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Working as a Hospitality Manager

Job Description

As a Hospitality Manager you will perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Develop, implement, and evaluate policies and procedures for the operation of the department or establishment
  • Monitor the hotel’s financial performance
  • Participate in the development of pricing and promotional strategies
  • Negotiate with suppliers for the provision of materials and supplies
  • Co-ordinate with clients for conventions, receptions, and other functions
  • Recruit, schedule and supervise staff
  • Interact with guests and handle their complaints

Source: NOC 0632

Industry Overview

British Columbia’s tourism sector is important to the economy by providing nearly 129,000 jobs. The majority of the jobs in hospitality management are located in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. However, both Vancouver Island and the Thompson/Okanagan regions provide significant employment in this industry. BC’s interior is home to a growing number of world-class ski resorts and wineries which is attracting increasing numbers of tourists.

Source: WorkBC Career Profile for Hospitality Managers

Job Outlook in BC

job outlook for hospitality manager

Chart from WorkBC

The Regional Employment Projections for British Columbia (Ten-Year Employment Outlook) provides job openings projections for managers in accommodation within BC regions:

Region 2010
Estimated Employment
Estimated Employment
Avg Annual % Change, 5 Yrs, 2010- 2015
Vancouver Island 1,540 1,690 2.0%
Lower Mainland /Southwest 1,020 1,130 2.2%
Thompson-Okanagan 1,840 2,060 2.3%
Kootenay 300 310 1.1%
Cariboo 290 340 4.1%
North Coast & Nechako 130 170 5.2%
Northeast 110 140 5.5%

Source: Regional Employment Projections, BC Stats. Projections for development regions. [accessed October 2014]

You can learn more about working as a Hospitality Manager in BC from:

Types of Employers

Hospitality/accommodation service managers are employed by hotels, motels, resorts, student residences, and other accommodation establishments, or they may be self-employed.

Typically hotels, resorts, and other types of accommodation are located in larger towns and cities, but they are also found at or near popular tourist sites that may be outside urban areas. Fishing or hunting lodges, guest ranches and similar types of accommodation may be found in rural or wilderness areas. The facilities may range in size from small boutique hotels with exclusive clientele to very large destination resorts. The hotels are a mix of independent owners and multi-national chains.


In BC, the average annual salary for Hospitality / Accommodation Managers is between $44,000 and $53,000. The annual income for hotel managers varies greatly depending on the size and location of the hotel. Larger establishments in big cities may pay considerably more.

Hospitality Managers are paid a yearly salary, and some may receive a performance-based bonuses or profit sharing. This means that the more money the hotel makes, the larger the manager’s bonus.

In addition to their salaries, hotel managers usually receive benefits, including health coverage, paid sick leave, and paid vacation time. Some managers also receive perks, such as free meals, accommodation, and laundry service.

Source: Career Cruising database (Profiles for “Hotel Manager”).

Job Bank Canada website provides hourly wages for accommodation (hospitality) managers in BC regions:

accommodation service managers regional wage

Job Bank Canada  [search 0632]

Working Hours

In general, hotel managers work 10 to 12 hours a day. Evening and weekend work is common, although this can vary depending on the location and size of the hotel and the time of year.

In addition, hotel managers may be on call 24 hours a day. Even if they work from 8:00am to 6:00pm, they may have to stay another 4 hours to make sure that an event is successful. If there is an emergency during the night, managers may have to come in to handle the crisis.

Source: Career Cruising database (Profiles for “Hotel Manager”).

Skills, Education and Experience


  • good with people; work well with others
  • strong oral and written communication skills
  • decision making and problem solving skills
  • job task planning and organizing
  • leadership
  • business management
  • entrepreneurial skills

Education and Experience

Hotel managers are generally expected to have some form of post-secondary education. Education in hotel management is the most direct route to this career. Graduates from these programs can often find work as trainee assistant managers right out of school, and then work their way into the top spots over time.

An alternative educational path is to take business or financial studies at college or university. Hotel chains often look for managers who are professionally qualified in accounting, budgeting, planning, cost-control, or finance.

It may be possible in certain situations (usually smaller, independent hotels and motels) to become a manager without formal post-secondary education. This is usually done by starting out in an entry-level position, such as front desk clerk, and then working your way up. However, this is increasingly rare.

Source: Career Cruising database (Profiles for “Hotel Manager”).


This occupation does not require certification in British Columbia

Finding Jobs

You’ll find job advertisements in local newspapers, trade journals, and electronic sources, as well as through professional associations’ publications.

Local Newspapers

You can look at the Vancouver Sun and The Province at Vancouver Public Library for free. Check the job postings daily, the careers section in the Vancouver Sun on Wednesdays and Saturdays and in The Province on Sundays.

Job White Pages

  • Available online or in print at the Central Library
    NOTE: You can only access this database from the Central Library or VPL branch libraries. Access is NOT available from home or outside the Library

Online Job Postings

  • Go2HR
    The central area to search for tourism jobs available throughout BC.
    Find jobs posted on a multitude of company career sites and job boards.

Identifying the Right Position

When you browse job advertisements, you’ll find a range of different job titles that are relevant.

For hospitality managers, look for these related job titles:

  • assistant manager, hotel
  • bed and breakfast operator
  • front desk manager
  • guest-house operator
  • hotel director
  • reservations manager
  • seasonal resort manager
  • ski resort manager
  • tourist home operator

Professional Associations’ Career Resources

Creating a List of Potential Employers

You can use directories to produce lists of hotels in Vancouver or the Lower Mainland. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring. You can photocopy from the print directories at Central Library, or use the online directories from a computer connected to the Internet.

  • Approved Accommodations Guide
    Available at Central Library 917.11 B8611
  • InnFocus
    or at Central Library 647.9405 B11
  • Reference Canada
    Click on “Start Search” beside Canadian Businesses, then select the “Advanced Search” button.
    Select both “Keyword/SIC/NAICS” under Business Type and “City” under Geography.
    In the top search box enter “hotels” and click LOOKUP.
    Select the appropriate headings.
    Lower down, select the Province, choose the cities, and click the “View Results” button.
    NOTE: You can access this database from a Library computer. If you are using a computer from outside the Library, you will need a Vancouver Public Library card to login to this database. After clicking on the database name, you will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN (usually last four digits of your telephone number).

Applying for a Job

In Canada, employers usually expect to receive a resume (curriculum vitae) and a cover letter that identifies the position you are applying for and summarizes your relevant experience.

Use the library catalogue to find books on writing resumes and cover letters specific to your industry.

To learn about applying for jobs in Canada, see the following:

Getting Help from Industry Sources

Industry Associations

Hospitality and tourism associations in BC and Canada provide assistance and information on training and certification.

  • Go2HR
    Go2 is a non-profit society responsible for co-ordinating the BC tourism industry’s Workforce Development Action Plan. This includes developing strategies to enable BC tourism and hospitality businesses to recruit, retain, and train employees
  • Link BC
    LinkBC is a value-added service organization working with tourism and hospitality programs across British Columbia. It promotes best practices in tourism education, shares research findings, tourism knowledge, and resources.
  • Tourism BC
    As part of the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation, Tourism BC’s mandate is to support and promote the business of tourism throughout the province.

Industry Journals

Search the Vancouver Public Library catalogue for journals related to your profession. Examples at the Central Library:

  • Hotelier
    Also at Central Library 647.9405 H83
  • InnFocus
    Also at Central Library 647.9405 B11