Hotel and Motel Managers


Education and Training Requirements

High School

It's a good idea to begin preparing for a career in hotel management while in high school. Concentrate on a business-oriented curriculum, with classes in finance, accounting, and mathematics. Computer literacy is also important in the hotel industry, for reservations, accounting, data analysis, and management of supplies. Brush up on your communication skills while in high school. You'll need them when giving direction and supervision to a large and diverse staff. Take English classes and other courses such as speech or drama, which will give you the chance to polish your grammar and speaking skills. A second language, especially Spanish, French, Mandarin, or Japanese, will be very helpful to you in the future.

Postsecondary Training

Many large hotel companies now require management trainees to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in business, hotel, or hospitality management; smaller hotels may only require an associate’s degree. Numerous community and junior colleges and some universities offer associate's, bachelor's, or graduate degree programs in hotel or restaurant management. In addition, technical, vocational, and trade schools and other institutions offer hotel business programs resulting in a formal recognition of training, such as a certificate.

Classes in hotel management cover topics such as administration, marketing, housekeeping, hotel maintenance, and computer skills. To complement class instruction, most programs require students to work on site at a hotel.

Many hotels and motels will also consider candidates with liberal arts degrees or degrees in such fields as business management and public relations if they are highly qualified and talented.

Visit for a list of colleges and universities that offer degrees in hospitality and hotel management.

Approximately 65 hospitality management programs in the United States are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration. Visit for a list of schools.

Other Education or Training

The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute offers a variety of online continuing education courses. Visit for more information. 

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

Certification for this job is not a requirement, though it is recognized by many as a measurement of industry knowledge and job experience. The American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) offers a variety of certifications for hotel and motel managers, such as certified hotel administrator, certified lodging security director, certified hospitality supervisor, certified hospitality facilities executive, and certified hospitality revenue manager. Contact the institute for more information on these and other hospitality-related certifications.

High school juniors and seniors who are interested in working in the hospitality industry can take advantage of the AHLEI's Hospitality and Tourism Management Program. The two-year program combines classroom and online learning with work experience in the hospitality industry. Graduating seniors who pass examinations, complete 360 hours of classroom learning, and accrue 100 hours of paid or unpaid work experience at hotels, restaurants, or other tourism industry employers receive the certified hospitality and tourism management professional designation. Visit for more information.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Managers should have experience working in various areas of the hotel business, including finance, hospitality, housekeeping, marketing, and advertising. They need strong leadership skills to motivate and supervise employees who work throughout their establishment. Perhaps most importantly, managers must enjoy serving guests who stay at their hotel to ensure that they have a high quality experience. This requires strong communication skills, the ability to solve problems, and a willingness to listen to the needs of every guest. Managing can sometimes be stressful, and managers need to keep a cool demeanor when dealing with difficult situations that come their way.