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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.

  • Avg. Salary $28,739.00
  • Avg. Wage $16.33
  • Minimum Education High school diploma
  • Outlook avg
  • Employed 2,600
  • In Demand Medium
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) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

76%
76%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Hotel and Motel Desk Clerk is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Hotel Front Desk Clerks
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 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

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 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.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Hotel front desk clerks
NOC code: 6525

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 13 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Sep 17, 2021 and Oct 16, 2021.

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.
Answer telephone and relay telephone calls and messages
Provide customer service
Take, cancel and change room reservations
Register arriving guests and assign rooms
Provide information on hotel facilities and services
Process guests' departures, calculate charges and receive payments
Provide general information about points of interest in the area
Follow emergency and safety procedures
Maintain an inventory of vacancies, reservations and room assignments
Process group arrivals and departures
Educational Requirements
Updated May 19, 2021

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 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

Canadian Health & Business College

Cypress College - Culinary Campus

East-West College - Edmonton

Glenbow College

Lakeland College

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

Reeves College - Calgary South

Reeves College - Edmonton

Reeves College - Edmonton North

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

Certification Requirements
Updated May 19, 2021

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.

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

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.

Hotel front desk clerks

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $17.50 $15.68 $15.25
Overall $15.00 $18.50 $16.33 $16.00
Top $15.00 $21.00 $17.64 $17.00

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.

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.


Industry Information
ALL INDUSTRIES
Accommodation & Food Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

76%
76%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

40%
40%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

11%
11%

Vacancy Rate

4%
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 May 19, 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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