Hotel positions are diverse, wide ranging, and global. Jobs are in such areas as guest service, marketing, sales, human resources, finance, purchasing, housekeeping, reservations, information technology, security, maintenance, engineering, accounting, food and beverage, banquets, catering, and restaurants as well as supervisory and managerial opportunities in almost every accommodation establishment. Some luxury properties also offer nightclubs, concierge services, bell staff, spas, fitness centers and swimming pool operations, and event, meeting and wedding planning. In fact, 200 different types of positions exist in the hotel industry, from entry-level to executive management.

Large hotel chains have established lines of authority and offer employees more potential for advancement. Transfer to another hotel or to the corporate headquarters often involves relocation and an opportunity to live in a new city or country. Small or privately owned hotels may not have as many opportunities, but they may assign responsibility over a greater number of areas because they have fewer specialized staff. Earnings differ based on experience, level of responsibility, type of establishment, and location. Salaries often are supplemented by bonuses. Some managers may also get benefits that include housing, food, and other services provided by the hotel.

Hotel careers may be found in high-rise, city-center hotels; beach, ski, or golf resorts; luxury boutique hotels; airport properties; casino and gaming entertainment complexes; bed and breakfasts; or convention hotels and conference centers. Some hotels are full-service establishments that have every imaginable amenity; some are extended-stay or all-suite facilities that offer spaciousness and comfortable work and living environments; and others offer basic accommodations. Career opportunities also may be found in the growing area of vacation or timeshare ownership.