£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.
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.
Working hours and conditions
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.
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.
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.
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:
Job market information
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