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Duties •Qualifications •Outlook •Earnings •Working Conditions


Bulletin No. 905

L . B. Schwellenbach, Secretary

Ewan Clague, Commissioner


n it e d

S tates D e p a r t m e n t
B ureau





L abor ,
S t a t is t ic s ,

W ashington, Z>. (7., J u ly 7, 191ft.
T h e S ecr etar y


L abor :

I have the honor to transmit herewith a report on the employment outlook
in hotel occupations. This is one of a series of occupational studies conducted
in the Bureau’s Occupational Outlook Division for use in vocational
counseling o f veterans, young people in school, and others interested in
choosing a field o f work.
The report was prepared by Herbert L . Gottlieb, under the supervision
of Helen W ood .

Sylvia K . Lawrence assisted in the library research.

The Bureau wishes to acknowledge the generous assistance received in
connection with this study from the American H otel Association, the H otel
and Restaurant Employees’ and Bartenders’ International Union, A F L and
the U . S. Employment Service.
E w a n C l a g u e , Com m issioner.


L . B. S ch w ellenbach,
Secretary o f Labor.

Photographs are by courtesy of American Hotel Association and the Mayflower Hotel.




The hotel industry____________________________________________________________
Hotel occupations_______________________________
Trend of employment_____________________________________________________
Earnings and working conditions__________________________________________
Employment prospects in typical hotel occupations_____________________________
Front-office clerks_________________________________________________________
Service employees_________________________________________________________
Bellmen and baggage porters__________________________________________
Bell captains and head baggage porters_______________________________
Superintendents of service____________________________________________
Housekeepers and assistants_______________________________________________
Managers and assistants_____________________________________________________
How to get more information about job opportunities_____________________________


For sale by the Superintendent o f Docum ents, U. S. Government Printing Office
W ashington 25, D. C. - Price 10 cents





arrangements. M ost hotels also have large rooms
that can be rented for public or private gatherings.

Inn-keeping had its beginnings more than 2,500
years ago, with the growth o f trade and travel
in the Near East. In the days o f the early E g y p ­

Conventions (which number about 15,000 in an
average year in the United States) are frequently

tians, Babylonians, and Persians, there were inns
scattered along the main caravan routes. Inns

held in hotels.

Other kinds o f gatherings which

often take place there are local business, fraternal,

dotted the highways which were built throughout
the Roman Empire. W ith the fall o f Rome, how­

and professional meetings; concerts and lectures;
private dinners, dances, and w eddings; and trade

ever, travel became unsafe and practically ceased
in Europe, and the number o f lodging houses de­

exhibits, where salesmen display their wares to

clined until the late Middle A ges, when the revival
o f commerce brought a great new growth in the


inn-keeping business.

employed about h alf a million workers in m id1946, more than were employed in such important

T o furnish these many different services, hotels

D uring the 1700’s, large

and elaborate inns were built in France, especially
near the K in g ’s court at Versailles. These were the
first “ hotels.”

trade and service industries as drugstores or laun­

From that time on, hotels m ulti­


There are hotels and hotel workers in all

plied in W estern Europe. I t was in the United
States, however, that the largest and most
luxurious ones were built. M any o f the new

parts o f the country— in small villages, medium­

American hotels catered to people o f moderate
means as well as to the ric h ; therefore, the number

deserts, and on islands off the coast. A great many

sized towns, and big cities. M any resort hotels are
in remote spots in the mountains, woods, and
different kinds o f workers are em ployed: for ex­

o f hotels increased more rapidly here than in any
other country.

ample, managers, clerks, skilled maintenance men,
restaurant and kitchen workers, and housekeep­

The typical modern hotel in this country is not

ing and service employees.

simply a lodging place but a complex organization
offering many kinds o f services to its guests— from
providing them with food and doing their laundry

The qualifications

needed for these jobs are so varied that men and
women with very different educational back­
grounds, personalities, and skills can find jobs in
the hotel industry.

to helping them get theater tickets and make travel

The Hotel Industry
There are three main types o f hotels— transient

tively long periods.

(or commercial), residential, and resort.

