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Job Photographs

  • A man, wearing a hotel uniform, is carrying two suitcases down a corridor.

    Carrying luggage up to a guest's room.

  • A man, wearing a smart hotel uniform, is crouching down and wiping a large marble pillar, with a cloth.

    Making sure the hotel foyer is kept clean.

  • A man, wearing a smart hotel uniform, is opening the door of a white car.  Two people are sitting in the car.

    Meeting guests as they arrive at the hotel.

  • A man, wearing a smart hotel uniform, is knocking on the door of a hotel room.  He is holding a newspaper.

    Delivering a newspaper to a guest's room.

  • Hotel Porter

Hotel Porter

Introduction

Hotel porters help hotel guests with their luggage and show them to their rooms. They might also run errands and deal with enquiries from guests. Some porters work at night, and are responsible for late arrivals and security.

Also known as

  • Porter, Hotel
  • Hall Porter
  • Concierge

Video: - Daryl: Hotel Porter

Work Activities

There are two main kinds of Porter - Day Porter and Night Porter. In some hotels, a person might do day shifts and night shifts, but it's more normal for night porters to do only night shifts. The tasks that Porters do depend on the size and type of hotel that they work in.

Day Porters work in the public areas of hotels and have a lot of contact with the guests. In a large hotel, there could be a small team of Porters. As well as carrying luggage, you might:

  • park guests' cars
  • advise guests about the local area and tourist attractions
  • book tickets, taxis and restaurant tables for guests
  • drive staff to and from work, at the start and end of shifts
  • run errands for guests, for example, taking clothes for dry cleaning
  • set up conference or function rooms
  • sort the post
  • keep public areas clean and tidy
  • take meals and newspapers to guests' bedrooms

Night Porters usually work alone or with one other person. Because you work from late at night (usually around 11 pm), to early morning (around 7 am), you have less contact with guests than the Day Porters do.

You also do more work in the non-public areas of the hotel. For example, a Night Porter will do security checks. You also check that fire escapes are clear.

Night Porters also do things like:

  • help guests who are arriving late
  • receive and move deliveries to the hotel
  • help bar staff to close up and put the takings in the safe
  • check newspaper deliveries and put the right papers outside guests' rooms
  • take meals up to guests' rooms
  • set up function rooms for conferences or meetings
  • keep the reception area/lobby clean and tidy

If there is something wrong with a person's room, you will have to move them to a different room and make sure the reception staff know about it in the morning.

Large hotels employ a Head Porter who supervises a team of Porters, arranging shifts and generally seeing that guests receive the best possible service.

Porters sometimes live in the hotel where they work, so you can be on-call at all times. Most wear uniforms.

You need to be aware of hotel security procedures and have a smart appearance.

Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become a Hotel Porter, you need:

  • a smart appearance; you are part of the hotel's public image
  • to speak clearly
  • to be polite, friendly and helpful
  • to be happy following instructions; other people will tell you what to do a lot of the time
  • the ability to lift and carry things
  • not to mind working shifts
  • stamina; you could be on your feet a lot

It's useful to have knowledge of the local area, or a foreign language to help guests from overseas.

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

The pay rates given below are approximate.

  • Starting: £14,500 - £15,500
  • With experience: £16,500 - £18,000
  • Senior Hotel Porters earn £20,000

Hours of work

Hotel Porters work 38-40 hours a week. Day Porters usually work shifts, including weekends. Some work day and night shifts on a rota basis. There are opportunities for part-time work.

This career could include working on a zero hour contract.

Where could I work?

Hotel Porters work in hotels of all sizes.

Opportunities for Hotel Porters occur throughout the UK in towns, cities, and rural and coastal areas.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised in local newspapers, in trade magazines such as Caterer and Hotelkeeper, on Find a Job and at Jobcentre Plus.

Vacancies can also be found through specialist recruitment agencies and on internet job boards such as Caterer.com.

Many of the larger hotels have their own website, and usually advertise vacancies as they arise.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

You don't need any qualifications to do this job, though good standards of English and maths are useful.

An Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship is a great place to start. Take a look at our information article 'Apprenticeships – How do I apply', for more details about applying for apprenticeship positions.

Employment 1st is a programme that prepares people for their first job in the hospitality industry. It includes core skills such as customer service, sales, communication, safety and IT.

Training

Training is mostly on-the-job and covers hotel policies, setting up function rooms, preparing and serving snacks and drinks, and room service techniques.

If you would like some training, City & Guilds offer a level 1 diploma in preparing for a career in the hospitality industry. This course has a range of units, which include:

  • introduction to the hospitality industry
  • preparing and serving drinks
  • front office operations
  • housekeeping and guest services
  • introduction to personal workplace skills
  • health and safety and food safety awareness in catering
  • applying for jobs and courses
  • preparing for work placement
  • investigating rights and responsibilities at work
  • learning from work placement
  • principles of customer service in hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism

Other courses could be available in your area.

Work Experience

Previous experience in hotel work, or in an area such as customer service or retail would be really useful for this career.

Progression

With training and experience, it might be possible to move into Head Porter positions, or to move into other departments. Larger hotels and chains are more likely to offer wider scope for career progression. 'Concierge' might mean the same as 'Head Porter' in some hotels.

Qualifications

To get onto an Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship, you’ll usually need five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, possibly including English and maths.

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.

Entry

Some entrants have relevant skills and abilities gained in hotel work, or in an area such as customer service or retail. Others have skills gained in areas that involve using their hands, such as lifting, carrying and transporting.

Intermediate Level Apprenticeships and Advanced Level Apprenticeships in Hospitality and Catering might be available in your area.

Statistics

  • 21% of people in occupations such as hotel porter work part-time.

Further Information

Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far

National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)

Tel: 0800 015 0400

Email: nationalhelpdesk@findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk

Website: www.apprenticeships.org.uk

Skills Development Scotland - Modern Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 9178000

Email: info@skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk

Website: www.myworldofwork.co.uk/modernapprenticeships

Jobsite UK

Retail, fashion and hospitality industries

Tel: 020 8340 3366

Email: help@jobsite.co.uk

Website: www.theappointment.co.uk

Hospitality Guild (People 1st)

Website: www.hospitalityguild.co.uk

Springboard UK Ltd

Tel: 020 7529 8610

Email: info@springboarduk.org.uk

Website: springboard.uk.net

British Hospitality Association (BHA)

Tel: 020 7404 7744

Email: bha@bha.org.uk

Website: www.bha.org.uk

The Caterer

Email: info@thecaterer.com

Website: www.caterersearch.com

Caterer: Hospitality careers

Publisher: Totaljobs Group Ltd

Website: www.caterer.com/careers-advice

Northern Ireland Hotels Federation (NIHF)

Northern Ireland Enquiries

Address: The McCune Building, 1 Shore Road, Belfast BT15 3PG

Tel: 028 9077 6635

Email: office@nihf.co.uk

Website: www.nihf.co.uk

Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 028 4844

Website: ams.careerswales.com/

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