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Housekeeping may not be glamorous, but it’s a great way to get your foot in the door of an industry where workers can promote quickly based on merit.

“Housekeeping is not just about cleaning rooms,” says Melissa Stirling, director of military programs for Hilton Worldwide. “Housekeeping really mandates the flow of our business. It is all about strategic planning, time management, supply management, scheduling, budget management and leadership.”

The leadership skills Emmanuel Gomez-Santa learned in the Army helped him go from houseman to housekeeping supervisor in just two months. Now he’s leading a team or more than 20 employees.

“The main responsibility as a housekeeping supervisor, manager or director is motivating your team,” Stirling says. “Depending on the size of the hotel, you could oversee a very large number of team members.”

In fact, many of Hilton’s general managers started out in housekeeping, Stirling says.

“Much like the military, team members own their development,” she says.

No college degree necessary, either.

“The more a team member is willing to learn, the more opportunities they have to grow and learn new skills. We are looking for veterans who are interested in a career, not just a job,” Stirling says.

Pay varies greatly depending on the location and size of hotel, but housekeeping supervisors in major cities can earn between $50,000 and $65,000 a year, according to Salary Expert.

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