6 of the Best Entry-Level Jobs in the Hospitality Industry

Job Search Tips / October 11, 2018

If you’re considering a career in hospitality, then you likely already know that it’s an industry rife with opportunities. Not only is hospitality a global business, but it’s also multifaceted. There’s the option of working on the property or at the corporate level, in food and beverage, the spa, revenue management, or marketing – to name just a few of the disciplines that intersect with this industry.

Education certainly plays a role as far as getting your start in hospitality. However, this is also an industry that values experience, particularly experience from the ground up. So consider any of these 6 jobs for building a strong foundation in the hospitality industry that will prove an esteemed talking point for future managerial and executive interviews.


Also referred to as the bellman, this hotel staffer is among the first, if not the first, staff member that guests encounter as they arrive. Typically, porters are charged with assisting guests with their luggage and are also required to have detailed knowledge about the hotel because guests will also rely on them as a resource. The hours can be flexible, but candidates should be ready to interact with the general public and willing to lift heavy items when called upon to do so.

Bell captain or head porter is one advancement opportunity. Porters can also be promoted to front desk positions.

Front desk clerks:

Employees working at a hotel’s reception desk are checking guests in and out, answering phones, responding to guests’ complaints, and compiling and checking daily record sheets, guest accounts, receipts, and vouchers. These staff members begin the position with computer literacy, the flexibility to work varying shifts, and experience in or an inclination toward customer service.

These jobs can lead to front desk supervisor and then manager positions and also open the possibility of advancing to any number of other departments including sales, marketing, operations, or revenue.

Room attendant:

These employees are the front of housekeeping staff, cleaning guestrooms daily and “turning rooms over” in order to ready them for the next guests checking in. It’s physical work and repetitive and requires candidates who are diligent, detail-oriented, and capable of working independently. Candidates will have an edge if they can show past experience that demonstrates the ability to prioritize tasks, show courtesy to coworkers and clients and respect the privacy of others.

The next steps on a housekeeping career path include supervisory positions and executive housekeeping posts.

Maintenance tech:

An entry-level worker on a hotel maintenance team will assist with the operations, maintenance, and repair of hotel equipment such as boilers and elevators and guest room plumbing. The job is physically demanding and usually requires at least some basic maintenance experience.

Those who excel in their roles can receive training to expand their skill set and move into maintenance engineer and possibly even operational roles.

Hotel security officer:

Patrol hotel property, both indoor and outdoor, in order to ensure the safety of the building and hotel employees and guests from danger and illegal activities like fire, theft, and vandalism. Security officers also make sure hotel policies such as pool hours are respected by fellow staff and guests. Typically, previous security experience is desired.

As with all facets of the hotel business, there is a pathway to promotion for security officers, from a hotel’s security manager to regional and corporate safety and security roles.

Food & Beverage (F&B) service:

For anyone truly committed to forging a career in the hospitality industry, this is a surefire way to get a foot in the door. There are a number of ways to enter hotel F&B, from the dishwasher, wait staff, and room service attendant to the restaurant host, busser, and prep cook. Prior experience with any of these roles is always helpful, but not always required as the industry demand for most of these positions is great.

Employees who do their jobs well and have the endurance to keep up with the fast-paced environment can easily move up the ladder. For example, dishwashers can become prep cooks, who can also be promoted to line cooks while it’s not unusual for bussers to transition to wait staff roles. Promotions that start from the group up can pave the way for any number of supervisory and managerial roles in this segment of the hotel business.