There are approximately 13,420 hotel concierges employed in the United States. Most concierge jobs are located in large cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago; tourist-heavy areas, such as California and Florida; and the convention and entertainment mecca of Las Vegas. Employment opportunities are plentiful abroad, although European standards and training may be different from those found in the United States.
Concierges also work in other aspects of business. Besides hotels, concierges may also work in large apartment buildings and condominiums. The concierge services provided at one Chicago high-rise apartment building include taking clothes to the cleaners, watering plants, and caring for pets when occupants are out of town. Large upscale department stores offer concierge services for their shoppers, from complimentary coat and package checking to restaurant and store information and tours.
At most hotels, new hires are not allowed to sit at the lobby desk until they are properly trained. The first few days are spent going over the basic philosophy of being a concierge and the hotel's expectations of employees. Many concierge trainees come from other departments of the hotel, such as the front desk.
There is no typical path to this career. Some concierges have only a high school education. Being a graduate of a hotel or concierge program will, however, give you an edge in getting hired. Many schools with such programs offer job placement services. Also, check hotel industry publications as they often post employment opportunities. Les Clefs d'Or, an international association of concierges, takes great pride in the worldwide networking program it provides its members.
There are many opportunities for concierges who want to advance to other hotel departments. Because a concierge's duties are very people-oriented, similar positions, such as front desk manager, should be considered. A concierge who has a degree in hotel management or business, and work experience, as well as superior management skills, could vie for the position of general manager.
The extremely ambitious can also start their own concierge businesses. Personal concierges are personal assistants to those too busy to organize their homes or run errands. For a fixed price, known as a retainer, personal concierges are responsible for a set of weekly duties; special requests, such as planning dinner parties or buying Christmas gifts, are charged extra.
Tips for Entry
In high school, find a part-time job in a service industry, such as a restaurant.
Talk to your career counselor about job openings in nearby hotels.
Choose a hotel and research the area around it for restaurants and attractions and practice answering questions for clients.
Follow concierge associations on social media to network and stay up to date on industry developments. For example, the National Concierge Association has a presence on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.