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How to Become a Housekeeper

By Emma Philo

Published:

Curious about the world of housekeeping? Embark on a journey towards becoming a housekeeper. In this article, we’ll navigate the modern landscape, uncovering the steps, skills, and insights needed to thrive in this dynamic role. From the art of cleanliness to the mastery of organization, we’ll explore the key elements that define a successful housekeeper. So, prepare to embrace the balance between simplicity and efficiency as we unlock the door to a fulfilling career in housekeeping.

Career Summary

Housekeeper Salary

Housekeeper Salary

The housekeeper salary can vary based on several factors, including location, level of experience, and employer. However, here are approximate wage ranges, according to Glassdoor:

  • Entry Salary (US$30k)
  • Median Salary (US$35k)
  • Executive Salary (US$45k)

This range is below the national average salary in the US, which was reported to be around $61K in 2022.

Housekeeper Job Description

What does a housekeeper do? A housekeeper’s job description is to be the ultimate caretaker of cleanliness, bringing a touch of modern magic to residential and commercial spaces. They expertly tackle sweeping, mopping, dusting, and polishing, breathing life into every surface. With a keen eye for detail, they leave no corner untouched and create a pristine environment that dazzles the senses.

Housekeeper Career Progression

The career progression of a housekeeper can vary depending on factors such as the individual’s goals, experience, education, and the opportunities available. Here is a general outline of potential career progression for a housekeeper:

  • Entry-Level Housekeeper: The starting point for many individuals in the housekeeping field is an entry-level housekeeping position. In this role, you gain experience in basic cleaning tasks, learn cleaning techniques, and develop essential skills in maintaining cleanliness and organization.
  • Senior Housekeeper/Lead Housekeeper: In these positions, you may supervise and train other housekeeping staff, oversee daily operations, and ensure the quality and efficiency of cleaning processes.
  • Housekeeping Supervisor/Manager: In these roles, you are responsible for managing a team of housekeeping staff, coordinating schedules, monitoring inventory, implementing cleaning procedures, and ensuring high standards of cleanliness and customer satisfaction.
  • Assistant Executive Housekeeper: In larger establishments such as hotels or resorts, the next step in career progression may involve becoming an assistant executive housekeeper and assisting the executive housekeeper in managing the overall housekeeping department.
  • Executive Housekeeper: As an executive housekeeper, you have overall responsibility for managing all aspects of housekeeping operations, including staff management, budgeting, inventory control, implementing cleaning protocols, and maintaining high cleanliness standards throughout the property.

It’s important to note that career progression in housekeeping may also involve seeking opportunities in different types of establishments, such as moving from a hotel to a luxury resort or transitioning to a different industry that values cleanliness and organization. Continuous learning, professional development, and building a strong network within the industry can also contribute to career advancement in housekeeping.

Housekeeper Career Progression

Pros:

  • Immediate Impact
  • Varied Work Environment
  • Physical Activity
  • Flexibility in Schedules
  • Building Trust and Relationships

Cons:

  • Physical Demands
  • Repetitive Nature of Tasks
  • Limited Career Advancement
  • Lack of Recognition
  • Potential for Difficult Clients

Useful Skills to Have as a Housekeeper

As a housekeeper, you will develop a range of skills that are essential for effectively maintaining cleanliness and order in various settings. Here are some key skills you can expect to learn as a housekeeper:

  • Cleaning Techniques
  • Attention to Detail
  • Time Management
  • Organization and Planning
  • Laundry Skills
  • Trustworthiness
  • Communication Skills
  • Physical Stamina
  • Customer Service

Popular Housekeeper Specialties

  • Green Cleaning
  • Luxury or High-End Properties
  • Vacation Rental Turnovers
  • Post-Construction Cleaning
  • Organization and Decluttering
  • Event and Party Cleaning

How to become a Housekeeper

Housekeeper 5 Steps to Career

Education

Do I Need a Highschool Diploma to Become a Housekeeper?

