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Hotel porter

  • Hours

    Variable

  • Starting salary

    £12,000 + per year

If you have a polite and friendly manner, and would like working in the hotel industry, this job might suit you well.

As a hotel porter, based in reception or at the porters' desk, you will often be the first person to greet guests at a hotel.

In this job you would need customer service skills to welcome guests and see to their needs. You should have a smart appearance. You should also be physically fit, for carrying luggage.

There aren't any specific entry requirements to get into this job, but some employers will expect you to have a good standard of general education. There are hospitality courses which could help you to learn some of the skills you will need. You may be able to get into this job through an Apprenticeship scheme.



 

The work

Your work will include:

  • helping guests by carrying luggage
  • advising on hotel facilities
  • arranging taxis and booking tickets
  • running errands, such as taking and picking up dry cleaning
  • taking messages
  • giving directions
  • responding to safety and security issues
  • answering queries and making reservations.

If the hotel has a conference suite, you may be responsible for moving and setting up equipment. You may also cover reception duties when required.

As a head porter, for example in a large hotel, you would be responsible for supervising a team of porters and door staff, organising rotas and being involved in recruitment.


Hours

Full-time, part-time and seasonal work is generally available on a shift basis. Split shifts (an early shift, a break in the middle of the day, and then an evening shift) and overtime are common.

You would spend most of your work time on your feet, both indoors and outside. Your work would be quite physical, as you would need to lift and carry heavy or awkward loads such as luggage and other equipment.


Income

Salaries start from around £12,000 a year. With experience, this can rise to around £16,000. Head porters at large hotels can earn up to £18,000 or more.

Shift allowance, overtime and tips can increase earnings.

Figures are intended as a guideline only.


Entry requirements

You do not need formal qualifications to be a hotel porter, although employers will usually expect you to have a good general education.

You may have an advantage if you have experience of working with the public. A knowledge of the local area would also be useful for answering guests’ questions and giving directions.

You could prepare for this job by taking a college course, which may help when looking for work. Courses include:

  • Level 1 Certificate in General Hospitality
  • Level 1 Award in Introduction to Employment in the Hospitality Industry
  • Level 1 Award in Introduction to the Hospitality Industry
  • Level 2 Award in the Principles of Customer Service in Hospitality, Leisure, Travel and Tourism.

You may be able to become a hotel porter through an Apprenticeship scheme, such as the Level 2 Apprenticeship in Hospitality & Catering. Visit the Apprenticeships website to find out more.

The Hospitality Guild unites training providers, businesses and individuals, and offers information and advice about careers in hospitality and tourism. Their website also has interactive tools that can help you to plan and develop your career.


Training and development

Once you start work you will receive on-the-job training from experienced staff.

You may also be encouraged to work towards a qualifications such as:

  • Level 2 (NVQ) Diploma in Front of House Reception
  • Level 2 Certificate In Hospitality and Catering Principles (Front of House Reception)
  • Level 2 Award in Manual Handling.

With experience, you could progress to head porter or move into other areas of hotel work.


Skills, interests and qualities

As a hotel porter you should be:

  • polite, welcoming and have a friendly manner
  • respectful of guests' privacy
  • reliable and a good timekeeper
  • a good teamworker
  • aware of health, safety and security issues
  • physically fit.

More information

Hospitality Guild (Opens new window)
www.hospitalityguild.co.uk

Springboard UK (Opens new window)
www.springboarduk.net


 

Opportunities

Porters are employed throughout the UK, although the number of opportunities varies depending on the area.

In larger hotels you may be able to progress to head porter or concierge.

Look out for vacancies in the local and national press, Jobcentre Plus offices, and websites such as:


 

Related industry information

Industry summary

The hotels industry is represented by People 1st, the Sector Skills Council for hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism. The hospitality, travel and tourism sector incorporates the following industries: contract food service providers, events, gambling, holiday parks, hospitality services, hostels, hotels, membership clubs, pubs, bars and nightclubs, restaurants, self-catering accommodation, tourist services, and visitor attractions. The sector accounts for a workforce of 2.1 million, most of which are based within the restaurants, hospitality services, and pubs, bars and nightclubs industries. The roles within the sector are extremely diverse and include managers, technical staff, front-of-house staff, back-of-house staff, and non-core staff.

The hotels industry covers paid accommodation that is open to the general public, which can include budget hotels, bed and breakfast accommodation, plus hotels rated from one to 5 star. As an accommodation provider, hotels overlap with other industries, such as youth hostels, farms, pubs, and restaurants and others that may also provide accommodation.

