The hotel industry remains a strong place for entry-level workers to start building a long-lasting career, according to a new survey conducted by WageWatch for the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA).

A poll of 400,000 U.S. hotel workers across a variety of positions at 10,300 hotels found that more than half of department managers and hotel general managers started their career in an hourly entry-level position.

For salaried employees, more than 90 percent indicated they had stayed with the same company for five years or more.

“Hospitality is centered on people taking care of people; as a result, taking care of our own people is a top priority,” said Katherine Lugar, president of the AH&LA. “Hotels take pride in being able to offer the training and resources that help our workforce to move up the ladder, and to do so quickly. It’s no surprise that the report also showed that we see low turnover. And the many CEOs in our industry who started out as dishwashers or front desk agents validate that.”

More than half of respondents said they had at least one c-suite executive who had started their career as an hourly entry-level worker.

The report also holds a few important takeaways for potential entry-level hotel employees.

First, hotel workers become eligible for promotion is extremely quickly; 94.4 percent of those polled says workers are put up for promotion within their first year.

Second, hotel workers are relatively satisfied with their job. Of those who had conducted an employee engagement survey in the last three years, 79 percent rated their job satisfaction higher than average.

Finally, hotels are still hiring en masse. More than 80 percent of those polled said they’re hiring more full-time workers in the next six months.

“Our growth as an industry directly correlates to more jobs and great career advancement opportunities,” said Lugar. “To continue these trends, we want to encourage policy initiatives that empower business development, entrepreneurial ambitions, and certainty rather than implement onerous regulations that could harm our businesses and the growth that we’ve seen for more than five consecutive years.”

Tags: hotels, labor
Photo Credit: A waiter works in a bar at First Cabin hotel, which was converted from an old office building, in Tokyo. Toru Honai / Reuters