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3 behind-the-scenes hotel jobs

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When most people think of hotel jobs, they might only think of the people on the front lines -- front desk agents, concierges, housekeeping staff, and other customer service-oriented jobs.

But behind the scenes, there are dozens of workers in several departments that keep things running smoothly.

Here are three behind-the-scenes hotel jobs worth discovering:

1.  Hotel surveillance worker
What they do: Hotel security involves more than just in-room safes. Larger hotels often have an entire security team. Some workers, like security guards and security officers, engage directly with guests, while many -- like people on the surveillance team -- work behind the scenes.

A surveillance worker typically monitors the activity captured by cameras stationed throughout a hotel or resort. They also are often tasked with the upkeep of the security system, conducting regular physical inspections and repairs of cameras and other electronic surveillance equipment.

What they need: Most hotels require surveillance workers to have a high school diploma or equivalent, and some require additional security licenses and certifications. Excellent observation and communication skills are a must, as surveillance workers are often expected to record observations and write reports. And, because the job might require working nights, weekends and holidays, flexibility is important, too.

What they earn: According to, the average salary of a surveillance system monitor is $38,498.
2. Hotel maintenance worker and engineer
What they do: Hotels need maintenance workers to deal with everything from changing burned-out light bulbs in guest rooms to repairing HVAC units. Larger hotels usually have maintenance teams, with some workers focusing on lower-level repairs and others working in areas that require specialized training, like plumbing, electrical, and ventilation systems. Smaller hotels often employ just one or two maintenance engineers that are skilled in several trades.

What they need: Hotel maintenance engineers are usually required to have an associate degree in hotel maintenance. General hotel maintenance workers typically need a high school diploma and maintenance experience. Specialized workers need training and certifications in their areas of specialty.

Salary: According to, the average salary of a general maintenance worker -- a job that shares many of the same responsibilities as a hotel maintenance worker -- is $38,575. The average salary of a maintenance engineer, a position that shares much in common with specialized hotel maintenance workers, is $56,777.

3. Purchasing agent and purchasing clerk
What they do: The purchasing department of a hotel is responsible for buying the items used in running a hotel -- from furniture, fixtures and equipment to the items that are stocked in a mini-bar. Purchasing agents and purchasing clerks research vendors and order, track and receive items. They also are responsible for negotiating prices and working within department budgets. Purchasing clerks are also tasked with keeping track of inventories.

What they need: Purchasing agents often require a college degree, while most hotels require high school diplomas for purchasing clerk candidates. Purchasing agents and clerks should also be computer proficient and have strong organizational, written and verbal communication skills, as well as the ability to multi-task.

Salary: According to, the average salary of a purchasing clerk is $40,044, while the average salary of a purchasing agent is $63,082.

Last Updated: 20/06/2012 - 11:23 AM

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