The rooms may be rented

furnished or unfurnished and in some places house­

Commercial hotels are by far the most numerous

keeping apartments are available, but “ hotel serv­

type, about three-fourths o f the country’s 28,000

ice” is always provided.

hotels being o f this kind.

tial hotels together employed about 322,000 work­

Such hotels cater chiefly

to business travelers and tourists who seek lodging

ers during 1939, 95 percent of the average annual

for short periods o f time, though they may have

employment figure for the entire industry.1

some permanent guests.
Residential hotels, which make up less than one-

1 These figures do not include apartment houses or residential
hotels catering exclusively to permanent guests.

tenth o f all hotels, let most o f their rooms for rela­
741899— 47

Commercial and residen­















100 - 2 9 9
50 — 99
2 5 - 49

SO U R C E: CENSUS O F B U SIN E S S , 1 9 3 9


Resort hotels cater to vacationers and are open

pensive establishments.

for business only part o f the year.2 Some mana­
gers operate one hotel in the North and one in the

A few big hotels have as

many employees as guests, though the average for
the industry as a whole is estimated at one worker
to about every four guests.

South and move back and forth between them in
the spring and fa ll, with all or most o f their staff.
Resort hotels represent about one-sixth o f all
hotels in the country. The number of people em­
ployed varies greatly from one season o f the year
to another: for example, in 1939, employment in
such hotels was 13,000 in February, the busiest
month o f the Southern season; it fell to 8,000 in

There are some hotels in all parts of the country
and nearly every city has at least one. However,
the majority o f hotel workers are employed in a rel­
atively small number o f States, resort hotel work­
ers being concentrated in even fewer States than
year-round hotel workers. Over three-fifths o f
the workers in year-round hotels in 1939 were em­

M ay, rose to 38,000 in August, the month when

ployed in the following 10 States— New Y ork , I lli­

there are the most vacationers, and then dropped

nois, California, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, M ich­

to a low o f 4,000 in November.

igan, Missouri, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.

The tremendous downtown transient hotels, some

O f the workers in resort hotels, three-fifths were

o f which have over 1,000 rooms, are, in general, the

employed in only five States— two-fifths o f them in

largest ones, though some residential and resort

Florida and New Y ork and one-fifth in New Jersey,

hotels are very big also.

In 1939, there were, alto­

Maine, and California.

Ten cities had over one-

gether, about 3,000 hotels with more than 100

third of all the workers in year-round and resort

rooms; these employed 240,000 workers (see chart

hotels combined.

1 ).

San Francisco, W ashington, Boston, Atlantic City,

In contrast, the 12,000 hotels with fewer than

25 rooms had only 20,000 employees.

These were New Y ork , Chicago,

Los Angeles, Detroit, St. Louis, and Philadelphia.

The larger and more expensive hotels not only
have more guests to serve but, as a rule, employ

2 The Census of Business defines resort hotels as those open fol
business less than 9 months of the year.

more workers per guest than smaller and less ex­


performed and the training required are much the

Hotel Occupations

same in hotels as in other fields, and hotel em­
ployees make up only a small proportion o f all
employed workers. The employment opportuni­

A great variety o f jobs are to be found in
the various departments o f large hotels. In the
executive department o f a big hotel, there is likely
to be a general manager, a personnel director, a
publicity director, sales and advertising managers,
and other executive and junior executive workers.

ties for these occupational groups are affected by
general conditions in their trades. The outlook
for them in hotels is suggested by the trend o f
employment in this industry, which is described

The front office employs such workers as mail

in the next section.

clerks, room clerks, reservation clerks, and the
front-office manager. In the accounting depart­

work usually have to begin at the bottom o f the

ment are auditors, bookkeepers, office-machine op­

ladder— in jobs such as bellman, elevator operator,

erators, cashiers, and other clerical workers. The
housekeeping department includes not only the

be promoted to supervisory positions, i f they have

Y ou n g people interested in a career in hotel

clerk, or maid.

housekeeper and her assistants and the chamber­

the needed personality and ability. Exceptionally
able and well-qualified men may advance eventu­

maids but also housemen (who do heavy cleaning),
furniture polishers, seamstresses, decorators, up­

ally to managerial jobs, which are almost always
filled by promoting workers with many years o f

holsterers, and others. Headed by the superin­
tendent o f service, the service department employs
such workers as bellmen, baggage porters, elevator
starters and operators, and doormen.

From these entry jobs, they may

hotel experience.

