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Education and Training: On-the-job training

Salary: Varies—see profile

Employment Outlook: Fair

Definition and Nature of the Work

Doorkeepers are stationed at the entrances of most large city hotels, restaurants, and luxury apartment buildings, as well as country resorts. These uniformed greeters create a welcoming atmosphere for guests or tenants arriving at their doors. Doorkeepers must be diplomatic, courteous, and helpful to all guests. Their responsibilities include opening the doors of cars and taxicabs for guests who arrive at their establishment, helping the guests out of cars, shielding them from rain or snow with an umbrella, and opening the door of the building so that the guests can step inside. In exchange for these services, guests frequently tip doorkeepers.

Doorkeepers also hail taxicabs for guests and tenants, carry packages, and watch for unauthorized people who might try to enter the building. They report suspicious people to the building manager or the police. In addition, doorkeepers direct delivery workers to the delivery entrance of the establishment. Those who work in apartment buildings may notify tenants that visitors have arrived by calling the tenants on the telephone.

Education and Training Requirements

A high school diploma is not necessary for this position, but a good command of the English language is necessary to make the best impression on guests and tenants. Doorkeepers are usually trained on the job by experienced doorkeepers. They can start as bellhops in hotels or as kitchen helpers in restaurants. Doorkeepers must have a neat personal appearance and a pleasant and agreeable manner. They should also be polite, helpful, and responsible.

Getting the Job

Interested individuals can apply directly to hotels, restaurants, and apartment buildings for a job as a doorkeeper. The want ads in local newspapers are also a good source for job listings. Candidates who are unable to find work as a doorkeeper can apply for a job as a bellhop or a kitchen helper and advance from that position.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

There are very few advancement possibilities for doorkeepers; however, an experienced doorkeeper may be promoted to supervisor of all lobby employees, including bellhops, floor cleaners, and window washers.

The employment outlook for doorkeepers is fair. Although openings develop quickly for many hotel and restaurant employees, most hotels and restaurants employ only a few doorkeepers. Turnover is low, so few job openings occur. Additional doorkeeper jobs will likely come from the development of new hotels.

Working Conditions

Doorkeepers typically work a five-day, forty-hour week. They sometimes work evenings or weekends and often work in shifts so that the door to an establishment is covered at all times. Most doorkeepers wear uniforms. Some doorkeepers are provided with uniforms or a uniform allowance. Others must purchase their own.

Since hotel and restaurant doorkeepers are stationed outside, they must endure all kinds of weather. All doorkeepers stand for long periods, which may be very tiring. In spite of physical discomforts, doorkeepers must remain cheerful and courteous at all times.

Where to Go for More Information

American Hotel and Lodging Association
1201 New York Ave. NW, Ste. 600
Washington, DC 20005-3931
(202) 289-3100

The International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education
2810 N. Parham Rd., Ste. 230
Richmond, VA 23294
(804) 346-4800

Earnings and Benefits

Doorkeepers generally start at minimum wage. Those who belong to unions may earn higher wages. Experienced doorkeepers earn an average salary of $17,000 to $19,000 or more per year. Doorkeepers in New York City earn much more—according to an April 19, 2006 article in the Christian Science Monitor, about twice as much as the average. Those who work night shifts generally receive extra pay. In addition, a large portion of doorkeepers' incomes come from tips given by patrons of the hotel, restaurant, or apartment that employs them. Doorkeepers generally receive benefits such as paid vacations, sick leave, health insurance, and retirement plans.