you need to help you excel.

Our specialized hotel manager qualifications programs will provide you with hands-on experience and modules that will help you build essential knowledge in hospitality.

2. Get hands-on hospitality experience

Nothing compares to real-world experience.

Most employers expect you to have at least five years of experience before becoming a manager.

However, some resorts and luxury hotels may require you to have more.

Get as much experience as possible in different positions such as housekeeping, front desk or catering.

Work your way up the industry

You can get into hotel management by starting in a junior position and working your way up as you get more experience and knowledge of the industry.

Is a Bachelor in Hospitality right for you?

Do you have big dreams and even bigger plans? Our BBA in Global Hospitality Management might be for you. See your match our 4-minute quiz

Take Quiz

What qualifications do you need to be a hotel manager?

Some people become a hotel manager with only a high school diploma, but this path can take a long time. While you can start your journey to becoming a hotel manager with an entry-level position and work your way up the industry, gaining a degree in hotel management is the quickest and most effective route to a thriving hotel management career.

Studying for a hospitality management bachelor’s degree will give you an excellent foundation for working in the hospitality industry.

On top of this, a postgraduate qualification may be beneficial if you want to aim for the highest level roles or if you want to specialize into a particular role, such as luxury hotel manager. Alternatively, a master’s degree can help you change career if your degree is not in a hospitality-related subject or you lack work experience.

Today, employers put a lot of emphasis on the importance of relevant experience. However, working up to a management position by taking external qualifications and on-the-job training will take longer to achieve your goal compared to getting a hospitality degree. You can get plenty of relevant experience through an internship, which is often included as part of a degree in hospitality management.


Take the next step in becoming a hotel manager

Get the information you need to start an adventurous and exciting career in hotel management

What skills do you need to be a hotel manager?

A successful hotel manager must have excellent customer service and leadership skills, sound operational knowledge, sales expertise and financial acumen.

It’s a good idea to start working on developing these key skills:

Customer service

Excellent customer service skills are key in this role. You’ll be dealing with guests and customers every day and will need to be able to resolve issues as effectively as possible. A hotel manager needs to be emotionally intelligent to enable them to communicate with guests on their wavelength and easily listen to and understand customers’ needs.


You must demonstrate good leadership skills to create a positive work environment and increase productivity for a hotel to run smoothly. You should be able to motivate their teams, listen to staff feedback and provide constructive suggestions to solve critical issues.


Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, are crucial in hotel management. Hotel managers must be able to communicate effectively with their employers and customers.


As a hotel manager, you must be both a leader and a team player. You need great teamwork skills to collaborate with staff at all levels to ensure the smooth running of the hotel.

Financial management

Whatever the size of a hotel, good budgeting and financial oversight is crucial to a successful hotel, so you’ll need to develop good financial management skills.

Technology literacy

As with most jobs today, you’ll need to be highly proficient in hotel management systems and administrative software such as MS Office. These can help with your organizational skills and help you analyze data and make reports.

Learn hospitality’s essential skills

Start your hospitality journey

Without previous experience, the quickest route to becoming a successful hotel manager is through a dedicated undergraduate degree in hospitality

Hotel manager taking a booking at reception

How long does it take to become a hotel manager?

How long it will take to be a hotel manager depends on what type of hospitality degree programs you choose and where you are in your journey towards a career in hotel management.

Most undergraduate hotel management degrees last between three and four years, depending on the period of work experience.

Most graduate programs are between nine months and a year.

Although if your program includes an extra specialization or an internship, it may take longer to complete.

Gaining experience in the hotel industry

A great way to quickly move through the ranks as a hotel manager is to get some real world practical experience.

In this section talk about the importance of internships / work experience and how they are part of the Les Roches degree qualification for good reason.

Hands-on experience through internships and work placements is pivotal for accelerating one’s career as a hotel manager. While an internship might not be one of the requirements for hotel management roles, these opportunities offer direct exposure to various facets of hotel management, including guest services, operations and team leadership. By actively participating in daily operations, interns gain invaluable insights into managing diverse challenges and meeting high service standards.

The Les Roches degree program prioritizes internships for good reason: they provide a practical component that works alongside classroom learning, equipping graduates with industry-specific skills and competencies. This structured approach not only enhances job readiness but also cultivates professionalism and adaptability in dynamic hospitality settings. Internships at reputable establishments not only bolster resumes but also facilitate networking with industry professionals and potential employers, helping ensure career advancement. We have a great range of industry partners to ensure that our students get great placements.

Through the internships, our students acquire essential managerial skills and also develop a deep understanding of guest expectations and operational efficiencies. This foundational knowledge is instrumental in navigating the complexities of the hospitality industry and achieving long-term success in a hotel manager position.

Take a look at where a Les Roches internship can take you…
@lesroches.eduPOV: You moved to Madeira to pursue an internship. ?? #travel #madeira #portugal #internship #views #student

♬ Love Is Beautifully Painful – Ghost Duet Version – Darkrose

How do I choose a hotel management program?

While hundreds of institutions worldwide offer hospitality or hotel management degrees, not all offer the same quality of learning as you’d get from a school like Les Roche.

When choosing a hospitality management program, make sure it offers you:

  • Plenty of practical training
  • Strong academic content
  • A connected alumni network
  • Internships or placements to experience the real world of hotels
  • Strong links with the industry
  • A good careers department
  • State-of-the-art practical learning facilities
  • Technologically equipped classrooms for academic learning
  • Well-stocked libraries

Advance your hotel management career with a degree from Les Roches

We are one of the world’s top higher education hospitality schools and provide a first-class learning experience that will prepare you for an exciting and rewarding career in hospitality.

By deciding to study with us, you can look forward to building the experience and know-how to be a successful hotel manager.

Look at our Bachelor’s in Hospitality Management to learn more about our hospitality programs at Les Roches.


Starting salaries can range depending on the local and size of the hotel. Managers at a chain or larger independent hotel in the city can earn upwards of six figures if they work in a large and prestigious hotel.

Hospitality and tourism is growing rapidly, with over 20% growth compared to 2022. The industry is expected to keep growing, providing more travel opportunities for guests, and meaning there are more jobs on offer in the sector.