Managers with sufficient capital

and good experience have sometimes been able to
go into business for themselves, as owner-operators

The restau­

rant department includes chefs, cooks of various
kinds, and kitchen helpers; the steward and his
staff— pantrymen, storeroom employees, dish­

o f small hotels.

Trend of Employment

washers; and waiters, bartenders, and other food
department one finds such workers as stationary
engineers, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, and

Employment in hotels will probably tend to
increase slowly both in the next year or two and
in the more distant future.

painters. In addition, there may be auxiliary de­
partments which employ, for example, laundry

W h en the war ended, there were labor shortages
in almost all hotel occupations. W artim e con­

workers, barbers, valets, and tailors.

ditions brought a marked increase in hotel busi­
ness, at the same time that large numbers of
experienced workers were leaving to go into the
armed forces or into higher-paid jobs in other
industries. Though many inexperienced workers

and beverage service workers. In the maintenance


small hotels do not have nearly as many separate
occupations as this, practically all of them employ
front-office, housekeeping, and maintenance work­
ers, and some have restaurant workers and service
employees such as bellmen.

were hired and employment rose, the number o f

Kestaurant and bar-room employees are the
largest occupational group in hotels, as shown in
chart 2. In 1939, over one-third of the workers
in year-round hotels with more than 25 rooms were

new recruits was not large enough to fill all the
openings. W ith the return o f former employees
to the industry, the need for workers has been
greatly reduced, but there still are openings in

in this group.

some occupations in many hotels.

One-fourth were housekeeping em­

ployees, more than one-tenth were employed in


opportunities will arise continually owing to turn­

the service department, and another tenth were

over, which is especially high among the less

engaged in front-office and other clerical work.

skilled and lower-paid workers such as maids and
kitchen help.

A number of occupations— including front-office

Moreover, if the plans that have

Each of

been made for building new hotels are carried out,

these typical hotel occupations is discussed sep­

these will create some further jobs within the
next few years.

clerk and bellman— exist only in hotels.

arately in later sections o f this bulletin. However,
many o f the occupations in hotels— for example,

In the long run, a slow upward trend in employ­

accountant, carpenter, cook, waiter— are found also

ment in practically all hotel occupations is to be

in other industries. In these occupations, the work














Tourist camps and other lodging places will take
some business away from hotels, as they were doing

than the average, as is indicated by the earnings
data for a few occupations given in later sections
of the bulletin.

before the war, but the growing demand for lodg­
ings should offset this competition in most locali­
ties as long as general business conditions continue
to be good. Declines in business activity have led
to sharp declines in hotel employment in the past,
some occupational groups would be affected more
than others. H ow stable employment is likely to be

One o f the advantages o f work in year-round
hotels is the fact that employment and earnings are
likely to be steady throughout the year. Some
employees o f resort hotels, who move each fa ll from
a hotel in the North to one in the South which is
under the same management and then back again in
the spring, also have steady jobs. More often,

in different hotel occupations is one o f the points
discussed later on in this bulletin.

however, workers in this branch o f the industry
face the problem o f finding new jobs when their

however, and would probably do so in the future ;

hotel closes at the end o f the season.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Hours o f work and other working conditions
vary greatly from one hotel to another and also

Earnings o f hotel workers have risen greatly dur­

from occupation to occupation.

ing the past few years, in line with the general up­
ward trend in wages. Besides their money wages,
many workers are furnished meals and lodgings by

Although some

N ot counting any of these items, the av­

workers, especially in large hotels, are on regular
8-hour shifts, many others have a longer workday.
“ Split shifts”— on which employees have several
hours off duty during the day but start their work

erage pay o f employees in year-round hotels (ex­

early in the morning and end it after dinnertime

cluding high-salaried executives and supervisors)

in the evening— are frequent among kitchen and
dining-room workers. Ow ing to the fact that ho­

the hotel.

In addition, many receive tips from cus­

was 60 cents an hour in the first h alf o f 1946.
was nearly twice as high as in 1940.


tels provide service 24 hours a day, some employees
must work at n ig h t; in some hotels, employees take

W eekly wages

in early 1946 averaged about $26 or $27 for approx­
imately 44 hours’ work.

turns at the different shifts.

