Housekeeper Job Description
A Housekeeper is responsible for cleaning offices, hospitals, nursing homes and hotels. Based on the type of establishment, this would include cleaning rooms, individual offices, lobbies, common areas, hallways, bathrooms and kitchens. A Housekeeper might also work in a private residence.
According to statistics for building cleaners supplied by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected job growth rate for this professions is 6 percent over the 2014-2024 decade. Much of this growth is expected to be seen in cleaning service companies, as outsourcing these functions remains a popular option with many businesses.
Housekeeper Duties and Responsibilities
Housekeepers must perform diverse tasks in order to keep companies, residences and other establishments clean. We reviewed several job listings and found the following among the core Housekeeper duties and responsibilities.
Perform General Cleaning
Among the cleaning duties that a Housekeeper might be responsible for include vacuuming, dusting and polishing. They would ensure that floors, furniture, office equipment and windows are thoroughly cleaned and presentable to visitors, employees and residents. Cleaning duties would also involve emptying trashcans and transporting trash to appropriate receptacles.
A Housekeeper might need to keep an inventory of cleaning supplies, such as detergents, floor wax and furniture polish, and ensure that these supplies are well stocked. They are responsible for replenishing supplies such as soap, toilet paper and paper towels in restrooms and, if applicable, hotel or hospital rooms.
Change Sheets and Linens
When working for hospitals, hotels or nursing homes in particular, a Housekeeper must remove linens and bed sheets and replace them with fresh ones. They would need to wash, dry and fold these items. Within these establishments, a Housekeeper might need to replace sheets and linens per individual guest or patient request.
Strong organizational and customer service skills are important for Housekeepers. They should be detail-oriented and also, while working in teams is required at times, have the ability to work independently, with little or no supervision. They should also have the ability to perform pushing, lifting and carrying activities. Besides these general skills, many employers might look for Housekeeper candidates to possess the following skills.
Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Housekeepers with these core skills. If you want to work as a Housekeeper, focus on the following.
- Using customer service skills when interacting with patients, guests and clients
- Replacing sheets and making beds
- Applying appropriate cleansers and disinfectants to furniture, floors, sinks and windows
- Operating cleaning equipment, such as vacuum cleaners and carpet cleaners
Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your Housekeeper toolbox and broaden your career options.
- Quality management and control skills
- Ability to work in teams
- Understand fire and safety policies and regulations for various organizations
Before pursuing a career as a Housekeeper, you might consult additional resources about this profession. We have provided links to resources you can use to further research information about being a Housekeeper.
On the Web
ARCSI Blog – A blog hosted by the Association of Residential Cleaning Services, International (ARCSI), providing insight into working as a Housekeeper and even running a Housekeeping business.
Maid Brigade Blog – While this blog focuses mainly on giving cleaning advice and tips to anyone, Housekeepers could benefit from the information provided.
International Executive Housekeepers Association (IEHA) – Since 1930, IEHA has been providing Housekeepers with information about ethics and other professional and educational information relevant to this profession.
The Association of Residential Cleaning Services, International (ARCSI) – An organization designed to provide business information for those who own a Housekeeping business or franchise.
The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use – An interesting look at the various careers of the author, who provides advice about each of these positions including her time as a Housekeeper.
The Professional Housekeeper 4th Edition – Outlines the many managerial duties and responsibilities of today’s Housekeeper that go beyond the cleaning activities.
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