Housekeeping positions typically do not have strict educational requirements. However, the specific requirements may vary depending on the employer and the level of housekeeping position you are pursuing.

While it’s not a strict requirement for housekeeping positions, having a high school diploma or equivalent is often preferred by employers as it demonstrates basic education and reliability.

It’s worth noting that if you are interested in pursuing a supervisory or management position within the housekeeping industry, some employers may prefer candidates with relevant experience, additional certifications, or even a degree in hospitality management or a related field.

Can I become a Housekeeper through online education?

While the practical aspects of housekeeping are hands-on and often best learned in person, many foundational concepts and some skills can be acquired through online education. 

Online courses and training programs can provide you with valuable knowledge and skills that can enhance your abilities as a housekeeper. Here are a few ways online education can support your career as a housekeeper:

  • Certification Programs: Several online platforms offer housekeeping certification programs that cover topics such as cleaning techniques, sanitation standards, safety protocols, and customer service. These certifications can help you stand out among other candidates and demonstrate your commitment to professional development.
  • Skill Development: Online courses can help you acquire specific skills related to housekeeping, such as organizational skills, time management, effective cleaning methods, and even specialized cleaning techniques for different surfaces or environments.
  • Language Skills: If you plan to work in an environment where bilingual skills are valuable, online language courses can help you develop proficiency in a second language, such as English, Spanish, or others commonly spoken in your area.
  • Customer Service Training: Housekeepers often interact with guests or clients, so improving your customer service skills can be valuable. Online courses that focus on communication, problem-solving, and guest satisfaction can help you provide exceptional service.

While online education can provide you with knowledge and skills, physical tasks, such as cleaning different surfaces and handling equipment, are best learned through on-the-job experience. Therefore, it’s advisable to combine online education with real-world practice to develop a well-rounded skill set.

What are some web resources to learn skills to become a Housekeeper?

For housekeepers looking to enhance their skills, find new techniques, or stay updated with the latest trends and products, several web resources can be invaluable. Here are some useful online resources for housekeepers:

  • International Executive Housekeepers Association (IEHA): A professional organization dedicated to promoting leadership and education for housekeepers and custodial staff. They offer training programs, certifications, and a wealth of resources.
  • CleanLink: A portal that offers news, product information, and articles related to the cleaning industry.
  • Housekeeping Channel: An online resource providing tips, articles, and how-to guides for housekeeping professionals and homeowners alike.
  • The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute provides online courses and certifications specifically tailored to the hospitality industry, including housekeeping.
  • CleanFreak: While primarily an online store selling cleaning equipment and products, CleanFreak’s blog contains practical tips and advice for cleaning professionals.
  • Molly Maid Blog: Known for its residential cleaning services, Molly Maid’s blog offers a plethora of cleaning tips and advice that housekeepers might find beneficial.

Additionally, YouTube is a valuable resource with channels like Clean My Space offering helpful videos on housekeeping tips and cleaning hacks. Exploring these web resources can provide you with a wealth of information and practical skills to excel as a housekeeper.

Practical Experience

Some employers, such as hotels, resorts, or large households, may prefer candidates who have some experience or training in housekeeping, although it is often possible to start in an entry-level position without prior experience.

Many employers may provide on-the-job training to familiarize you with their specific cleaning procedures and standards. Every establishment has unique standards that newcomers in the housekeeping profession need to grasp. For instance, hotels often have specific guidelines regarding room upkeep to guarantee a consistent experience for all guests. This may include standard cleaning procedures, amenity placement, towel folding, and guest interaction.

What are internship opportunities for a Housekeeper?

