Hotel management is an extremely people orientated career, in which you can make the difference to both the customer and staff at your venue. Ensuring the smooth day-to-day running of an establishment is only one aspect within this challenging yet rewarding role. If you are prepared to go the extra mile and make a difference for your customers, then follow this useful career guide to help you get into the hotel management industry.

So, what are the options for future hotel managers looking to begin their career journey? Let’s take a look at the routes into this role with Cairn Collection, who have the perfect hotel in Cardiff for your next city break.

Master the necessary skills

As with any career, you’ll need to have a certain skill set alongside some helpful interests to help spur you on at the beginning of your career. In terms of the desirable skill set, ideal candidates will be excellent communicators, approachable, and natural problem solvers who can demonstrate their ability to efficiently act under pressure. Roles within hotel management will expose individuals to a breadth of hectic situations that will require the use of initiative, so potential recruits should be able to show confidence and conviction in these scenarios. The ability to deal with more than one task at hand is also valued in this profession, as more often than not a hotel manager will be dealing with more than one issue simultaneously. Maintaining standards throughout the establishment is also paramount to the role of a hotel manager, and hopeful recruits should ideally have a keen eye for detail.

Technical skills that candidates will possess range from mathematical skills to negotiating contracts with suppliers and managing a vast quantity of information at any given point. A hotel manager will be involved in every aspect of the venue, from catering services to front of house and housekeeping. Therefore, prospective employees should be able to demonstrate the ability to process and act upon information. Salary expectations will vary depending on location, but the current starting rate for a hotel manager is anywhere in the region of £20,000 to £40,000. The role involves a diverse range of opportunities, including networking opportunities, and it is certainly true that no two days will be the same for a hospitality management professional. The role also breaks away from the conventional idea of a 9-5 working day, so candidates should prepare to embrace a working life which presents both flexibility and new challenges in a non-rigid way.


If you’re a school leaver or you’re simply looking to gain the relevant qualifications to become a hotel manager, then starting off with an apprenticeship can be a great way to develop an understanding of the nature of the tasks that the role will involve, as well as learning the necessary practical skills. There are various hospitality apprenticeship providers in the UK, and generally they all provide formal training and a salary while working, with mentoring and coaching from industry professionals. Apprenticeships are praised for their combination of teaching and vocational skills, and many big firms within the hospitality sector have taken heed from this by launching their own apprentice schemes. The levels range from intermediate to advanced, and they all provide in-depth understandings of the subject. If you are just starting out, then opt for a level 3 hospitality management apprenticeship. After completion, you can take on a Level 4 qualification. They are nationally recognised certificates and are known to facilitate career progression, equipping candidates with a wealth of experience for their future career.

University degrees

For those looking to pursue the university route into hotel management, there are various hospitality degree courses which lend themselves to building the foundations for a career in hotel management. Options range from hospitality management to tourism and leisure-based programs. These degrees will provide practical theory skills with the opportunity to undertake placements in a relevant hospitality setting. It is more important than ever for graduates to stand out form their peers, as the job market is seriously competitive nowadays. Recent findings from Glassdoor show that the average corporate job advert attracts a staggering 250 CVs. Considering this, graduates need to pursue any avenue that will set them apart from the crowd, and in a hotel management role experience is hugely advantageous. Alongside your studies or during the long summer break, students looking to secure a career in the industry should be seeking work experience, to allow them to demonstrate and develop a familiarity with the environment that they hope to be directing themselves eventually. Around 75.6% of hospitality management graduates are shown to have secured employment within six months of graduating, a promising statistic for current or future students.

Work your way up internally

It might seem like a less-common route nowadays, but upward progression into a role is still a potential route to achieve your dream career. Many employees begin in a casual position within a hotel and work their way up over time where relevant training will most likely be provided by an employer. Working in various roles within a hotel can help to provide a broader experience of the nature of the job, as you will appreciate the contributions to day-to-day running which go on far below the position of a hotel manager. Those within the hospitality industry who do choose to progress internally benefit from having a longer-standing knowledge of the working environment.

So, from varied working days to meeting new people all of the time and helping to boost customer satisfaction, the working life of a hotel manager can be an exciting, rewarding career option. If you think it could be for you, consider which route into employment would suit you best and enjoy your journey there!

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