A first job at a hotel exposes teenagers to the inner workings of the hospitality industry. Within a hotel, several potential job opportunities exist for teens, allowing them to learn not only about the importance of holding a job but also develop valuable skills in customer service and business management.
Teens can work as front desk clerks, where they greet arriving and departing guests. Responsibilities include making, changing and canceling reservations; overseeing check-in and check-out procedures; collecting payments and issuing room keys. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average hourly wage for front desk clerks as of May 2014 was $10.67.
Since hotels are open to guests 24 hours a day, shifts may vary for the front desk. Teens might occasionally work the night shift, working at the front desk during overnight hours.
Many hotels provide food for its guests, whether in a sit-down restaurant or room service delivered to the door. As a result, teens can secure food service jobs in hotels. They may work as hosts, servers or bussers -- positions that require strong customer service skills. Because earnings for these positions rely, at least in part, on customers' tips, teens may earn an hourly wage under minimum wage. However, strong customer service skills can make up for this wage difference by boosting tips.
Housekeepers work efficiently to turn over rooms from one guest to the next. In this role, teens will change bed linens, clean bathrooms, vaccum, dust and provide fresh towels. Evening and weekend work may be required in this role. The average hourly rate earned by housekeepers in May 2012 was $9.41, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Bellhop and Concierge
Bellhops and concierge positions call upon teens' customer service skills. In these roles, the teens are stationed in the lobby of the hotel, available to tend to guests' needs. They may transport luggage from the lobby to the guests' room, answer guests' questions about the city, make dinner reservations for guests or schedule housekeeping or maintenance for rooms. Hourly rages can range from $11 to $14, depending on the job responsibilities. While some hotels may employ bellhops and concierges around the clock, most working hours would be during the day, when more guests are seeking assistance.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Fair Labor Standards Act states that teens ages 14 and older are legally permitted to work. However, working hours are generally limited for teens ages 14 to 16. Your state's law may have different restrictions. Whichever law is the more protective applies. Hotels may have other requirements for ages, though, so it's always smart to ask the minimum age requirements before applying.