Internship opportunities for housekeepers can be found in various settings, including hotels, resorts, hospitals, senior living facilities, and even private households. While formal internships in housekeeping may not be as common as in some other fields, there are still opportunities to gain hands-on experience and learn about housekeeper duties. Here are a few potential internship opportunities for aspiring housekeepers:

  • Hotels and Resorts: Many hotels and resorts offer internship programs that include housekeeping rotations. These programs typically provide interns with the opportunity to learn and practice various aspects of housekeeping, such as room cleaning, laundry operations, and inventory management, under the guidance of experienced housekeeping supervisors.
  • Hospitality Management Programs: If you are pursuing a degree in hospitality management or a related field, your program may include an internship component. These internships often expose students to different departments within the hospitality industry, including housekeeping.
  • Vocational Training Programs: Some vocational training programs, such as those focused on hospitality or custodial services, may include internships or apprenticeships as part of the curriculum.
  • Check with Cleaning Companies: Some larger cleaning companies might offer structured internship or training programs for those looking to get into the industry.
  • Networking and Direct Applications: In some cases, you may be able to secure an internship opportunity by directly contacting hotels, resorts, or other establishments that have housekeeping departments. Networking, attending career fairs, or reaching out to professionals in the industry can help you discover potential internship opportunities that may not be widely advertised.

While formal internships may not always be available, it’s important to remember that even entry-level positions in housekeeping can provide valuable on-the-job training and experience. Starting in an entry-level role and demonstrating your dedication and willingness to learn can open up opportunities for growth and advancement within the field of housekeeping.

What Skills Will I Learn as a Housekeeper?

As a housekeeper, you’ll acquire a diverse set of skills, both practical and interpersonal. Here are some of the skills you can expect to learn:

  • Cleaning Techniques: The right way to clean various surfaces, from hardwood and tile to upholstery and delicate fabrics.
  • Product Knowledge: Understanding the most effective and safe cleaning products for different tasks and surfaces.
  • Time Management: Efficiently cleaning and organizing spaces within a given timeframe.
  • Attention to Detail: Ensuring that even the smallest of details, like the placement of amenities, are consistent and up to standard.
  • Physical Stamina and Dexterity: You’ll build endurance as you handle repetitive tasks and operate cleaning equipment.
  • Organizational Skills: You’ll learn how to systematically approach tasks, prioritize them, and keep storage areas orderly.
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills: Interacting with clients, guests, or supervisors and understanding their needs or feedback.
  • Problem-Solving: Addressing unexpected issues, like stains or maintenance needs, promptly and effectively.
  • Safety Protocols: Proper handling of cleaning chemicals and equipment to ensure safety for both you and the occupants of the space you’re cleaning.
  • Teamwork: Often, housekeepers work in teams, especially in larger establishments, so learning to collaborate and coordinate with colleagues is essential.
  • Customer Service: Providing a satisfactory experience for clients or guests, addressing concerns, and sometimes handling special requests.

Mastering these skills can provide a strong foundation for a career in housekeeping, and many of them are transferable to other professions or managerial roles within the hospitality industry.

What is the Work-Life Balance of a Housekeeper?

The work-life balance of a housekeeper can vary depending on factors such as shift schedules, workload, and individual circumstances. Housekeepers often work in shifts that may include weekends, evenings, and holidays. The physical demands of the job can also impact overall well-being. However, some employers offer flexibility in scheduling, and a supportive work environment can contribute to a better balance.

Personal circumstances and priorities play a role in determining work-life balance, and establishing boundaries, prioritizing self-care, and communicating needs can help achieve a healthier balance. Exploring opportunities for advancement within the industry may also provide increased flexibility and better work-life balance.

What’s the Career Outlook for Housekeepers?

The job outlook for housekeepers from 2021 to 2031 appears promising. The profession is projected to see a growth rate of about 9%, which is faster than the average growth rate for all other occupations. This growth underscores the consistent demand for housekeeping services across various sectors, from residential settings to commercial establishments.

Furthermore, the decade is expected to generate approximately 193,500 job openings in the field. These statistics highlight the steady and increasing need for professionals in the housekeeping industry, offering both current and aspiring housekeepers optimistic prospects for employment and potential career advancement.

Housekeeper Popular Career Specialties

What are the Job Opportunities of a Housekeeper?