The amount an individual hotel worker can ex­
pect to earn depends, first o f all on his occupation
and the degree o f skill which it requires; also on

dent hazards, nor are there any special industrialdisease hazards. In many occupations, however,

the size and location o f the hotel, how well the
worker does his job, and other factors. Large

workers have to be on their feet all day long and
this may lead to various health problems.

numbers o f hotel employees, such as maids and
busboys, are in unskilled occupations paying less
than the average earnings cited. On the other
hand, certain occupational groups make much more

Employees such as housekeepers and maids, who
often “live in” and are provided with meals find
that living conditions vary greatly from one hotel
to another.

In general, hotel work involves no serious acci­

Employment Prospects in Typical Hotel Occupations

always show up in exactly the numbers calculated

Front-Office Clerks

by the architect who designed the h otel; and some­

Everyone who has been in a hotel lobby has seen

times after room 703 is rented, M r. Jones, who

the “ front-office clerks” at work behind the main

always stays in that room, arrives in the lobby with

hotel desk.

his baggage.

Their m ajor responsibility is to rent

Bearing in mind arrivals and depar­

rooms to incoming guests, trying to give each one

tures from all the rooms in the hotel and trying

the kind o f room he wants for the length of time

to please all the guests, the clerks must try to make

he wants it.

This is not always easy: guests want­

room assignments in such a way as to obtain the

ing double rooms with southern exposure do not

greatest possible room revenue.


They also have

many other duties, such as acknowledging room
reservations received by telephone or mail and fil­
ing reservation cards; handling guests' com­
plaints; issuing and receiving room keys; supply­
ing information about arrivals and departures of
guests and about local points of interest: receiving
and delivering messages; and taking care of in­
coming mail.
In small hotels with few employees, one clerk
may do all this work by himself or with the help
of one or two assistants. Where there is a large
staff, however, employees usually specialize in d if­
ferent types of work. In such cases, beginners are
assigned routine jobs such as those of key clerk, in­
formation clerk, or mail clerk, and there are also
higher-grade clerks with such titles as room clerk,
desk clerk, or front-office manager, who supervise
other clerical workers in addition to handling the
more difficult and responsible work.

Openings in beginning jobs are filled sometimes
by hiring inexperienced outsiders, sometimes by
promoting bellmen, switchboard operators, and
other workers already employed by the hotel. Po­
sitions of higher grade are usually filled by promo­
tions from within but, in some instances, by hiring
experienced clerks from other hotels. A super­
visory clerk may be promoted to assistant mana­
ger, and, after becoming familiar with the opera­
tion of other departments of the hotel, may pos­
sibly become general manager. Men are generally
preferred for front-office clerical jobs. Highschool education is often helpful in entering and
advancing in this work. Completion of a course in
hotel work in the public schools, where one is
offered, is also likely to be an aid in getting a job.
Room clerk filling out “ rooming slip" showing guest’s name and
address and the room number and rate, while guest registers.


Bellmen also run errands, deliver messages and
packages, and supply various types o f information

There will be some job opportunities in the im ­
mediate future, not only for experienced workers
but also for newcomers who have the desired
personal qualifications.

to guests. In large hotels, a separate group o f
employees, known as “ baggage porters,” handle

D uring the war, about

these occupations left for the armed forces and
war industries. Although a large number o f new

the suitcases and other baggage o f guests who are
leaving. They also help to set up sample rooms
for salesmen, supply travel information and buy

clerks were hired, including many women, there

transportation tickets, and arrange for shipment

was a shortage o f help in both supervisory and

of express articles.

lower-grade jobs.

Some former workers have

frequently combined with those o f baggage por­

returned to their jobs since the end o f the war, but

ters, except in large hotels, and the worker in
such cases is generally known as a bellman. In

h alf o f the many thousands of men employed in

the shortage has not been filled in all hotels.


The duties o f bellmen are

some instances, bellmen and baggage porters act
as relief men in such jobs as elevator operator and

addition, many hotels have been anxious to re­
place some of the clerks hired during the war.

switchboard operator.

The best chance of jobs for inexperienced work­
ers will generally be found in the larger com­
mercial hotels, where beginners can be assigned

The way of entering these occupations differs
from one hotel to another. Some hotels fill open­

to specialized jobs.
Because of the long-run upward trend and also

ings only by promoting workers already employed
by the hotel— most often elevator operators and

because employment o f front-office workers is only


slightly affected by declines in general business

in other hotels— as bellman or baggage porter or,
occasionally, in another occupation. A good many

activity, most men who find positions in year-round

Some also hire workers with experience

hotels and prove satisfactory may expect to keep

hotels, especially the smaller ones, sometimes hire

their jobs for many years.

outsiders without previous hotel experience.

hotel occupations are available.

