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Hotel and Motel Desk Clerk

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

Also Known As

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

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Hotel Front Desk Clerks (6435) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Hotel Front Desk Clerks (G715) 
  • 2011 NOC: Hotel front desk clerks (6525) 
  • 2016 NOC: Hotel front desk clerks (6525) 
  • 2021 NOC: Hotel front desk clerks (64314) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Hotel Front Desk Clerks

2006 NOC: 6435

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
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

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

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 for this NOC group 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 About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated May 19, 2021

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 May 19, 2021
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

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

Traits & Skills
Updated May 19, 2021

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.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Hotel front desk clerks

2016 NOC: 6525

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 100 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Nov 03, 2022 and Nov 26, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Tasks: Register arriving guests and assign rooms
Tasks: Provide customer service
Tasks: Answer telephone and relay telephone calls and messages
Tasks: Process guests' departures, calculate charges and receive payments
Tasks: Take, cancel and change room reservations
Tasks: Provide information on hotel facilities and services
Tasks: Provide general information about points of interest in the area
Tasks: Maintain an inventory of vacancies, reservations and room assignments
Tasks: Clerical duties (i.e. faxing, filing, photocopying)
Tasks: Process group arrivals and departures
Educational Requirements
Updated May 19, 2021
  • Minimum Education High school diploma

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)

The ability to speak more than one language, and having first aid training are also assets.

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 Central
Academy of Learning - Calgary NE
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
Canadian Health & Business College
Cypress College - Culinary Campus
East-West College - Edmonton
Glenbow College
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
Reeves College - Calgary South
Reeves College - Edmonton
Reeves College - Edmonton North

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated May 19, 2021
  • Certification Not Regulated

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 May 19, 2021

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 (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the 6525: Hotel front desk clerks occupational group is expected to have an average annual growth of 1.9% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 58 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2019-2023 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

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

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated May 19, 2021

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

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Hotel front desk clerks

2016 NOC: 6525
Average Wage
$16.97
Per Hour
Average Salary
$29,285.00
Per Year
Average Hours
33.5
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
11.8
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 6525 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $18.68 $15.96 $15.50
Overall $15.00 $20.78 $16.97 $16.60
Top $15.00 $22.65 $18.35 $18.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

ALL INDUSTRIES
Accommodation & Food Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
63%
63%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
37%
37%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
7%
7%
Vacancy Rate
3%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
  • Personal and Food Services
Other Sources of Information
Updated May 19, 2021

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

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

emerit website: emerit.ca

Tourism HR Canada website: tourismhr.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2021. 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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