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Occupational Profile

Hotel and Motel Desk Clerk

Desk clerks are employed in hotels and motels, and often are the first people to greet incoming guests.

  • Avg. Salary $28,220.00
  • Avg. Wage $15.30
  • Minimum Education High school diploma
  • Outlook Up
Also Known As

Customer Service Representative, Desk Clerk, Front Desk Agent, Information Clerk, Motel Desk Clerk

NOC & Interest Codes
The Hotel and Motel Desk Clerk is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Hotel Front Desk Clerks
NOC code: 6435
SOCIAL

Interest in speaking with people to provide information and respond to guests' complaints

METHODICAL

Interest in compiling information for preparing and checking daily record sheets, guests' accounts, receipts and vouchers

objective

Interest in operating computerized and manual systems to collect and verify guests' accounts

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation. 

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Mar 28, 2017

When new guests arrive, desk clerks:

  • welcome and register them
  • assign rooms and rates, and issue room keys or cards
  • provide information about services available in the hotel and in the community
  • verify customers' credit and establish how the customer will pay for the accommodation
  • promote and sell guest rooms
  • respond to special requests.

When guests check out, desk clerks:

  • review accounts with them
  • inquire about satisfaction with their stay
  • receive payment for accounts
  • balance cash accounts
  • advise housekeeping which rooms have been vacated and are ready for cleaning.

Desk clerks also may:

  • keep an inventory of room reservations
  • respond to reservation inquiries
  • answer telephones and take messages
  • handle guest mail
  • record guest comments
  • deal with customer complaints or refer dissatisfied customers to a manager.

In small hotels, desk clerks may have administrative responsibilities (for more information, see the Administrative Assistant profile). On night shifts, desk clerks may assume the duties of assistant manager, night cashier, concierge (manager of guest services) or night auditor.

In large hotels, front desk duties may be divided among several desk clerks.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 28, 2017

Desk clerks work shifts that include nights, weekends and holidays. They must remain standing for most of their working hours.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 28, 2017

Desk clerks provide one of the first impressions of a hotel or motel, so they must be:

  • pleasant, tactful and patient
  • able to communicate well with a wide variety of people
  • able to sell the services of their establishment
  • committed to providing good service.

They should enjoy dealing with people, taking a methodical approach to compiling information, and operating computerized and manual systems.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 28, 2017

Some employers are willing to hire high school graduates for desk clerk positions and train them on the job. However, employers generally prefer to hire applicants who have:

  • work experience in the hospitality industry or retail sales, or other experience meeting people and handling cash
  • computer skills
  • related post-secondary education or certification
  • demonstrated good judgement in stressful circumstances (desk clerks may have to deal with problem patrons and emergency or security problems).

Front desk clerks who wish to advance to hotel management positions may take any of the business administration and management programs offered by post-secondary schools throughout Alberta.

 


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Academy of Learning - Calgary NE

Academy of Learning - Calgary South

Academy of Learning - Edmonton Downtown

Academy of Learning - Edmonton South

Academy of Learning - Edmonton West

Academy of Learning - Medicine Hat

Academy of Learning - Red Deer

Cypress College - Legion Campus

Evergreen College - Calgary

Lakeland College

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

Professional Development Institute of Tourism

Red River College - Winnipeg

Reeves College - Edmonton

Reeves College - Lethbridge

Solomon College

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 28, 2017

Certification is not required, as there is currently no legislation regulating this occupation.

However, Tourism HR Canada (formerly the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council or CTHRC) offers voluntary emerit Front Desk Agent certification that is recognized in the tourism and hospitality industry across Canada. Certification training is accessible from the emerit website.

Additional voluntary certifications related to line employees are also available from the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI). For example, they offer a program that leads to the Certified Front Desk Representative credential.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 28, 2017

Above-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

In large hotels, employees who do not have related post-secondary education generally start in positions such as telephone operator, guest services attendant or cashier, and advance to desk clerk positions when they become available. Employment for desk clerks is steady and year-round except in summer hotels and resort operations. In some establishments, hours may be reduced during slower periods.

Desk clerks may advance to assistant front office and front office manager positions, particularly if they have related post-secondary education, or are willing to pursue it.

Hotel and motel desk clerks are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 6525: Hotel front desk clerks. In Alberta, people employed in this classification work in the Accommodation and Food Services (PDF) industry.

The employment outlook (PDF) in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Accommodation and Food Services industry)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 3,600 Albertans are employed in the Hotel front desk clerks occupational group. This group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.1% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 76 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As hotel and motel desk clerks form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for hotel and motel desk clerks.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 28, 2017

Salaries for desk clerks vary greatly depending on the size and location of the hotel, and the clerk's experience and degree of responsibility.

Hotel and motel desk clerks are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 6525: Hotel front desk clerks. 

According to the 2015 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Hotel desk clerks occupational group earned on average from $14.40 to $16.44 an hour. The overall average wage was $15.30 an hour. For more information, see the Hotel front desk clerks wage profile.

Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Health, Recreation and Human Services
    • Tourism
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
  • Personal and Food Services
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 28, 2017

Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association website: www.ahla.ca

American Hotel and Lodging Association, Educational Institute website: www.ahlei.org

emerit website: www.emerit.ca

Tourism HR Canada website: tourismhr.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 28, 2017. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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