Teens can work in hotels. The minimum age of work (16, 17, or 18 years old) depends on the nature of the job, your state’s labor laws, and a hotel’s own requirements for accepting teen candidates. While teens may be able to secure work in food service positions at 16 years old, they usually need to be at least 18 years old to work as a front desk clerk. The following topics will give you a better idea about working in a hotel.
If you like hospitality or customer service type work, then you can find a number of positions working in a hotel. Hotels expose teens to the hospitality industry and give them a foundation that can lead to higher level customer service jobs or management positions. Again, most of the jobs offered to teens require a minimum age of 16 to 18 years old.
Per the Fair Labor Standards Acts, the U.S. Department of Labor states that teens who are 14 years old and older can legally work in the US. However, the hours you can work are generally limited if you are between the ages of 14 and 16 years of age.
So, check your state’s labor laws to see how many hours you can work legally. Hotels may have different requirements for minimum age requirements. If you are applying for work in a hotel then, inquire about the minimum age requirement first before applying for a job that interests you.
Some of the major customer service positions open to teens in hotels include front desk clerk, food service jobs, housekeeping, and concierge and bellhop.
Front Desk Clerk
Teens may work as desk clerks in hotels. However, this position is usually open to older teens who are at least 18 years of age. Front desk clerks are responsible for greeting and serving the needs of arriving and departing guests. Clerks can stay busy as they must change and cancel reservations, manage the check-in and check-out procedures, issue room keys, and collect payments. Because hotels are open 24 hours, shifts may vary in the position. Therefore, you may occasionally have to work a later shift.
Because room service or dining facilities are frequently featured in hotels, food service jobs are also available. Teens may work delivering food to rooms (via room service), or work as cashiers, waitresses, waiters, servers, bussers, hosts, dishwashers, or prep cooks. Some jobs, such as waiter or waitress jobs, are offered below minimum wage as teens earn part of their income through tips. If you enjoy customer service however and take a job that includes tips, you can make a fairly good income.
Concierge and Bellhop
Concierge and bellhop jobs are physically active customer service positions. In these jobs, the teen is stationed within a hotel’s lobby so they can easily attend to each guest’s needs. For example, a teen may transport bags and luggage to a hotel guest’s room, make dining reservations for guests, or answer visitor inquiries about the surrounding area. While jobs can be scheduled anytime during the day or evening, most of the positions follow an earlier schedule. Guests often require more service during daytime hours.
Housekeepers are responsible for turning over rooms fast and efficiently. In this role, you are assigned with changing bed linens, cleaning bathrooms, providing fresh towels, dusting, and vacuuming. While many jobs are scheduled for the morning, some of the work may take place during the evening hours. Because hotels have a large number of guests during the weekend, you must be open to working hours throughout the week.
Even if you take a seasonal job at a hotel, you will probably have to go through training. Training is an invaluable experience, especially if you want to continue in hotel work after your graduate. Even if you plan to go into another field, working in a hotel can assist you in developing your teamwork or leadership skills.
If you plan to eventually work in hotel management, then applying for a front desk job can help you get your foot in the door. Generally, you can move into a management role if you have a high school diploma and a good deal of hotel experience or hold a bachelor’s degree. Larger full-service hotels usually require a degree requirement while smaller hotel properties typically accept an associate’s degree or a certificate that is related to hotel operations or management.
Working full-time, or in some instances, part-time, at a hotel or resort property enables teens to enjoy excellent benefits. Some of the benefits include 401k retirement options, discounted hotel dining, discounted hotel stays, or discounts when using hotel facilities. Some of the facilities include a property’s spa, fitness center, golf facilities, or tennis complex. These kinds of additional incentives make an occupation in the hotel industry both rewarding and fun.
To apply to a hotel job, follow the instructions for applying to the position online. Once you fill out your details, you may want to follow up by calling the property. You can also apply in person. Generally, it is best to phone and check with the property first about their hiring preferences.
So, what do you think about working in a hotel? Where do you want to direct your experience or skills? Would you like to follow a management path? What customer service skills do you possess that can be used in a hotel or resort environment?