CRME, CHRM, CHIA: How to become a certified hospitality revenue manager
5 min read

CRME, CHRM, CHIA: How to become a certified hospitality revenue manager

Overview of the industry's premier revenue management credentials.
CRME, CHRM, CHIA: How to become a certified hospitality revenue manager

The competition is high

Due to the pandemic, many hotels adopted cost-saving strategies, and the hospitality job market became highly competitive for certain positions. Revenue management is one of them. More and more hotels can no longer afford a dedicated on-property revenue manager. Hotels opt to outsource revenue management functions to third-party companies, or corporate offices take over revenue optimization. On the corporate level, revenue managers face a higher workload as more properties are added to their responsibilities. As a result, the job market sees fewer new revenue management roles become available while employed revenue leaders manage more properties. The competition is high, and getting a revenue management job is challenging.

Giving the circumstances, how can revenue managers get hired or promoted?

How to stand out?

Experience is important, education is essential. There is also a third element that can help to stand out - revenue management certification. The certification proves that the revenue manager has the experience and skills to optimize revenue. It demonstrates professionalism in the field. Think about it like a license. One needs a license to practice law or sell real estate. Even though the license is not required to manage revenue, it gives the revenue manager a significant competitive advantage if she or he becomes certified.

Let's look at available certification exams and what is required to receive these prestigious credentials.

Certified Revenue Management Executive (CRME)

The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is the hospitality industry's leading sales, revenue and marketing organization with more than 7,000 members worldwide. HSMAI provides hospitality professionals and their partners with tools, insights, and expertise to fuel sales, inspire marketing, and optimize revenue. HSMAI's CRME credential gives revenue managers recognition for their knowledge, experience, and capabilities in the discipline.

Eligibility

First, candidates need to submit an application that will determine their eligibility. There is a points system where the candidate has to get 50 points to qualify. For example, one-year revenue management experience equals 1 point, responsibility for total annual revenues under $10m equals 3 points (more revenue more points), a degree in hospitality - from 10 to 40 points, etc.

The cost

For HSMAI members, the cost is $450. The non-members will pay $625. Sometimes HSMAI runs promotions, and it is recommended to check the CRME page for current pricing.

The process

  1. Apply and receive approval.
  2. Pay the fee.
  3. HSMAI emails a study guide. All exam questions are based on this guide.
  4. The exam must be taken within 12 months from the approval date.
  5. Study and when ready, ask for the link to the online exam.
  6. The exam has 50 questions and is timed. The candidate has 60 minutes to complete the exam.
  7. HSMAI emails a CRME certificate.

Recertification

Revenue managers (CRME) have to submit a recertification application every three years and pay the fee ($150 / $200). There is no exam required; however, revenue professionals must earn a minimum of 20 points to show that they are still active in the revenue management field.

Pros

  • an excellent study guide that has comprehensive information about all areas of revenue optimization
  • 12 months to study
  • take an online exam anytime from anywhere

Cons

  • could be challenging for beginners to be approved (points system)
  • recertification is an extra cost every three years

Certified Hospitality Revenue Manager (CHRM)

AH&L educational institute is part of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) and has been a leader in hospitality education, training, and certification for more than 65 years. AHLEI provides hospitality organizations and schools with quality resources to train, educate, and certify hospitality professionals. CHRM certification helps revenue managers excel in their current positions and shows that they are among the best in the profession.

Eligibility

The candidate must have six months of revenue & reservations experience. However, this time requirement can be eliminated under two conditions:

  1. Degree from an accredited academic institution
  2. Current AHLEI certification (supervisor, manager, department head, or executive)

The cost

For AHLA members, the cost is $319. The non-members will pay $375. The most current pricing can be found here.

The process

  1. Pay the fee (refunded if not approved).
  2. Apply and receive approval.
  3. AHLEI gives access to the online learning portal. All exam questions are based on the learning guide.
  4. The exam must be taken within 12 months from the approval date.
  5. Identify a Proctor (HR manager, direct supervisor, CHA or CHRM certificate holders, etc.).
  6. Study and, when ready, ask AHLEI to send examination access details to the Proctor.
  7. The Proctor must be present when a candidate is taking the exam. The Proctor will enter the exam session password and the exam will start.
  8. The exam has 125 questions and is timed. The candidate has 3 hours to complete the exam.
  9. AHLEI emails a CHRM certificate.

Recertification

Certification is valid for five years. The recertification fee is $100. CHRMs must apply for recertification and submit the required documents. No exam is required; however, recertification decision will be based on continuing work experience in the revenue management field and ongoing professional development activities.

Pros

  • easy to get approved for beginners
  • 12 months to study
  • 3 hours to complete exam
  • valid for 5 years before recertification

Cons

  • the Proctor requirement adds an extra layer of complexity
  • recertification is an additional cost every five years

Certification in Hotel Industry Analytics (CHIA)

AHLEI offers this certification in partnership with STR, the global leader in hospitality industry benchmarking, analytics, and marketplace insights. The CHIA is designed for general, sales, corporate, and revenue managers. It confirms understanding of terminology, formulas, and metrics used in the hospitality industry. The certification also proves that the person can successfully analyze hotel and market-level data and make data-driven decisions.

Eligibility

It's a knowledge-based certificate and does not have specific eligibility requirements (position and period). The candidate just must be employed in the hospitality industry.

The cost

For AHLA members, the cost is $255. The non-members will pay $300. The most current pricing can be found here.

The process

  1. Pay the fee.
  2. Apply and receive approval.
  3. AHLEI gives access to the online learning portal. All exam questions are based on the learning guide.
  4. Study and when ready, ask AHLEI to provide access to the exam.
  5. The exam has 50 questions and is timed. The candidate has 90 minutes to complete the exam.
  6. AHLEI emails a CHIA certificate.

Pros

  • comprehensive overview of all available STAR reports (Weekly, Monthly, Trend, Pipeline, etc.)
  • learn and understand how to read STAR benchmarking data
  • anyone working in hospitality can obtain the certificate
  • recertification is not required
  • take an online exam anytime from anywhere

Con

  • entry-level certification in hospitality analytics; does not give the same high level of professional recognition as CRME or CHRM

Conclusion

The industry is slowly recovering from the pandemic and has a bright future ahead. The revenue management discipline is vital as never before as revenue professionals lead revenue generation and profitability. Now is a good time to invest in professional growth. Yes, the competition is tough, but it only means that we need to improve our knowledge and skills. Becoming a certified revenue manager can help to find the next role or receive a promotion.

Courses and books are also good options to refresh knowledge or gain new insights. Below are links to the articles where I review the best revenue management courses and books.

Best hotel revenue management courses and certificate programs

Best hotel revenue management books and research articles


Disclaimer

HSMAI Academy