Hotel Security Job Description
Hotel security protects hotel guests, employees, and property. Hotel security typically works directly on the hotel property, patrolling the grounds, and in an office, monitoring security cameras or filling out paperwork. This is a full-time or part-time entry-level position that requires strategic thinking and a discerning eye. Hotel security may follow a chain of command, but they are sometimes only one among two or three guards who report directly to hotel management. If the situation calls for it, hotel security may also work with the local police department.
Hotel Security Duties and Responsibilities
Hotel security’s duties and responsibilities can vary depending on the location of the hotel and the crime rate in the area. However, based on our research of this position, the following responsibilities are usually assigned to hotel security:
The bulk of hotel security’s day is filled with patrolling hotel grounds, parking lots, lobbies, restaurants, and hallways. They provide a sense of security to both hotel staff and guests simply by being present. Depending on hotel resources and size, some hotel security may be assigned to a surveillance room, where they monitor the hotel via security cameras.
Escort People In/Out of the Hotel
Hotel security is also responsible for escorting guests and hotel staff to and from the hotel. If valet parking is unavailable late at night, hotel security may escort guests and staff in order to protect them. Additionally, hotel security may need to escort belligerent guests off hotel property, especially in hotels that have bars.
Hotels that have conference centers or are near conference centers often hold concurrent conferences or conventions. During these times, the hotel experiences a high volume of guests. Hotel security is often expected to maintain order among the different groups of guests.
Report to Supervisors and Management
Hotel security is responsible for reporting all suspicious activity to their supervisors or hotel management. Usually, hotel security should report current events in real time through their radio and document events that have already been resolved.
Hotel security must be on call anytime during their shift to investigate disturbances reported by hotel staff and guests. This can include things like excess noise coming from a guest’s room or reports of suspicious people prowling the parking lot.
Hotel Security Skills and Qualifications
Hotel security works discretely and can think clearly under pressure to handle disturbances and identify threats quickly. This position doesn’t require any formal education, but employers typically look for applicants with the following skills:
- Security/military/law enforcement experience – it’s helpful for hotel security to have previous military or law enforcement experience. At the very least, applicants should have previous security experience. With this experience, employers feel more confident in the applicant’s ability perform well even while under pressure
- Professional authority – hotel security should give off an authoritative impression upon both staff and guests. They should be good at giving orders and verifying that they are followed
- First aid – since the likelihood of health incidents happening at a hotel are high, hotel security should be trained in first aid best practices and stay up-to-date with current standards
- Active listening skills – hotel security often listens to guests and staff as they are explaining disturbances. They need to be able to infer the true nature of the situation during potentially confusing conversations
- Communication skills – speaking and writing clearly is essential for the hotel security job. Communication with guests and upper management needs to be clear in order for things to happen smoothly
Tools of the Trade
Hotel security usually use the following tools in their line of work:
- Firearms (depends on hotel)
- Security systems (video surveillance and alarms)
- Two-way radios
- Microsoft Office
Hotel Security Education and Training
Hotel security doesn’t usually need any formal education further than a high school diploma. However, most hotels prefer candidates to have at least some kind of formal security training. It’s also helpful if hotel security has CPR certifications, since they are likely to encounter health emergencies during their shifts. Most states require hotel security to be registered in order to legally work as security.
Hotel Security Salary and Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists the median annual wage for hotel security at $25,840. This can vary depending on previous experience and location. The highest 10 percent of hotel security makes up to $47,260, while the lowest 10 percent makes less than $18,860. Whether hotel security gets a benefits package can vary greatly depending on the hotel and whether they work full or part time. However, most hotels provide some sort of employee discount on their own room rates.
Over the next 10 years, the BLS reports a 6 percent growth projection for hotel security. As the hospitality industry continues to increase, there will always be a need for security to protect staff and guests.
Ready to take the next steps to becoming hotel security? Don’t forget to check out some of these resources to get you on the right path:
National Association of Security Companies – The NASCO’s mission is to “promote standards and professionalism for private security officers and within the contract security industry.” This organization also works with federal, state, and local governments to promote licensing and registration standards for security guards. Here, you’ll find plenty of resources from security guards who have real-life experience.
The Security Guard Training HQ Blog – This website was created for the sole purpose of providing an easier way to get training to become a security guard. The blog is filled with helpful tips about relevant security topics like government security, tools, and training. This is a good, free resource that can easily get you started.
The Gift of Fear and Other Survival Signs That Protect Us from Violence – This book, written by a man “Oprah Winfrey calls the nation’s leading expert on violent behavior,” aims to teach about the subtle art of identifying people who are about to commit violence. The things taught in this book are especially helpful for hotel security who want to learn how to better identify problematic people.
Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly About Security in an Uncertain World – Written by an internationally renowned security technologist, this book considers security in a world after 9/11. It delves deep into a variety of different questions and issues, and it helps you get into a mental state where you can counter any nervousness about the ever-changing world of security threats.
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