If you’re interested in a career in the hospitality industry, a hotel is an excellent place to start. There is a very wide range of entry-level positions that can lead to mid/upper level professional positions. Let’s take a look at the general entry-level jobs available and the possible paths of advancement that each one offers.

Desk Clerk

A hotel desk clerk works a basic, fairly low-impact customer service position that isn’t difficult to get into. Some hotels may ask for prior related hospitality experience or a high school diploma. Very rarely do hotels require any higher education or formal training.

This is a very good position to advance into management as you’ll rapidly learn the hotel’s day-to-day operations. If you’re considering pursuing a career in accounting, another interesting branch is to work as a night auditor. This overnight job retains the functions of the front desk clerk, but with less incoming traffic during the shift, the rest of the time is spent preparing the daily revenue and room occupancy reports.

Hotels have a wide variety of departments…

Administrative Assistant

Hotels have a wide variety of departments in which they require administrative assistants; accounting, development, human resources, legal, marketing, etc. This is yet another area that enables you to quickly learn about day-to-day operations and has room for advancement to a variety of other departments.

Depending on the complexity of the job, the educational requirement for an administrative assistant may be anything from a high school diploma to a related bachelor’s degree. It is a job that can potentially be obtained without prior experience.


Accounting work doesn’t differ much in a hotel from what is done pretty much everywhere else; hotel accountants will process financial data, prepare regular reports, manage payroll and conduct audits among other duties. Opportunities exist not just at individual hotels, but at the corporate offices of chains as well. Duties can expand to working with investments, strategic initiatives and business case recommendations.

Opportunities exist not just at individual hotels, but at the corporate offices of chains as well…

Areas to potentially move up include real estate, the supply chain and management of individual hotel locations or regions. These positions will usually require a degree, but there are plenty of entry-level opportunities for new graduates.


Marketing is another area in which jobs are available both at the independent and corporate level. Opportunities are particularly rich for those who speak another language and have a deep understanding of cultures that a hotel brand is expanding into.

This position requires a degree, but a wide range of communications, psychology or social studies bachelor’s degrees are often sufficient to secure an entry-level position.

There are plenty of opportunities to advance in a hotel.

Food Service

Most of the world’s top chefs pass through a hotel or resort at one point or another in their careers. This is a great breeding ground for chefs looking to learn traditional cooking techniques.

There are plenty of opportunities to advance in a hotel kitchen and often all it takes is a little luck and timing. Craft your trade, learn from those around you, play your cards right and you may become the next executive chef.

A lot of people do not always look to hotels as having a plethora of professional opportunities. Hopefully, this blog has opened your eyes to some of the paths forward as you look to develop professionally. Regardless of what career path calls out to you, a series of hotel positions always looks great on a resume.

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