Key facts:

  • There are 253,900 people working in the hotels industry.
  • 17% of the workforce has an NVQ Level 4 or above qualification.
  • The majority of the workforce has a NVQ Level 2 qualification (25%).
  • 13% of the workforce has no qualifications.
  • 64% of the workforce is employed full‐time.

[N.B. Data derived from Labour Force Survey, 2009.]

Jobs in the industry range from: bar manager, events co‐ordinator, general manager, exhibitions co‐ordinator, head housekeeper, chef, cleaner, conference and banqueting manager, front of house staff, porter, receptionist, waiter/waitress, linen room assistant.


National and regional data

East Midlands – There are approximately 15,400 people working in the hotels industry in this region, of which:

  • 62% work full‐time
  • 72% of the workforce is female
  • 94% of the workforce is white
  • 19% of the workforce is 25‐29 years
  • 32% of the workforce has an NVQ level 3 qualification

East of England – There are approximately 20,200 people working in the hotels industry in this region, of which:

  • 67% work full‐time
  • 65% of the workforce is female
  • 92% of the workforce is white
  • 16% of the workforce is 20‐24 years
  • 34% of the workforce has an NVQ level 2 qualification

London – There are approximately 32,000 people working in the hotels industry in this region, of which:

  • 74% work full‐time
  • 55% of the workforce is female
  • 61% of the workforce is white
  • 23% of the workforce is 25‐29 years
  • 26% of the workforce has an NVQ level 1 and entry level qualification

North East – There are approximately 7,800 people working in the hotels industry in this region, of which:

  • 43% work full‐time
  • 70% of the workforce is female
  • 91% of the workforce is white
  • Equal proportions of the workforce are aged 16‐19 years (18%) and 50‐54 years (18%)
  • 41% of the workforce has an NVQ level 1 and entry level qualification

North West – There are approximately 33,300 people working in the hotels industry in this region, of which:

  • 54% work full‐time
  • 55% of the workforce is female
  • 88% of the workforce is white
  • 22% of the workforce is 20‐24 years
  • 30% of the workforce has an NVQ level 3 qualification

South East – There are approximately 37,500 people working in the hotels industry in this region, of which:

  • 69% work full‐time
  • 65% of the workforce is female
  • 94% of the workforce is white
  • 17% of the workforce is 16‐19 years
  • 26% of the workforce has an NVQ level 2 qualification

South West – There are approximately 30,300 people working in the hotels industry in this region, of which:

  • 65% work full‐time
  • Workforce is evenly split between men and women
  • 93% of the workforce is white
  • Equal proportions of the workforce are aged 20‐24 years (17%) and 25‐29 years (17%)
  • 28% of the workforce has an NVQ level 2 qualification

West Midlands – There are approximately 14,700 people working in the hotels industry in this region, of which:

  • 74% work full‐time
  • 64% of the workforce is female
  • 93% of the workforce is white
  • 17% of the workforce is 16‐19 years
  • 29% of the workforce has an NVQ level 2 qualification

Yorkshire and the Humber – There are approximately 11,300 people working in the hotels industry in this region, of which:

  • 49% work full‐time
  • Workforce is evenly split between men and women
  • 98% of the workforce is white
  • 34% of the workforce is 25‐29 years
  • 32% of the workforce has an NVQ level 3 qualification

Northern Ireland – There are approximately 43,900 people working in the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism sector as whole in Northern Ireland, of which 5,500 work in the hotels industry in 200 establishments. Details as follows:

  • 55% work full‐time
  • 62% of the workforce is female
  • 93% of the workforce is white
  • 24% of the workforce is 20‐24 years
  • 29% of the workforce has an NVQ level 1 qualification

Scotland – There are approximately 183,500 people working in the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism sector as whole in Scotland, of which 35,700 work in the hotels industry in 2,200 establishments. Details as follows:

  • 60% work full‐time
  • 59% of the workforce is female
  • 97% of the workforce is white
  • 17% of the workforce is 25‐29 years
  • 30% of the workforce has an NVQ level 4 qualification

Wales – There are approximately 86,100 people working in the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism sector as whole in Wales, of which 10,200 work in the hotels industry in 900 establishments. Details as follows:

  • 63% work full‐time
  • 60% of the workforce is female
  • 100% of the workforce is white
  • 21% of the workforce is 25‐29 years
  • 29% of the workforce has an NVQ level 3 qualification

[N.B. Data derived from Labour Force Survey, 2009.]


Career paths


Further sources


View full job market information






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