How to Become a Hotel Receptionist

If hotel industry fascinates you and you love meeting new people, you may consider becoming a hotel receptionist. It is not only the growing sector of an economy but also provides you with a versatile job experience and good bucks.

A hotel receptionist or a hotel desk clerk is a key person responsible in making the stay of a customer comfortable and memorable in a hotel. They are the people who are majorly responsible for attracting clients back to hotel.

Job description

Your main job as a hotel receptionist is to welcome guests and make them feel special in any possible manner. Depending upon the size and type of hotel, your duties may vary. In large hotels, you generally work as a part of team and you are assigned a specific duty such as only handling telephonic calls. In small hotels, you look after a wide range of tasks such as:

  • Making and managing reservations
  • Keeping the reservation software, if any, up to date
  • Dealing with cancellations
  • Proficiency in working with computers
  • Greet the guests at the time of check-in and check-out
  • Allocation of rooms and handing out of keys
  • Arrange for baggage assistance if needed
  • Handling foreign exchange
  • Taking and passing on messages
  • Efficiently managing complaints and any problems that may arise
  • Dealing with special requests from guests
  • Checking guests out
  • Preparation of bills and payment collection
  • Answer questions related to the hotel and surrounding areas


In this job, you generally work shifts. You work may involve late evenings, weekends and holidays as well. There are various options for part-time and seasonal work.


To become a hotel receptionist, you don’t need a professional education but it is desired to have a good standard of general education which includes GCSEs (A-C) in Mathematics and English.

There are certain full-time or part-time courses that you may consider to take if you wish learn the skills of job:

  • Level 1 Certificate in General Hospitality
  • Level 1 Award in Introduction to Employment in the Hospitality Industry
  • Level 1 Award in Introduction to the Hospitality Industry
  • Level 2 Award in the Principles of Customer Service in Hospitality, Leisure, Travel and Tourism

You may also become a hotel receptionist through an Apprenticeship scheme. It provides various modules such as the Level 2 Apprenticeship in Hospitality & Catering (Front of House Reception). You may refer to Apprenticeships website to find out more details.

There are various Higher National Certificates and Diplomas (HNCs/HNDs) in Hospitality Management available for those who wish to develop their career into management.

You may refer to Hospitality Guild to gain access to information on this career, training providers and so as to build professional contacts.


You are generally trained on-the-job by experienced staff. Some employers provide you in-house training and some might want you to gain industry qualifications, such as:

  • Level 2 (NVQ) Diploma in Front of House Reception
  • Level 2 Certificate In Hospitality and Catering Principles (Front of House Reception)
  • Level 3 Award in Principles of Supervising Customer Service Performance in Hospitality, Leisure, Travel and Tourism
  • Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Reception and Front Office Services

With experience, you could gain promotion to head receptionist and front desk manager.

Skills and interests

To be a receptionist, it is important for you to possess the following traits:

  • Excellent inter-personal skills
  • Patience
  • Impeccable communication skills
  • Pleasant disposition
  • Be able to handle pressure
  • Good problem solving skills
  • Multitasking ability
  • Organizational skills
  • Proficiency in working with computers
  • Pay attention to detail

It is advantageous if you possess a foreign language skill as well.



Salary per year


 £12,500 to £14,500


 £15,000 to £18,000

 Front desk manager

 Up to £23,000 

You may also be provided meals and accommodation.


Career prospects

There are numerous opportunities this profession offers to help you move up the career graph.

If you are employed in a large hotel or a hospitality chain, you are provided a career structure that promotes you one level up every time to senior roles such as shift leader, supervisor, and head receptionist.

After gaining a significant experience, you may be promoted to front office manager or hotel manager, but you might need to take further qualifications, such as HNCs/HNDs/Degrees in hospitality management.

It is also possible to shift your career to entirely different areas of work, such as different areas of hotel work, such as events and banqueting services, sales, personnel or accounts, and then on to management.

With all the available options for career growth in this sector, it might be alluring to enter into this job. But before making this vital decision, it is important to assess your personality. Only if you have it in you to make your guests feel warm and comfortable, you can become a good hotel receptionist.