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Hotel Manager Salary: How Much Should You Be Making?

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You’ve been managing a hotel for a few years, and you feel like you’ve done a good job.

Occupancy rates have been increasing steadily during your tenure, and customer ratings have gone from mediocre to five stars all around. People even smile at you as they check out, a far cry from the dark days a few years ago when you had to grab a baseball bat and take care of that rat problem yourself.

And all-in-all, you’re pretty happy with your salary. But the truth is, you don’t know any other hotel managers all that well, and have no idea how much they’re making — or how much you should be making. But hotel management is an important job, so you know you must be pretty valuable.

Whether you’re looking for your first hotel management job or just have a performance review coming up where you want to be armed with solid information so you aren’t lowballed, it’s high time we figure out how much you’re worth.

Hotel manager salary

The average hotel manager’s salary is tough to calculate since so many variables go into it, but the median is about $102,848 as of May 2017. The range is wider, between $72,976 and $133,847, according to Salary.com.

But where do you fall on that spectrum? Well, there’s four main factors that come into play.

1. Experience

As with any job, the more experience you have, the more money you can demand. A hotel manager who’s been in the industry for five years knows the ins and outs of the business, how to handle unhappy guests, and a host of other invaluable insights. Those are all things you’ll have to learn on the fly if it’s your first hotel management job.

A hotel owner is looking for a few things when hiring someone for the first time, and if you can check each box, you can demand a higher salary despite your inexperience:

  • A relevant degree, perhaps in hospitality or business management
  • Any hospitality experience (if you’ve worked at hotels before, even if you were just a bellhop, that’s a big plus)
  • Experience in a supervisory role (this shows the owner you can handle delegating tasks to your staff)

For new hotel managers, you’re probably worth on the lower end of the spectrum — between $50K and $70K, which isn’t bad depending on where you are.

2. Hotel size and class

It goes without saying that it takes a lot less blood, sweat, and tears to manage a bed and breakfast with four rooms in the country than a 300-room monster of a hotel in a big city. In the latter case, there’s a lot more employees to manage and a lot more finicky guests who need to be dealt with.

A study of hotel management salary data by HCE Hospitality Compensation Exchange found that hotels in Paris with more than 200 rooms tended to pay their general managers a base salary of about $166,000, 23% more than managers of hotels with fewer than 200 rooms.

But it’s not just size, it’s also what class of hotel you’re managing. The ownership of a five-star hotel will demand a lot from their hotel manager, but that increased responsibility comes with a big boost in pay, thanks to the fact that a luxury hotel will make a lot more per room than another hotel of a similar size that offers nothing more than a bed and a toilet.

3. Location

It’s true in real estate, and it’s true in the hotel business: location, location, location. Hotel guests will pay more to stay in the heart of Manhattan than in a small town in Iowa. And higher revenues means a higher salary almost invariably.

The average hotel room in New York City costs between $240 and nearly $400 a night, depending on the time of year. Compare that to the average U.S. daily rate, which was $137 in 2014.

If you’ve got both experience and a highly coveted location, you can expect to earn on the higher end of the salary scale.

4. Performance

Like any job, your performance will have a tremendous impact on your pay.

If you’ve got a track record of success with prior hotels, you can demand a salary on a higher end of the pay spectrum. But you’ll need to prove your worth to your boss.

Before meeting with a future employer, or perhaps your current employer ahead of a performance review, gather numbers to boost your argument that you add value to a hotel with your management. You might point to vital statistics such as how much RevPAR increased during your tenure as hotel manager, or print out some customer reviews on TripAdvisor or elsewhere that were logged when you were the hotel manager.

How much did you make in your first hotel management job?

Everyone’s first job in hotel management is different. Tell us about where you got started, and what your beginning salary was in the comments below and help out someone who is just starting out.

Looking for Hospitality Property Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Hospitality Property Management software solutions.

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About the Author

Dan Taylor

Dan is a content writer at Capterra, specializing in hotel management, construction and real estate. Outside the office, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends, catching up with the latest offering from HBO or paying a visit to a new place.

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