How to Become a Concierge
Working as a hotel concierge can be an interesting and highly rewarding job. The people you meet and the memories you make can last you a lifetime. In an ever-changing and nearly always interesting environment such as a hotel, a concierge should be prepared to welcome a variety of people in all kinds of moods and of just about every type of personality. One of the best parts of being a concierge is that as long as there are guests at the hotel, you’re rarely left bored.
You won’t typically find a concierge in smaller hotels unless you are staying at boutique or upscale resort style properties. The duties a concierge may undertake on a daily basis can run the gambit when it comes to fulfilling guest requests. From assisting with directions to and from the hotel or local landmarks, to helping make reservations, or ordering flowers, the concierge is the ‘go to’ person in the hotel when it comes to special requests and guest assistance.
The concierge is also often known for his or her knowledge regarding the surrounding area and the local ‘secrets’ and ‘insider information’ that you might not get from other hotel employees. The concierge can often utilize their contacts and connections in hospitality and service related sectors to provide clients with special or unique service or provide assistance in creating exceptional memories for those celebrating special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, or trying to make an impression upon customers or clients.
How an Education Can Help
A formal education can assist someone who is interested in becoming a concierge in several ways. First off, having a degree, while not absolutely necessary for the type of work you’ll be doing, can be an advantage during your job search. Obviously, those with an education are likely to stand out to employers, and may be considered as candidates for further advancement within the hotel. Hotel hiring managers may see potential in these applicants, since they’ve already attained a degree, for further advancement within the hospitality business.
Having an education is also a great security feature in the event a candidate decides to move on from being a concierge. Whether he or she determines that concierge work just isn’t a long-term career option or that the job opportunity has taken them as far as they could advance and they feel it’s time to explore other options, a hotel management degree can help make a job transition easier, and decrease the amount of down time between jobs. One can even receive such a degree while working full time as a concierge as there are many traditional and online colleges that offer bachelors and masters degree programs in hospitality management. Check out the Hospitality Management Schools directory for a comprehensive list of such colleges.
Pay and Benefits
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates for May 2008, concierges averaged a pay rate of $28,120. It isn’t necessarily just the base pay however, that concierges rely upon for their salary. Like a restaurant server or other service worker, concierges often receive tips and other benefits from their work. It often depends on hotel regulations as to what a concierge may and may not do when it comes to soliciting tips and other forms of income though. A concierge might find him or herself getting free tickets to sporting events, plays, or other attractions, which they might in turn give out to VIPs (often with an unspoken expectation of a monetary ‘gift’ or ‘gratuity’ in return). A concierge might also receive tips for going ‘above and beyond’ in meeting guest expectations and requests, and may be paid well for assisting in transporting guest luggage or making special deliveries for groups or individuals. These extra forms of income are often why a concierge’s base pay is limited.