Hotel receptionist

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Six year jobs forecast

The information is supplied by LMI For All

What's it like?

You would take room bookings and give guests the keys to their room when they arrive. You’d explain about the hotel’s facilities and services like where breakfast is served or when the gym is open.

You need to be friendly and professional at all times, be able to look after several things at once and always stay calm, sometimes under pressure.

You would:

  • Deal with bookings by phone, email, letter, fax or face-to-face
  • Complete the procedures when guests arrive and leave
  • Allocate rooms and give the keys to guests
  • Tell guests about hotel facilities and services
  • Take, and pass on, messages to guests
  • Deal with special requests from guests, like booking theatre tickets or storing valuable items
  • Provide information about the surrounding area
  • Prepare bills and take payments
  • Deal with complaints or problems

In most hotels, you would use a computerised system to keep details of bookings and available rooms up to date.

You would work as part of a team and you may be responsible for one area such as managing telephone reservations or guest departures (also known as checkouts).

In small hotels, your duties may include other tasks such as showing guests to their rooms and serving drinks in the bar.

Working conditions

Hours

You would usually work shifts, which could include evenings, nights, weekends and public holidays. If you work during these times you may be paid extra. Part-time and seasonal work is often available.

Environment

You would spend most of your time at a reception desk, using a computer and a telephone switchboard.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Helping customers
  • Being tactful
  • Accuracy
  • Using computers
  • Finding solutions to problems
  • Planning and organising
  • Time management
  • Paying attention to detail

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Qualifications

Some employers may require National 4/5 qualifications (SCQF level 4/5) and Highers (SCQF level 6).  

You can get into some Hospitality National Certificate or National Qualification courses (SCQF 2-6) with between two and four National 4/5 qualifications (SCQF level 4/5).

You can enter Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma courses (SCQF level 8) with National 5 qualifications and one to two Highers or a relevant NC/NQ.   

Useful subjects

  • English (required by most courses and employers)
  • Maths (required by most courses and employers)
  • Modern languages
  • Social studies
  • Administrative subjects
  • ICT subjects
  • Business subjects

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that show industry knowledge, customer service skills and administrative/ICT skills such as Scottish Vocational Qualification in Front of House Reception (SVQ level 2) and Skills for Work Hospitality (SCQF level 4/5).

Knowledge of a foreign language.