Resort Manager Careers: Job Description & Salary Information

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A resort manager earns a mean annual salary of about $57,230. Is this worth the education and work schedule required? Read real job postings and learn the truth about duties and career prospects to decide if becoming a resort manager is right for you.
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Pros and Cons of Being a Resort Manager

Resort managers direct staff in large, full-service hotels that provide a destination for vacation travelers. The following is a list of more pros and cons that can help you decide if this job is ideal for you.

Pros of Being a Resort Manager
Good earning potential (average salary of about $57,230 as of May 2014 for all lodging managers)*
Some positions don't require a degree*
Many departments to work in (housekeeping, front desk, events, sales)*
Satisfaction from taking care of guests*

Cons of Being a Resort Manager
Slow job growth expected (1% from 2012-2022 for all lodging managers)*
Stiff competition for jobs*
May be on call 24 hours a day*
Often must work evenings, weekends and holidays*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Career Information

Job Duties

A resort manager is a hospitality professional who is responsible for overseeing an entire facility or a specific department. Those who oversee all of a resort's daily operations are called general managers. Some duties you would have as a general manager include hiring and training staff members, approving the budget for various expenditures, keeping track of a resort's profits and losses, distributing funds to specific departments and coordinating front-desk, guest services, housekeeping, revenue or sales activities.

You might also manage one specific department at the resort. A front-desk or guest services manager must ensure that the front desk is adequately staffed and that the check-in/check-out process runs smoothly. They can also coordinate reservations and concierge services, monitor guests, ensure staff safety, perform night audits, address any complaints and maintain relationships with guests for customer satisfaction.

As a housekeeping manager, some of your duties could involve making sure rooms are cleaned regularly in compliance with hotel standards. You might manage inventory and supplies, conduct safety trainings and schedule janitorial shifts. For an event management position at a resort, you could forecast occupancy levels to determine regular and discounted room rates, create advertising campaigns and promotional documents, solicit clients, manage group bookings and coordinate rental space for banquets, conventions or meetings.

Job Outlook and Salary

Employment for lodging managers was projected to increase at a slower-than-average rate of 1% from 2012-2022, according to the BLS. Some factors contributing to this slow growth include the industry putting more emphasis on smaller, limited-service hotels and resorts eliminating management positions to reduce costs.

Despite these factors, many job openings are likely to become available at large, full-service hotels, such as casinos and resorts, with mixed wage potential. As of May 2014, lodging managers in the 10th percentile of wage earners earned about $28,630 or less, while those in the 90th percentile earned $94,780 or more, according to the BLS. The median wage was $47,680 for the same time.

Education and Training Requirements

The education requirements for resort managers often depend on the size and services offered at the facility. Typically, you need a bachelor's degree in hospitality or hotel management for positions at luxury or full-service resorts, according to the BLS. For mid-sized or smaller facilities, you may gain employment with a certificate or 2-year degree in a hospitality or management field. If you have work experience related to the position, you may get a job without a degree. In addition, employers often expect resort managers to have knowledge of several areas, such as budgeting, finances and staff management.

Job Announcements from Real Employers

Since resorts are typically full-service hotels with various departments, employers often prefer to hire candidates with a bachelor's degree. The experience level required of candidates often depends on the type of position. Job postings show that managers responsible for daily resort operations usually need at least 5 years of work experience, while managers at specific departments usually need only a couple years of experience. Below are some postings for various resort management positions that can give you some insight into what real employers were looking for in April 2012.

  • A resort in South Carolina wants to hire a guest services manager to address guests and vacation owners' concerns, train staff members and meet department goals. This employer requests a 4-year degree in a related discipline or equivalent experience, 2-5 years of experience in a leadership role and knowledge of hotel operations.
  • A resort and water park facility in Tennessee is looking for a resort sales manager to generate revenue through promotional campaigns and rentals. Requirements include a bachelor's degree or 1-2 years of relevant experience, good mathematical and reasoning skills, willingness to stand for most of the shift and the ability to lift up to 25 pounds.
  • A Las Vegas vacation resort is seeking a manager to maintain relationships with board members, guests, sales staff and vendors. This candidate will also be responsible for the financial and daily operations of the resort. This position requires you to have 7-10 years of experience in hotel, property or timeshare management, pass a drug test and hold a 4-year degree, preferably.
  • A property management company in Texas wants to a hire a recreational vehicle (RV) resort manager to oversee sales, site leasing, marketing and daily operations. This position requires a bachelor's degree, 5 years of property management experience and the ability to develop budgets and financial reports.

How to Beat the Competition

You can set yourself apart from other applicants and improve your job prospects by obtaining professional certification. The Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) credential is offered by the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI). To be eligible for the CHA certification exam, you must meet a certain combination of education and experience requirements (www.ahlei.org). After passing the test, you'll need to periodically renew your certification.

Alternative Careers

Food Service Manager

You can combine your interests or skills in culinary arts with a career in hospitality management as a food service manager. This occupation also offers several options for employment. For example, you can manage a family-owned or franchise restaurant. Some of your job duties might include managing a budget, payroll and inventory. You would also interview and train workers, supervise all aspects of food preparation, adhere to regulations concerning safe food handling and respond to complaints about food quality.

According to the BLS, postsecondary education is usually not required for fast food restaurant managers. Most managers in this field were former food service workers who received a promotion. However, most full-service restaurants prefer to hire those who've completed postsecondary hospitality training, according to the BLS. The BLS also reported that the median salary for this profession was about $48,000 as of May 2011.

Gaming Manager

Although the gaming industry is more entertainment driven, it also provides hospitality services. Most casinos are part of a resort or hotel that contains restaurants or rooms onsite. If you like the hospitality industry but also want to work in a fast-paced environment, becoming a gaming manager may be ideal for you.

For this career, you must be prepared to confront patrons and be on alert for suspicious activities. You're responsible for monitoring game tables, explaining house and game rules, ensuring that dealers and patrons are playing fairly and removing patrons suspected of cheating. According to the BLS, you don't need a degree for this job. However, professionals in this field can take formal management courses and typically need to receive licensure. As of May 2011, the median wage for gaming managers was approximately $67,000, according to the BLS.

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Kaplan University

  • Master : Business Admin
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Grand Canyon University

  • DBA - Management
  • MBA
  • Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management

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Keiser University

  • Master of Business Administration - Management (Spanish)
  • B.A. - Business Admin: Management
  • Associate of Arts - Accounting

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Northcentral University

  • PhD in Business Admin - Management
  • Doctor of Business Admin - General Business
  • MBA - Marketing
  • Master of Business Admin - General Business

What is your highest level of education?

Full Sail University

  • M.S. - Entertainment Business
  • M.S. - Internet Marketing
  • B.S. - Music Business

What is your highest level of education?

Purdue University

  • Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management

What is your highest level of education?

Herzing University

  • MBA
  • B.S. - Business Management With No Concentration
  • Associate of Science - Business Management

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado Technical University

  • Doctor of Management (DM) - General Concentration (Executive Format)
  • Master of Business Admin
  • BS - Business Administration - Management
  • Associate of Science in Business Administration

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