Hotel maintenance workers, while not often seen, are an important sector of the total staff that keeps a hotel running smoothly. Hotel maintenance jobs are needed to deal with everything from stopped-up drains to malfunctioning television sets and burned out light bulbs. Larger properties employ specialists for plumbing, electrical and HVAC responsibilities, while smaller hotels often employ one or two maintenance workers who are adept at all the trades.
Most hotels employ entry-level maintenance workers to handle the steady stream of repairs that are needed on the property, from changing light bulbs to touching up paint and repairing door locks. Entry-level maintenance workers typically do not need any formal education, but should possess a certain level of handyman skills so they can fix leaking faucets or help a guest log on to the property's network. Though low paying, in the $9 to $10 an hour range, general maintenance workers in hotels are always in demand. The position can be a good stepping off point to move into other positions within the property as well.
Hotel maintenance engineers are more qualified to tackle larger repairs on laundry equipment, ventilation and water treatment systems, kitchen appliances and heating and air conditioning units and may hold special certifications in those areas. The chief engineer is responsible for preventive maintenance checks on all the property's systems and often directs general maintenance staff to complete minor checks of rooms and conference facilities. Hotel engineers are usually required to earn a two-year associates degree in hotel maintenance and spend time working in a general maintenance capacity. Pay for hotel maintenance engineers averages between $11 and $15 an hour.
Hotel properties with gardens and large outdoor areas employee specialized groundskeepers and landscapers to maintain the exterior of the hotel. Most landscapers at hotels are experienced in lawn care and shrub and flower maintenance. Groundskeepers usually maintain the parking lots and walkways as well as the planted areas and are required to be physically fit to push lawnmowers, trim bushes and run leaf blowers. At most properties, the outside grounds keeping team also maintains the swimming pools. Groundskeepers in the hotel industry earn up to $10 or $12 an hour.
Hotel maintenance workers looking to move up to larger properties or into a management position can earn certifications geared toward maintenance management. The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute offer the Certified Maintenance Manager designation and the more advanced Certified Engineering Operations Executive designation to help advance a hotel maintenance career. In larger hotels, there are a number of levels of maintenance management that begin with supervisors earning salaries in the $30,000 range up to executive levels that earn closer to $60,000.
American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute
American Hotel and Lodging Association