A hotel porter welcomes guests, carries their luggage to and from their room and arranges various services such as taxis and restaurant bookings. They are sometimes referred to as a concierge, usually when at a senior level.
You could be:
greeting guests and carrying luggage to and from their room
showing guests to their room and explaining the facilities
parking guests' cars
taking and delivering messages to guests
looking after keys and left luggage
answering guests’ questions about the hotel and local points of interest
arranging transport and making restaurant and theatre bookings for guests
keeping the lobby and reception area tidy and collecting hotel laundry
moving furniture and setting up rooms for conferences and events.
As a hotel night porter (night shift) you might have to cover for many different jobs:
covering the reception desk, dealing with enquiries by phone and face-to-face
using the computer to check in guests arriving late, and check out those leaving early
preparing and delivering late night snacks to guests’ rooms
assisting in the bar
collecting and delivering the morning papers
dealing alone with problems arising in the night; if necessary transferring guests into a different room
setting up equipment and coffee for early morning conferences
if there is a fire or emergency making sure that guests are evacuated safely.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
Starting pay is often based on the National Minimum Wage (NMW) or the National Living Wage (NLW).
As of 1 April 2022 the National Minimum Wage is £4.81 an hour for workers aged 16 to 17, £6.83 an hour for workers aged 18 to 20 and £9.18 an hour for workers aged 21 to 22. The National Living Wage is £9.50 for workers aged 23 and over. This can rise to around £9.00 an hour.
You might boost your income with tips, shift allowances and overtime.
If you live in, there may be a deduction for board and lodging.
You work shifts, including early mornings, nights and weekends.
Hours can be variable but on average are around 40 hours a week.
You may be on call sometimes even when you’re not on duty.
You might have to live-in.
Some hotels are in remote areas such as parts of the Highlands and Islands.
The work may be seasonal, with lay-offs in winter.
This is an active job.
You have to carry heavy loads, possibly up and down stairs, and move heavy furniture.
You do not need formal qualifications but a good general education is useful.
You could study the Foundation Apprenticeship in Hospitality (SCQF Level 4 or 5) in S3-S6, which gives you an introduction into working in the hospitality industry.
You could study the Skills for Work (SfW) Hospitality at National 4 or 5.
Applicants must be over 18 if they have to serve alcohol.
You must be physically fit.
A driving licence is useful.
What Does it Take?
You need to have:
a smart appearance
a friendly welcoming approach
a calm, patient and polite manner
a good memory - for information and people
excellent organisational skills
strong customer service skills
excellent communication skills
leadership skills if you are a head porter.
You need to be:
honest and reliable
able to work alone
respectful of guests' privacy.
Training is mainly on the job.
While working you can study for the SVQ Hospitality Services at SCQF Level 4.
There are hotels in every Scottish town and city as well as in rural areas. There is generally a good range of vacancies in jobcentres, especially for night porters.
With experience, you could become a head porter (concierge), and then go on to supervisory and front of house management posts. An additional SVQ in Hospitality Services at SCQF Level 5 might help your promotion chances.
You might have to move around to get more senior positions, particularly with smaller employers.