Housekeepers have a range of job opportunities available in various settings and industries. From hotels and resorts that require meticulous room maintenance to residential cleaning services catering to private households, the demand for housekeepers is diverse. Here are some common job opportunities for housekeepers:

  • Hospitality Industry: The hospitality industry, particularly hotels and resorts, offers numerous job opportunities for housekeepers. These establishments require housekeeping staff to ensure clean and well-maintained guest rooms, common areas, and amenities.
  • Residential Cleaning Services: Housekeepers can find employment with residential cleaning services or cleaning companies that provide cleaning and housekeeping services to private households. This can include regular housekeeping duties, deep cleaning, organizing, and maintaining cleanliness in residential settings.
  • Commercial Buildings: Some large corporate offices or commercial buildings employ housekeeping staff to maintain cleanliness and tidiness in workspaces, common areas, and facilities. These housekeepers ensure a clean and organized environment for employees and visitors.
  • Educational Institutions: Schools, colleges, and universities often hire housekeeping staff to maintain cleanliness in classrooms, dormitories, cafeterias, and other areas. Housekeepers in educational institutions play a crucial role in providing a conducive and healthy environment for students and faculty.
  • Cruise Ships: Housekeeping positions are available on cruise ships, where housekeepers are responsible for maintaining cleanliness and order in cabins, public areas, and crew quarters. This role requires attention to detail, excellent time management, and adaptability to the unique challenges of working on a ship.
  • Self-Employment: Experienced housekeepers often branch out to start their own cleaning services, managing other staff and expanding their client base.

These are just a few examples of the job opportunities available to housekeepers. The demand for housekeeping services exists in various industries and settings where cleanliness, organization, and attention to detail are valued. The specific job opportunities can vary depending on location, industry demand, and individual preferences.

What Type of Companies Hire Housekeepers?

Various types of companies and organizations hire housekeepers to ensure the cleanliness and maintenance of their premises. Here are some common types of companies that hire housekeepers:

  • Cleaning Companies: Some housekeepers work for companies that provide cleaning services to various clients, from homes to commercial properties.
  • Hotels and Resorts: Hotels, resorts, motels, and other accommodation establishments hire housekeepers to ensure guest rooms, common areas, and amenities are clean and inviting for guests.
  • Healthcare Facilities: Hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities employ Housekeepers to maintain a clean and hygienic environment for patients and residents.
  • Property Management Companies: Property management companies hire housekeepers to handle household cleaning and organization in residential settings.
  • Corporate Offices: Large corporations and businesses have in-house housekeeping teams responsible for keeping their offices clean, well-organized, and conducive to productivity.
  • Spas and Wellness Centers: These establishments require a serene and immaculate environment, and housekeepers play an essential role in achieving this.
  • Event Venues: Convention centers, conference facilities, and event venues employ Housekeepers to ensure the venue is spotless before, during, and after events.
  • Restaurants and Food Services: Restaurants, cafes, and food establishments hire Housekeepers to keep dining areas, kitchens, and food preparation spaces clean and sanitized.
  • Senior Living and Assisted Living Facilities: Housekeepers ensure that rooms and common areas are clean, safe, and comfortable for elderly residents.

These are just a few examples of the types of companies and organizations that hire housekeepers. Housekeeping staff may also be employed by government buildings, cultural institutions, retail establishments, and other businesses that prioritize cleanliness and hygiene in their premises.

Should I become a Housekeeper?

Becoming a housekeeper opens doors to a fulfilling and dynamic career. With attention to detail, organizational prowess, and a commitment to cleanliness, you can make a positive impact and bring a sense of peace to those around you.

Ultimately, the question of whether you should become a housekeeper boils down to individual preferences and priorities. If you value hands-on work, appreciate the satisfaction of transforming spaces, and seek a profession with a promising job outlook, then housekeeping could be an excellent fit.

Armed with the knowledge and skills to excel as a housekeeper, you can embark on this journey and let your cleaning superpowers shine!

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Emma Philo

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