What do concierges do?
History lesson: The term "concierge" originates from the French comte des cierges or "keeper of the candles." The comte des cierges in medieval France tended to visiting nobles in castles. Fast forward a good 400 years to modern France, and the concierge usually lived in an apartment on the premises of Parisian apartments and hotels and attended to all the needs of guests and residents. Over the last several centuries the live-in concierge has been replaced by part-time and full-time guest service workers.
A concierge's responsibilities will vary based on the level of service provided by their employer. In high-end, or luxury, hotels and apartment buildings, a concierge may act as a butler; booking dinner reservations, transportation and generally making the impossible, possible are all par for the course. Concierges use hotel contacts and businesses to fulfill any request a guest may have during the course of their stay.
How much do concierges make?
The average salary for all concierges is about $13 per hour. Concierges with extensive experience, or those who work in higher-end hotels or apartments, can make higher hourly wages, but a large majority of additional income for a concierge comes from tips and gratuity. The better you are at waiting on customers and clients, the higher your earnings will be.
What are the education requirements?
To work as a concierge, most hotels and concierge services prefer a high school diploma. Should you decide to pursue positions in hotel management, a bachelor's degree in restaurant and hotel management may be necessary.
Career paths for concierges
Because so much of the success of a hotel relies on the experience of the guests, in some respects there is no better person to manage a hotel than a concierge. Working as a concierge allows you to experience what it really means to provide top-level customer service to hotel guests. Promotions for concierges are likely into guest services management, and then hotel management and ownership.
The future of concierges
The BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) expects slow growth in concierge positions over the 2008-2018 decade. The majority of new hotel openings will be in limited-service hotels, and concierges are typically only found in high-end, full-service hotels and chains. Additionally, many mid-service level hotels are outsourcing concierge services to call centers, leaving limited openings for in-house concierge job opportunities.
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