Caretaker Job Description

Caretakers may work for lavish estates or modest campgrounds. But no matter where they work their job is essentially the same: maintaining a property to ensure that it looks attractive and is in safe and operational condition. A Caretaker may be hired for seasonal work or may be a long-term employee, depending on the type of property they oversee.

Caretakers generally report to the owner of the property, but largely work unsupervised and often alone. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an increase of 8 percent through 2022 for jobs in the property, real estate and community association managers sector. An estimated 25,300 new positions will open during that period.


Caretaker Duties and Responsibilities 

The responsibilities of a Caretaker will depend on the type of property being managed (residential or commercial) and whether the position requires the caretaker to live onsite or offsite. There are, however, some duties that are universal to most Caretaker positions. Based on a review of current job listings, here are some of the main responsibilities.

Maintain and Repair Property

Caretakers are expected to perform daily maintenance tasks such as light housekeeping and gardening and lawn care. They are also expected to repair anything that becomes damaged or worn out, including plumbing, electrical and carpentry. A Caretaker for a commercial property such as a resort or inn may have a staff or contractors at their disposal to conduct these duties. In these instances the Caretaker is in charge of scheduling and supervising these tasks.

Provide Reports

A Caretaker is expected to communicate with the owner or property manager on a regular basis to provide updates on the condition of the property and ongoing projects. This may be as informal as a phone call or may include keeping logs and submitting reports on a daily or weekly basis. Anytime something unforeseen occurs, such as a maintenance issue or vandalism the Caretaker must alert the owners as well.

Manage Budgets

Regular property maintenance, the cost of staff or contractors and unexpected expenses must all happen within the framework of a budget. A Caretaker must be able to follow and adjust a budget accordingly.


Caretaker Skills

Successful Caretakers are handy and reliable. They can physically meet the demands of the job and are trustworthy and responsible. In addition to these traits, employers look for applicants with the following skills.

Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Caretakers with these core skills. If you want to work as a Caretaker, focus on the following.

  • Managing multiple projects with little oversight
  • Using a variety of hand and power tools
  • Being physically able to perform cleaning and maintenance duties

Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your skillset and broaden your career options.

  • Having basic knowledge in areas such as, electrical, plumbing, painting and carpentry


Caretaker Resources

There are more helpful and informational resources available on the Web for those interested in becoming a Caretaker. We scoured the internet and found these links full of learning opportunities.

On the Web

Saginaw Forest: Caretaker’s Blog – Read about what it takes to be the Caretaker for nearly 80 acres of wildland. From the history of the land to the maintenance it requires, the Caretaker updates readers on all aspects of his job.

The Caretaker Gazette – This site is dedicated to the industry’s standard newsletter, The Caretaker Gazette, published since 1983. It is a trusted source for job opportunities and a great way to connect with fellow Caretakers.

On Twitter

@Housesitter – This Twitter feed is run by the Caretaker Gazette, a newsletter of caretaking jobs throughout the world.

@CaretakerCouple – This couple has been working as Caretakers for over 15 years and has worked throughout the United States and as far away as France. Follow the Meyers for news on their work.

Caretaker Books

Living Rent-Free Anywhere  – This book explores the many adventures Mr. Manz has had traveling the world as a Caretaker. A fun read as well as useful insights into the job as a Caretaker.


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