In a

few localities, training courses for bellman jobs are

No up-to-date statistics on earnings in different

given by the public schools; completion o f such a

However, scat­

tered information for a few large cities suggests

course is generally helpful in obtaining work.

that typical weekly salaries in beginning fronto f 1946; in higher-grade jobs, about $35 to $45.

A man who wishes to advance from the job o f
bellman may aspire to be bell captain. A baggage
porter may advance to head baggage porter. From

Earnings o f head clerks tend to be somewhat

either position, the second step up is to become

higher, especially in large hotels.

hotel is a member o f the service department— the
doorman. Bellmen are a still better-known group

superintendent o f service. Some workers have a
chance to transfer to front-office clerical jobs,
which may enable them to advance eventually to
managerial positions. Moreover, both bellmen and
baggage porters may increase their earnings by
moving to jobs o f the same kind in better-grade

o f service employees. Other workers in this de­
partment include elevator operators and starters,

country as a whole, although there are a limited

bell captains, head baggage porters, and the super­

number o f openings in a few localities. A s former

intendent o f service. These positions form a pro­
motional ladder up which men may move as they

workers have returned from the armed forces and

office jobs were roughly $25 to $35 in the early part

Service Employees
The first worker one meets when coming into a

gain in experience and skill.

These occupations are overcrowded, taking the

war industries, many o f the men hired during the

T he usual steps in

war have been down-graded, usually to elevator-

promotion are outlined in the next three sections

operator jobs, or have been laid off. H irin g stand­

describing the most important service occupations.

ards have become much more strict.
D uring the next few years inexperienced men

Bellmen and Baggage Porters

are likely to find it difficult to get positions as bell­
men or baggage porters.

T he ringing o f a bell or the call o f “ F r o n t!” in

In general, competition

a hotel lobby quickly brings the “bellman” to

for jobs will be keenest in large commercial hotels

usher a guest up to his room and carry his baggage.

in metropolitan centers.


The chance o f entering

the occupations will probably be best in resort
hotels, and experience gained there may enable
men to transfer to commercial or residential hotels.
It may also be possible for beginners to find jobs
in occupations such as elevator operator or house­
man in which there are still shortages of workers
in some areas. These jobs may lead to positions
as bellmen or baggage porters in the future. The
length of time it will take to be promoted will vary
greatly, however, depending upon the rate of turn­
over in the particular hotel and the number of em­
ployees with greater seniority.
Though the long-run trend is upward, employ­
ment in these occupations is very much affected
by declines in business activity. Whether all bell­
men and baggage porters will have steady employ­
ment over a long period of time will therefore de­
pend on whether or not general business activity
continues at a high level.
A fairly large number of bellmen and baggage
porters belong to unions. The union members are
mostly in large cities outside the South. They are
represented by the Hotel and Restaurant Employ­
ees’ and Bartenders’ International Union, AFL,
and in a few places bv the Building Service Em­
ployees' International Union, AFL.
W ages in union hotels were about $12 to $10 per
week in early 1916, according to scattered data for
some large cities. Including tips, the total amount
received by many bellmen was reported to be
roughly $45 to $60 a week.

Bell Captains and Head Baggage Porters
The work of bellmen and baggage porters is
generally done under the watchful eyes of the ‘“bell
captain” and the “ head baggage porter.” These
supervisory employees are to be found in almost
all medium-sized and large hotels, though seldom
in small hotels with only a few service employees.
It is their job to assign work in rotation to em­
ployees in their respective departments and to keep
time records. They also instruct new employees,
interview job applicants, investigate and adjust
guests’ complaints relating to the work of their
departments, and decide what action should be
taken on unusual requests for service. The head
baggage porter is sometimes called a “ transporta­
tion clerk" because of his expert knowledge of train

and airplane schedules. The bell captain, in addi­
tion to his other duties, may occasionally perform
bellman’s work.
Bell-captain positions are usually filled by pro­
moting one of the bellmen employed by the hotel;
head-baggage-porter jobs, by promoting one of
the porters. Although a man may advance to the
job of superintendent of service from either posi­
tion, bell captains are more likely to receive this
promotion than head baggage porters.
Both occupations are small ones, employing only
a few thousand workers. In both, the number of
men employed declined slightly during the war.
Vacancies created by withdrawals to the armed
forces and war industries could not always be
filled and, often, part or all of the duties were
taken over by other employees such as the super­
intendent of service, room clerk, or assistant man­
ager. The shortage of qualified workers has
largely been met, however, by the return of most
of the men who le ft; only a small number of

