A concierge usually works as part of the front-of-house or reception team within a hotel or corporate organisation. Their job is to create a positive first impression of the organisation for guests, making their stay or visit more comfortable and answering questions.
They are also responsible for carrying out tasks such as:
Concierges check information on the internet and use a range of reference books, leaflets, brochures and maps to stay up to date with facilities and entertainment in the local area.
They usually work with a team of other concierges, reception and front-of-house staff. They may manage a team of hotel porters and door staff.
Concierges may also work for specialist companies in lifestyle management, providing concierge services for families or companies with busy staff. In this role, they are likely to have additional tasks, such as running errands, organising cleaners, doing shopping and pet sitting.
Concierges usually work 40 hours a week. 12-hour or rotating shifts are common, often including early mornings, late nights or weekends. Part-time work is uncommon.
Concierges are usually based in a reception area or foyer. They often have their own desk with a telephone and computer, but spend a lot of time standing or walking around.
Concierges may have to lift and carry heavy items, such as luggage. They may leave the hotel occasionally to complete errands and make arrangements for guests.
They usually have to wear a uniform, which is provided by the employer.
A driving licence may be useful.
The starting salary for a hotel concierge may be around £12,000 a year.
Concierges are employed by hotels throughout the UK, especially four and five-star hotels in London and other cities. Other employers include large organisations, such as banks and law firms, as well as lifestyle management organisations.
Jobs are advertised in trade magazines, such as Caterer & Hotelkeeper, and Jobcentre Plus offices. Jobs may also be advertised in the local and national press, and there are many recruitment agencies that deal with catering jobs.
No academic qualifications are required to be a concierge. Employers look for applicants who are confident, articulate and well presented, with good local knowledge.
A basic ability to speak one or more foreign languages may be useful. Previous experience of reception operations, particularly in four or five-star hotels, is advantageous.
Young people usually start working in hotels as a porter or receptionist, or another front of house role, and become a concierge after gaining some experience. Apprenticeships in hospitality may be available.
Apprenticeships and Advanced Apprenticeships provide structured training with an employer. As an apprentice you must be paid at least £95 per week; you may well be paid more. A recent survey found that the average wage for apprentices was £170 a week. Your pay will depend on the sector in which you work, your age, the area where you live and the stage at which you have arrived in the Apprenticeship.
Entry to Employment (e2e) can help to prepare those who are not yet ready for an Apprenticeship. In addition, Young Apprenticeships may be available for 14- to 16-year-olds. More information is available from a Connexions personal adviser or at www.apprenticeships.org.uk.
There are different arrangements for Apprenticeships in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Training is mostly on the job. Concierges build up contacts and knowledge of the local area as they progress.
Many organisations, particularly large hotel chains, have their own formal in-house training programmes that cover the necessary skills.
Trainees may be able to work towards a variety of nationally-recognised qualifications in travel and tourism, including NVQ's/SVQ's in Hospitality at Level 1 or Multi-Skilled Hospitality Services at Level 2.
Oil Drilling Roustabouts and Roughnecks work as part of a small team on offshore oil or gas drilling rigs or production platforms. Roustabouts do unskilled manual labouring jobs on rigs and platforms, and Roughneck is a promotion from roustabout.
Roustabouts do basic tasks to help keep the rig and platform working efficiently and Roughnecks do practical tasks involved in the drilling operation, under the supervision of the driller.
A concierge needs to have:
Concierges may work their way up to deputy head concierge, and then head concierge, or become front office manager or assistant general manager.
They may also move into other areas of the hospitality industry. They may be able to become a butler or move into the lifestyle management sector, possibly starting their own company.
There are opportunities to work abroad, especially with large hotel chains.
Institute of Hospitality, Trinity Court,
34 West Street, Sutton, Surrey SM1 1SH
Tel: 020 8661 4900
People 1st, 2nd Floor, Armstrong House,
38 Market Square, Uxbridge UB8 1LH
Tel: 01895 857000
The Springboard Charity & Springboard UK Ltd, Coopers' Hall,
13 Devonshire Square, London EC2M 4TH
Tel: 020 7497 8654
Additional resources for job seekers and those already in a job.