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CHOOSING A CAREER / SEP. 19, 2014
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How to Become a Hotel Concierge

concierge
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As the hospitality industry becomes more competitive, so does the need to accord customers customized services. The trend has resulted in a surge for demand on careers that specialize in guest services such as concierges. Hotel concierges are tasked with understanding guest’s needs and customizing solutions for them. Some guests will require tickets to a certain game while others may need assistance with shopping for art pieces among others requests.

What Do Hotel Concierges Do?

Hotel concierges provide guests with specialized services to improve their experience. Tour and travel companies may also speak with the concierge for tips about entertainment and food selections for their guests. As a concierge, your job description may include the following;

  • Provide information about available services and local features such as nightlife, pet services and shopping.
  • Make reservations for guests such as for spa treatment, dinner, or a concert, and obtain tickets to events of their choice.
  • Receive, send, store or deliver parcels and luggage.
  • Run personal errands for guests.
  • Provide business services to guests such as faxing and shipping mail.
  • Plan special events such as birthday parties.
  • Carry out other requests such as finding hard-to-find items.

Salary

Entry Level

 

$20,147 - $41,926

Mid Career

 

$21,206 - $44,502

Experienced

 

$21,303 - $44,657

Average Hourly Rate

 

$13.50

Source: PayScale

Qualifications

Academic: Majority of hotels require a diploma or an associate degree in hospitality management or other related courses for the position of a concierge. However, in a competitive job market, more employers are asking for a bachelor’s degree as a minimum requirement.

On-the-job training is a mandatory prerequisite for most employers.

Certificate programs in tourism marketing, travel planning, communication management and other hospitality-related subjects increase your job opportunities. Some hospitality management institutions also offer concierge certificate programs, which will serve as an asset when applying for a job.

Certification: The government and state laws do not require any form of certification for one to practice as a concierge. While some employers may not ask for it either, earning a certification improves your chances of finding a job. Organizations that offer certification for professionals in the guest service industry include the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute. The National Concierge Association also grants an NCA Certified Concierge designations based on an individual’s experience, excellence and education in the guest service industry. Some of these organizations may require you to complete a preliminary training program or have certain eligibility requirements before seating for the certification exam. 

Knowledge and Skills

A hotel concierge requires the following skills;

  • Ability to communicate clearly
  • Active listening skills
  • Knowledge of clerical and administrative procedures
  • Polished coordination
  • Decision-making abilities

In addition to these skills, integrity, stress tolerance and dependability are paramount for career survival and growth in the industry.

Career Prospects

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 22 percent employment growth for concierges between 2012 and 2022. However, this growth is dependent on the performance and growth of the hospitality industry, which is one of the first to be affected by any economic uncertainties. As a hotel concierge, one can easily switch their specialty to a personal or office concierge. A good career record and advanced education can earn you a promotion to manage other concierges or find a job as a consultant in the industry.

Working as a concierge can be a stressful position and requires tolerance, patience and the ability to keep your cool under pressure. The job also requires willingness to take up challenges and responsibilities. With the right attitude and proper skills, the position offers opportunities to meet and network with new people, some who may be instrumental in your future career ambitions.

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