Bell captain receiving telephone request for service from a guest,
while a bellman waits for instructions.

openings remain. These openings, plus those aris­
ing because of turn-over, w ill, as usual, be filled in
most instances by promoting the most qualified
bellmen and baggage porters. Men who obtain


such promotions in year-round hotels will have
a good chance o f holding their positions indefi­
nitely, since employment in these occupations is

trend in hotel employment but these w ill, as usual,
be filled by promotions from within. Since this
is another occupation that is little affected by de­
clines in general business activity, the small group
o f men who succeed in obtaining positions in year-

not affected very much by declines in general
business activity and will probably tend to rise
slowly over the long run.

round hotels should have steady employment for
many years.

Typical weekly wages o f both bell captains and
head baggage porters were roughly $35 to $45 in
the early part o f 1946, according to fragmentary
data for a few large cities.

On the basis o f scattered data for some large
cities, it appears that typical wages were approxi­

Total earnings were

higher, however, because o f tips.

W ith the return of most o f the men

who left, employment has risen again, and the
occupation has become overcrowded in most parts
o f the country. A few openings may be expected
as a result o f turn-over and the long-run upward

mately $40 to $60 a week in this occupation in the
early part o f 1946. A few men who work in very

The amount of

money earned through tips varies considerably
from one hotel to another. In general, head bag­

large hotels earn more.

T ips are seldom received,

but meals may be provided by the hotel. The
number o f hours o f work per day and per week
vary greatly, depending upon pressure o f work.

gage porters make more than bell captains, be­
cause they receive larger and more frequent tips—
mainly for making travel arrangements and pur­
chasing tickets.

Housekeepers and Assistants
Superintendents of Service
The furnishings, rooms, and halls o f hotels must
be kept clean and attractive— and this is the house­
keeper’s responsibility. The housekeeper super­

A t the head o f the service department in some
large hotels is the “superintendent of service.”


hires, instructs, disciplines, and discharges em­

vises the work o f room maids, linen maids, wall and
window washers, furniture polishers, housemen
(who do heavy cleaning), and seamstresses. Gen­

ployees in his department. In addition, he confers
and cooperates with the people in charge o f other
departments— for example, the chief clerk and the

erally, she hires and discharges employees in her
department. In addition, she buys or assists in

housekeeper— and he m ay also make out the pay
roll for his department. In smaller hotels, these
duties are performed, as a rule, by the assistant or
general manager, the room clerk, or the bell cap­
tain (who may be called “ working superintendent

the buying o f supplies, reports expenditures to the
manager, makes out the pay roll for the de­
partment, takes periodic inventories o f supplies,
and trains new employees.

o f service” ) .
Ten years o f hotel experience is often necessary
in order to become a superintendent o f service. A s
already indicated, most employees in this occupa­
tion have been promoted from the job o f bell cap­

Large hotels have an executive or head house­
keeper and also one or more assistant housekeepers
and floor housekeepers or inspectresses. In small
hotels, on the other hand, there is only one house­
keeper (often called a “ working” housekeeper)

tain, though some were previously head baggage

who not only handles all the supervisory duties by


herself but may, in addition, do some o f the work

Occasionally, a superintendent o f service

o f a maid.

transfers to a front-office clerical job, with the aim
o f advancing eventually to a managerial job.

Openings for housekeepers are usually filled by
promotions from within the hotel or by hiring wo­

Employment is likely to rise slightly above the
present figure, which is in the hundreds, during the

men who have performed similar work in another

next few years.


