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Guide to a Porter Career

If you are exploring different careers in the hospitality industry and landed on a Porter you came to the right place.

This overview provides valuable insights into the Porter role, covering responsibilities, salary, career progression, frequently asked questions and more.

Porter Employment Trends in the US

The latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that there are around 28,780 Porters employed in the U.S.

What’s more, there are 4,700 projected new Porter job openings each year, which indicates that Porters will stay in demand for many years to come.

28,780 Porters employed in the U.S.

[Source: BLS]

This overview provides valuable insights into the Porter role, covering responsibilities, salary, career progression, frequently asked questions and more.

What Is a Porter?

A Porter helps guests have a pleasant stay at the hospitality establishment by welcoming them, carrying their luggage and answering their questions. Porters are often stationed at the reception or the entrance and are usually the first person at the establishment to greet the guests.

What Does a Porter do?

A Porter’s job description includes:

  • Greeting guests as they arrive at the establishment
  • Carrying and labeling guests’ luggage
  • Directing guests to the reception or another appropriate spot
  • Securing transportation services for guests upon request
  • Responding to technical issues, calling repairmen and monitoring their work
  • Maintaining stocks for cleaning supplies
  • Vacuuming carpets and responding to major spills and other cleaning crises
  • Preparing conference rooms for important events
  • Placing safety hazard signs and assisting with evacuation plans in case of an emergency

Top Porter Skills and Qualities

The best Porters have the following skills and qualities:

  • Physical stamina: Porters have to be physically fit to be able to carry luggage and lift other heavy items. Their role also requires them to spend a significant amount of time on their feet while attending to guests.
  • Communication skills: A typical working day for a Porter includes constant interaction with the guests. They must understand and anticipate guests’ needs, provide clear instructions and handle occasional complaints professionally. To do these effectively, a Porter must be good at verbal communication.
  • Time management: Porters are often expected to juggle various tasks. Therefore, effective time management is a highly essential skill in this line of work. They have to maximize their productivity, always be available to the guests and be ready to respond in case of an emergency.
  • Maintenance: Porters are often asked to perform small maintenance tasks, such as changing a light bulb, fixing a leaking faucet or repairing a broken piece of furniture.

Must-Have Porter Skills & Qualities

How To Become a Porter

If you want to become a Porter you will need to develop the necessary skills and qualities we’ve mentioned in the previous section.

Since it’s often considered an entry-level position, you won’t need a high educational background or prior experience to get hired for a Porter role.

Typically, the minimal education requirement for landing a Porter job is a high school diploma or an equivalent.

The chart below shows the level of education Porters most often have.

[Source: Career One Stop]

This chart is interactive. Hover your mouse over different parts of the chart to see detailed data.

However, having any additional certifications is always advantageous because it shows employers that you would likely not need additional training.

For example, if you have a certification in facility maintenance, you will be a more desirable candidate for a Porter role since your certification proves you know how to handle maintenance tasks independently.

This would then save the establishment the extra cost of hiring an outside handyman. A course to consider is West Valley’s Facility Maintenance Technician program.

Experience in customer support is also often regarded highly for the Porter position, as it shows you have a track record of providing excellent service.

How To Become a Porter Even If You Have No Experience

Generally speaking, Porter is an entry-level position, which means you don’t need prior experience to land a job.

Consequently, it is common for establishments to provide on-site training to newly hired Porters.

However, you can take these steps to increase your chances of landing a Porter job even if you have no prior experience:

  • Educate yourself on the role: Research the daily duties and responsibilities of Porters, such as carrying luggage and conducting small maintenance tasks. Then, assess how your current skills align with these.
  • Work on the relevant skills: Consider developing some of the skills that are necessary for the position. This includes communication, time management and basic maintenance.
  • Prepare for interviews: The process of getting a job as a Porter will include doing interviews with the establishments you apply to. Research common Porter interview questions, prepare your answers and do a mock interview beforehand.
  • Be persistent: Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get hired right away. Keep improving your skills and applying for jobs to land a Porter role that meets your needs.

