California Occupational Guides

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Summary Guide for

Hotel, Motel, and Resort Desk Clerks in California

May also be called: Concierges; Desk Clerks; Front Desk Agents; Front Desk Associates; Front Desk Attendants; Front Desk Clerks; Front Desk Supervisors; Front Office Agents; Guest Services Agents (GSA); and Guest Service Representatives

What Would I Do?

Hotel Desk Clerks perform a wide range of services which include greeting and registering arriving guests; assigning rooms; and checking out guests at the end of their stay. They also keep records of room assignments and other registration information on computers. When guests check out, Clerks prepare and explain charges and process payments. In addition, Desk Clerks answer questions about services, check-out times, the community, or current local events. Clerks also report problems with guest rooms or facilities to housekeeping and maintenance staff.

Since hotels are open around the clock, most Desk Clerks work nights and weekends in addition to regular business hours. Extended hours of operation allow many part-time job seekers more work opportunities, especially on evenings and late-night shifts or on weekends and holidays. About half of all Desk Clerks work a 35- to 40- hour week, while most others work fewer hours. Most Clerks work in areas that are clean, well lit, and relatively quiet, although lobbies can become crowded and noisy when busy. Some hotels require uniforms.

Will This Job Fit Me?

The job of Hotel, Motel, and Resort Desk Clerk may appeal to those who are friendly and courteous and enjoy working with people. Since Desk Clerks are usually the first line of customer service for a hotel, a professional appearance and a pleasant personality are crucial.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

Earnings of Hotel, Motel and Resort Desk Clerks vary due to a number of seasonal or geographic factors, such as whether the establishment is in a major metropolitan area or a resort community. Earnings also will vary according to the size of the hotel and the level of service offered. For example, luxury hotels that offer guests more personal attention and a greater number of services typically have stricter and more demanding requirements for their desk staff. These higher standards of service also result in higher earnings for employees.

The median wage in 2016 for Hotel, Motel, and Resort Desk Clerks in California is $25,318 annually, or $12.17 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

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Annual Wages for 2016Low
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(50th percentile)
(75th percentile)
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2016 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
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Benefits vary by employer and are generally available only to full-time employees. These benefits usually include medical insurance, vacation, and sick leave. Employers sometimes include dental and vision coverage and retirement plans. However, some large chain hotels that operate as franchises may be operated by single franchisees who do not offer benefits. Therefore, prospective Hotel Desk Clerks who are interested in receiving benefits should ask to ensure they are available prior to employment.

What is the Job Outlook?

Most job openings for Hotel Desk Clerks will result from a need to replace workers who either transfer to other occupations or simply leave the workforce altogether. Employment of Desk Clerks, like many occupations, is sensitive to fluctuations in the economy.

How Do I Qualify?

Formal education generally is not required, but most employers require at least a high school diploma or the equivalent. They also look for well groomed, friendly, and service-oriented people who display the maturity and self-confidence to demonstrate good judgment. Desk Clerks, especially in high-volume and higher-end establishments, should be quick-thinking, proactive, and team players. Hotel managers typically look for these personal characteristics when hiring first-time Desk Clerks, because it is easier to teach company policy and computer skills than personality traits.

Finding a Job

Direct application to employers remains one of the most effective job search methods. Applicants can also find employment opportunities through placement offices at colleges and universities. Newspaper classified ads and the Internet provide additional sources for job listings. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at and CalJOBSSM at

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).

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