D uring the war, a small number






o f men left the occupation fo r the armed forces

housekeepers in large hotels are filled sometimes

and war industries. A s in the case o f bell captains
and head baggage porters, vacancies were not al­

by hiring inexperienced women and giving them
on-the-job training; sometimes by promoting

ways filled and employment therefore declined







From these assistant supervisory jobs, promotion
to the position of housekeeper is possible. Train­
ing courses for housekeeping jobs are given by the
public schools in some localities and are likely to
be helpful to girls wishing to enter the occupation.
Many thousands of housekeepers and assistants
are employed in the industry as a whole, and their
number is likely to increase slowly both during the
next few years and in the long run. The shortage
of workers which developed in those occupations
during the war has been much reduced since VJday, but there are still some vacancies, especially in
small hotels and in lower-grade jobs. In addition,
there will be hundreds of openings a year owing
to turn-over. As already indicated, however, inex­
perienced women will be able to find jobs only as
maids or, if the}7have the desired personal qualifi­
cations, as assistant housekeepers or inspectresses.
Moreover, competition for the better-paying jobs
in large hotels is likely to be keen, as it was before
the war.

Housekeeper supervising a


in hanging

drapes and

inspecting the color of paint before it is put on the w alls.

!~ € s


' zz
... ........



The long-run trend of employment in this occu­
pation is upward also. Women who obtain promo­
tions to housekeeper jobs in year-round hotels
should have a good chance of holding them indefi­
nitely. Assistant housekeepers and inspectresses,
however, have less assurance of steady employ­
ment. since declines in general business activity
affect the number of assistants needed to a much
greater extent than the number of top jobs. The
number of maids employed is likely to be still more
affected by changing business conditions.
Earnings of housekeepers, according to limited
data for a few large cities, were about $150 to $350
a month in large hotels and $75 to $100 in small
hotels in early 1916. In addition, housekeepers
are often given their meals and, sometimes, rooms
as well. Assistant housekeepers and inspectresses
make less.

and war industries since Y J -d a y , some o f the men
who were placed in managerial positions during
the war have been downgraded or laid off. Men
without experience in such positions will therefore
find it very difficult to enter the occupations in
the immediate future.

Managers and Assistants
Over-all responsibility for the operation o f a
hotel rests with the manager.

I t is his job to see

that the different departments function efficiently,
so that the guests are satisfied and the greatest
possible profit is made.

In the next few years and also in the long run,
employment will tend to rise slowly as new hotels
are built. In addition, there will be hundreds of
job openings a year, owing to deaths, retirements,

The manager has many

duties to perform, such as hiring personnel, buy­
ing or supervising the buying of supplies, direct­
ing publicity, introducing improvements in service,
and determining rates and credit policies.

and transfers to other fields.


large hotels, some o f these duties are delegated to
assistant managers.

A s in the case o f

managerial positions in many other fields, how­
ever, competition for jobs is keen. Therefore, only
men with exceptional ability and many years o f
experience will be able to obtain positions as mana­

In small hotels, on the other

hand, the manager— who is frequently the owner—
may also do front-office clerical work.

gers, especially in large hotels.

In general, the

Advancement to the position o f manager is

trend is toward filling openings by promoting

possible from many hotel jobs, including bellman,

college-trained persons with hotel experience, but
it will still be possible for some men without such
education to rise very slowly to the top jobs.

bookkeeper, and cook, but the most common line
o f promotion is from the front office. T o qualify
for promotion to manager, it is often necessary to

Most managers and assistant managers may look
forward to continued employment over a long

have a high-school education and very helpful to
have college training, especially in hotel manage­
ment. College-trained persons often start in such

period o f time, both because of the long-run up­
ward trend in hotel employment and because, in
this occupation also, employment is little affected

positions as room clerk, auditor, sales manager,
accountant, purchasing agent, or, sometimes, as­

by declines in general business activity.

sistant manager.

Earnings o f managers have an extremely wide

Each o f the 28,000 hotels in the country has a

range and largely depend upon the size o f the
hotel. In addition to a fixed salary, many mana­

manager, and big hotels also have one or more
assistant managers.

A t the present time, these

occupations are overcrowded.

gers receive a percentage o f the profits and fre­
quently living accommodations and meals for

A s former workers

have returned to their jobs from the armed forces

themselves and their families.


How To G e t M ore Information A b out Job Opportunities
The descriptions of job opportunities in typical hotel occupations refer
to conditions in the country generally.

Individual hotels and local areas

may for various reasons offer better or poorer chances o f employment.

