Porter Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: June 22, 2022

A Porter,  or Day Porter, is responsible for assisting guests in making sure they have a pleasant stay at various hospitality establishments. Their duties include answering guest questions about their facility, helping guests with their maneuver their luggage to and from their vehicle and coordinating with other staff to ensure guest safety.

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Porter duties and responsibilities

A Porter’s basic function usually involves maintaining cleanliness, appearance and safety standards of facilities. They also take guest luggage, tag each one and store them where available. Other responsibilities include:

  • Assist guests and passengers, offering answers to questions and running their errands when working at hotels and motels or cruise ships.
  • Carry luggage of the departing guests or travelers to the hotel’s lobby or cruise ship’s departure area.
  • Ensure that travelers or guests staying at the cruise ship or hotel leave safely during an evacuation.
  • Assist front desk staff with answering calls and making any necessary transfers to the appropriate people.
  • Assist the customer service crew to set up any upcoming events and update any signs.
  • Park guests’ vehicles in some instances and retrieve them when the need arises.
  • Assist other employees by running their errands such as moving stock and delivering items when necessary.
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What does a Porter do?

Porters typically work for cruise ships, hotels, or motels to help customers check-in and out of their rooms. They work closely with other staff members to ensure that their guests receive top-tier customer service during their stay. Their job is to greet guests upon arrival, open and close doors for guests and place luggage on baggage carts, and assist in storing them before a guest’s required check-in time. They may also be responsible for acting as a Valet to park or retrieve their guest’s vehicles.

Porter skills and qualifications      

A successful Porter candidate comes with various prerequisite skills and experience. The following list highlights some of the most vital qualifications for the role:    

  • The ability to lift at least 40 pounds or more
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Mechanical skills and knowledge to work and fix various industrial equipment
  • Knowledge of how to use guest booking software platforms
  • Familiarization with the essential security regulations
  • Great verbal communication skills to interact well with other employees, guests and service providers

Porter salary expectations

A Porter makes an average of $12.48 per hour. Salary may depend on the candidate’s level of experience, education and geographical location. Porters also make an average of $25 per day in tips. Typically, their tenure lasts for less than one year.

Porter education and training requirements

A Porter role typically does not require formal education credentials. However, a high school diploma or GED and mechanical courses can be an added advantage. The training for a Porter occurs on the job. Beginners typically work by reporting to a more experienced Porter to learn how to use and maintain industrial equipment. They also learn proper interactions with guests and clients specifically for their particular work environment.

Porter experience requirements

There may be minimum experience requirements to apply for a job as a Porter. Some experience as a Porter can give an applicant an advantage over others when looking for a job. As a Porter, it’s important to have a knowledge of the local area and/or ports, a hospitality certification and experience through a motel, hotel or cruise ship apprenticeship.

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Frequently asked questions about Porters

 

What is the difference between a Porter and a Concierge?

Both Porters and Concierges work to provide top-tier customer service to guests in hospitality establishments, but they differ in how they serve their guests. For example, Porters answer guests’ questions about the hotel and its facilities, including dining, pool, gym and gaming areas. They also help guests maneuver their luggage and may even assist them by calling for taxis or other transportation on their behalf. 

In contrast, the Concierge interacts directly with customers to provide them with insights into local attractions and facilities to enjoy. They may also help them obtain dinner reservations at a local restaurant or provide them with an alternative driving route to avoid traffic when visiting a local attraction.

 

What are the daily duties of a Porter?

On a typical day, a Porter situates themselves in the lobby area of a hospitality establishment to wait for guests to arrive or come to check out. Throughout the day, they greet guests and assist them in taking their luggage to and from their vehicles. They answer guests’ questions and escort them to their rooms, dining areas and other parts of the establishment as needed. Toward the end of their shift, Porters may assist the maintenance staff in cleaning the lobby floors and surrounding surfaces.

 

What qualities make a good Porter?

A good Porter is someone who has a passion for helping others. They have excellent customer service and a personable nature that allows them to enhance the experiences of guests at hospitality establishments. Porters should also be physically fit to lift and carry luggage or maneuver baggage carts. Further, a good Porter should work as part of a team to accomplish tasks like evacuating guests in an emergency, greeting and checking guests in and maintaining a clean lobby area. 

Porters should also have a degree of adaptability that enables them to fill in for others during understaffed shifts. For example, they may need to fill in for someone from the front desk, customer service counter or maintenance team.

 

Who does a Porter report to?

A Porter typically reports to the Hotel Manager or Hospitality Manager within their facility. In the absence of management, they may report to the Customer Service Supervisor or Hospitality Supervisor to discuss customer complaints or concerns.

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    Last updated: Apr 28, 2021