What Is the Workplace of a Porter Like?

Although Porters usually have similar responsibilities no matter where they work, their actual workplace depends on the industry and the type of establishment.

For the most part, Porters are employed in hotels, where they work in the lobby or the entrance area. They’re often located at the reception but at high-end establishments, they may be given their own desk.

At luxurious hotels, the Porter may also receive a computer or tablet to manage guests’ requests.

Budget motels may sometimes, but not always, hire Porters. It’s also common for them to hire staff members who perform multiple roles, including that of a Porter.

Porters also work on cruise ships, performing duties similar to those at hotels and are present there for the duration of a trip.

Another type of establishment that hires Porters is luxury residential buildings. In places like these, Porters often work with wealthy individuals and celebrities, providing them with discreet personalized service.

In large businesses and government settings, Porters service high-profile people, but can also perform security tasks such as authorization of individuals who enter the premises.

Additionally, Porters work at airports and train stations, performing duties such as monitoring baggage handling areas and working with authorities in case of suspicious activities.

Porter Earnings Potential

On average, Porters in the U.S. earn $36,100 per year or $17.36 per hour – not including tips.

Their salary range falls between $24,710 and $47,640.

The difference between those at the lower end and those at the higher end of the pay scale is usually due to the specific location, establishment and level of experience.

For instance, a Porter in the state of New York will earn $47,620 on average. Meanwhile, Porters in Oklahoma only earn an average of $23,820.

Explore the graph below for the top five best-paying states in the U.S.

[Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics]

This chart is interactive. Hover your mouse over different parts of the chart to see detailed data.

Porter Career Progression

If you are a dedicated and hard-working Porter, you can move up to better-paid positions within the hospitality industry.

You can advance from a Porter role all the way to Hotel Operations Manager and even Hotel General Manager.

Porter

Head Porter

Avg Salary $ 49,000

Concierge

Avg Salary $ 50,000

Front Office Manager

Avg Salary $ 54,000

Hotel Operations Manager

Avg Salary $ 62,000

Head Porter

Avg Salary $ 49,000

Concierge

Avg Salary $ 50,000

Front Office Manager

Avg Salary $ 54,000

Hotel General Manager

Avg Salary $ 90,000


Quiz: Is Porter the Right Role for You?

Results

Congratulations! 

Based on your quiz results, you would be an ideal candidate for a Porter position. Your skills and preferences align well with the job’s demands.

Embrace this opportunity and consider gaining hands-on experience by applying for Porter Jobs

Cheers to a promising future in the restaurant and hospitality industry!

There’s great potential!

While your results indicate that you may need to develop more skills to be an effective Porter, there’s great potential for you to excel with dedication and effort.

You can start by visiting our Porter Job Description page to learn more about what this role entails.

#1. How do you feel about helping others with their needs?

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#2. Do you enjoy working in a fast-paced environment?

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#3. How do you handle being on your feet for long periods?

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#4. Are you comfortable with physical tasks such as lifting and carrying luggage?

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#5. How do you handle stressful situations or demanding guests?

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#6. How would you describe your customer service skills?

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#7. Are you good at managing multiple tasks simultaneously?

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#8. Do you have knowledge of the local area and can provide recommendations?

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#9. How do you feel about working varied hours, including nights and weekends?

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#10. Are you good at remembering names and faces?

Finish

Porter Career FAQs

The level of stress Porters experience in their workplace depends on several factors including workload, physical demands, customer interaction and time pressure.

They often have to manage multiple tasks simultaneously, especially during busy hours. The job also includes lifting heavy luggage and standing for long periods and this physical exertion can lead to stress

A Concierge job role includes responsibilities such as providing guests with services like reservations and recommendations.

Meanwhile, a Porter focuses more on guests’ arrivals, departures and transportation as well as the establishment’s maintenance.

The average age for a Porter in the U.S. is 43. So no, 30 years of age is not too old to become a Porter.

Porters wear uniforms that match their workplace’s dress code or atmosphere. Their uniforms consist of trousers, shirts, vests, jackets, and often hats or caps.