In ­

formation on opportunities and how best to obtain a job in a particular
locality, in the occupations discussed in this bulletin or in other hotel
work, may be obtained in several ways. The applicant may go to any local
office o f his State employment service, affiliated with the U . S. Employment
Service. H e may obtain the addresses o f nearby hotels from the classified
section o f the telephone book and go directly to these establishments. I f he
lives in a city where there is a local office o f the American H otel Association,
or locals o f the H otel and Restaurant Employees’ and Bartenders’ Inter­
national Union, A F L , or o f the Building Service Employees’ International
Union, A F L , he can obtain helpful information by writing or visiting these

Inform ation may be obtained also by writing to their

national offices at the follow ing addresses:
American Hotel Association, 221 W est 57th Street,
New Y ork 19, New York.
Hotel and Restaurant Employees’ and Bartenders’
International Union,



W alnut

Street, Cincinnati 2, Ohio.
Building Service Employees’ International Union,
A F L , 130 North W a lls Street, Chicago 6, Illinois.
One o f the best ways to get information on training courses in hotel work
is to write to the State Director o f Vocational Education at the Department
o f Education in the State capitol.


O ccupational Outlook Publications of the
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Studies o f employment trends and opportunities in the various occupa­
tions and professions are made by the Occupational Outlook Service o f the
Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Reports are prepared for use in the vocational guidance o f veterans,
young people in schools, and others considering the choice o f an occupation.
Schools concerned with vocational training and employers and trade-unions
interested in on-the-job training have also found the reports helpful in
planning programs in line with prospective employment opportunities.
Occupational Outlook reports are issued as bulletins of the Bureau of
Labor Statistics; sometimes they are also published in the M onthly Labor
Review (subscription price per year $3.50; single copy, 30 cents). Both
the M onthly Labor Review and the bulletins may be purchased from the
Superintendent o f Documents, W ashington 25, D . C.
Tw o types of reports are issued:
Occupational O utlook Bulletins describe the long-run outlook for employ­
ment in each occupation and give information on earnings, working
conditions and, the training required.
Special B ulletins are issued from time to time on such subjects as the
general employment outlook, trends in the various States, and occupational

Occupational Outlook Bulletins
Employm ent Opportunities for Diesel-Engine Mechanics
Bulletin No. 813 (1 9 4 5 ), price 5 cents.
(M onthly Labor Review,
February 1945.)
Employment Opportunities in Aviation Occupations, Part I .— Postwar
Employment Outlook
Bulletin No. 837-1 (1945), price 10 cents. (M onthly Labor Review,
A p ril and June 1945.)
Employment Opportunities in Aviation Occupations, P art I I .— Duties,
Qualifications, Earnings, and W orking Conditions
Bulletin No. 837 -2 (19 4 6 ), price 20 cents. (M onthly Labor Review,
August 1946.)
Employm ent Outlook for Automobile Mechanics
Bulletin No. 842 (19 4 5 ), price 10 cents.
February 1946.)

(M onthly Labor Review,

Employment Opportunities fo r W elders
Bulletin N o. 844 (1 9 4 5 ), price 10 cents.
September 1945.)

(M onthly Labor Review,

Postwar Outlook for Physicians
Bulletin No. 863 (1 9 4 6 ), price 10 cents.
December 1945.)

(M onthly Labor Review,

Employm ent Outlook in Foundry Occupations
Bulletin No. 880 (1 9 4 6 ), price 15 cents.
December 1945 and A p ril 1946.)

(M onthly Labor Review,


Postwar Employment Prospects for W om en in the Hosiery Industry
Bulletin No. 835 (1 9 45), price 5 cents.
(M onthly Labor Review, M ay
Employment Outlook for Business Machine Servicemen
Bulletin No. 892 (1947), price 15 cents.
Employment Outlook in Machine Shop Occupations
Bulletin No. 895 (1 9 4 7 ), price 20 cents.
Employment Outlook in Printing Occupations
Bulletin No. 902 (1947).
(In press.)

Special Bulletins
Occupational Data for Counselors, A Handbook o f Census Information
Selected for Use in Guidance
Bulletin No. 817 (1 9 4 5 ), price 10 cents.
(Prepared jointly with the
Occupational Inform ation and Guidance Service, U . S. Office of
Factors Affecting Earnings in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Bulletin No. 881 (1946), price 10 cents.
(M onthly Labor Review,
June 1946.)
State and Regional Variations in Prospective Labor Supply
Bulletin No. 893 (1 9 4 7 ), price 15 cents. M onthly Labor Review,
December 1946.)