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Hotel Porter

Kaikawe Tueke

Alternative titles for this job

Hotel porters meet and greet guests, answer enquiries, assist with luggage and park guests' vehicles.

Pay

Hotel porters usually earn

$18-$19 per hour

Source: Hospitality NZ and Tourism Industry Association NZ, 2015.

Job opportunities

Chances of getting a job as a hotel porter are average as, although vacancies are common, competition is strong.

Pay

Hotel porters usually earn between minimum wage and $19 per hour.

Sources: Hospitality New Zealand, 'Annual Wage Survey 2015', 2015; Tourism Industry Association New Zealand, '2015 Salary Survey', 2015.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)

What you will do

Hotel porters may provide some or all of the following services to guests:

  • greet and take them to rooms
  • move luggage
  • run errands
  • deliver mail, newspapers and messages
  • deliver meals and drinks to rooms
  • answer enquiries about local attractions and booking tours
  • book taxis and restaurants
  • park cars
  • take and collect guests to and from airports and other locations.

Hotel porters may also cover for reception desk staff when needed.

Skills and knowledge

Hotel porters need to have knowledge of:

  • hotel services and safety regulations
  • the local area and tourist attractions
  • local restaurants and transport services.

Working conditions

Hotel porters:

  • work part-time or full-time hours, including on weekends. Some hotels have night porters, who work from 11pm to 7am
  • work in the public areas of hotels
  • spend much of the day on their feet, and some of the day lifting and moving guests' luggage.

What's the job really like?

Sonny Davis

Sonny Davis

Hotel Porter

Work experience led to permanent job

Sonny Davis began working as a hotel porter for one day a week as part of his school's Gateway work experience programme. But he impressed the Duxton Hotel so much that they quickly offered him paid weekend and holiday work – and a permanent job when he finished school in 2008.

"The early days were a bit of a struggle – getting over being the newbie. Now a year on, oh gosh, I walk around here like I own it!"

More guests mean more fun

"I start at 7am, put on my uniform, and pop downstairs to see what's happening that day – how many functions are on, how many people are checking in or out. I take the day as it comes. I do the usual answering of phones, booking tours, organising massages, spas, saunas – anything from doing that to arranging shuttles and limousines for our corporate guests.

"But every day is different here. Usually it's fun because of that, but sometimes it can be a bit boring when we have no functions and there are not many people coming in and out. To me, the more people there are, the more fun I have."

Entry requirements

There are no specific requirements for becoming a hotel porter, but a full driver's licence is an advantage.

Hotel porters gain their skills on the job, and can get credits towards a National Certificate in Hospitality – Porter Services (Level 2) while working.

Secondary education

There are no specific secondary educational requirements to become a hotel porter. However, NCEA Level 1 English and maths are preferred.

Personal requirements

Hotel porters need to be:

  • friendly and helpful
  • polite and tactful
  • resourceful and reliable
  • organised
  • good at listening and communicating
  • able to work well as part of a team.

As porters deal with a wide range of people, they should also have an understanding and awareness of other cultures.

You have to be helpful and proactive about ways in which you can make people's stay more comfortable.

Photo: Nick Hughes

Nick Hughes

Hotel Porter

Useful experience

Useful experience for hotel porters includes:

  • any hospitality experience, such as working as a waiter/waitress or bartender
  • work in the tourism industry, such as being a tour guide
  • customer service experience, such as retail work.

Physical requirements

Hotel porters should be fit, healthy and reasonably strong, as they may do some heavy lifting and spend long hours on their feet. They should also have a tidy appearance.

Find out more about training

Hospitality New Zealand
nsc@hospitalitynz.org.nz - www.hospitalitynz.org.nz
Service IQ
0800 863 693 - www.serviceiq.org.nz

What are the chances of getting a job?

Vacancies common but competition for jobs strong

Although the overall number of hotel porters is declining, vacancies are common. This is because hotel porters tend to stay in the job for a short time only.

However, competition for positions is strong and vacancies are filled quickly. This is because: 

  • it is a part-time, entry-level job that does not require any specific training
  • vacancies often get filled by word of mouth or by contacting people who have approached employers in the past
  • advertised vacancies are often placed with Student Job Search or on backpackers' noticeboards, and get many applicants.

Hotel porter vacancies vary by season and region

Hotel porter vacancies are seasonal in some regions. For example, you are more likely to get a job in Queenstown during the winter ski season, and Rotorua during the summer holidays.

Porters employed by hotels and motels

Hotel porters may work for:

  • international hotel/motel chains
  • privately owned hotels/motels
  • boutique hotels.

Sources

  • Attfield, S, hotel sector manager, Tourism Industry Association New Zealand, Careers New Zealand interview, February 2016.
  • Cropp, A, 'Hotel Staff Shortages Spell Trouble for Tourism', Stuff, 31 January 2016, (www.stuff.co.nz).
  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2006-2014 Occupation Data' (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2015.
  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, 'Tourism Research and Data', February 2016, (www.mbie.govt.nz).
  • Nui, G, membership communications executive, Hospitality New Zealand, Careers New Zealand interview, February 2016.
  • ServiceIQ website, accessed February 2016, (www.serviceiq.org.nz).
  • Statistics New Zealand, 'Accommodation Survey: December 2015', (www.stats.govt.nz).

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)

Progression and specialisations

Hotel porters may move into other jobs in the hotel such as hotel receptionist or waiter/waitress.

Sonny Davis talking to a man in a hat, behind a hotel reception counter

Hotel porters provide a range of services to guests

Last updated 1 April 2019