Domestic Helper Job Description

Domestic Helpers perform a variety of tasks within an employer’s home, such as providing care for a child or elderly family member, housecleaning, running errands and cooking. They may also be referred to as a Housekeeper, Maid or Nanny. While most Domestic Helpers live separately from the family they work for, some will be provided room and board in addition to their wages.

Domestic Helpers generally work as independent contractors and report to one or more of the family members for their duties and instructions. Some Domestic Helpers may work for a staffing agency and be paired up with families looking for assistance. The Domestic Helper may perform some or all of their duties while the family is away from the house or they may work in a home where one or more of the heads of the household work from home.


Domestic Helper Duties and Responsibilities

The true scope of a Domestic Helper’s job will depend upon the needs of the family they work for, but there are a few primary responsibilities that can be applied to nearly all Domestic Helper positions. A review of current job listings identified the following core responsibilities.

Complete Housekeeping Tasks

One of the main duties of a Domestic Helper is providing regular housekeeping. This may include sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, laundry and cleaning dishes. They may also be asked to prepare some or all of the family meals. Some Domestic Helpers are also tasked with gardening or lawn maintenance.

Run Errands

In addition to their daily cleaning duties, Domestic Helpers are called upon to periodically perform errands. These will vary depending on the needs of the family but may include, dropping off or picking up children, grocery shopping, making a trip to the drycleaner or taking a family member to doctor appointments or other engagements.

Provide Caregiving Services

Domestic Helpers often act as caregivers to small children or elderly members of the family. This may encompass a large amount of duties from helping them to bathe and dress to ensuring they take their daily medications. Some Domestic Helpers are hired primarily to perform these duties, while others may only occasionally assist in this area.


Domestic Helper Skills

Domestic Helpers must be reliable and physically able to perform their duties. They should have good time management skills as well as the ability to work with minimal supervision. Domestic Helpers should also possess good communication skills. In addition to these traits, employers look for applicants with the following skillsets.

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

  • Knowledge of cleaning procedures and practices
  • Experience as a caregiver to small children or elderly adults
  • Ability to read and follow instructions
  • Ability to prepare meals and snacks
  • Knowledgeable of safety practices
  • Ability to meet physical requirements, such as lifting, bending, and standing for duration of shift

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.

  • CPR certification
  • Valid driver license


Domestic Helper Resources

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

On the Web

Nanny Magazine – This magazine is full of informative articles and great ideas and games to play with kids. You can choose to pay for a print subscription or sign up to receive the digital version free.

Molly Maid’s Cleaning Institute – The popular and successful maid service company, Molly Maid, dedicates a section of their website to providing free advice and cleaning tips. It makes a great quick resource for the Domestic Helper.

Domestic Helper Books

The Professional Housekeeper – This updated text provides the latest technologies and techniques for the modern housekeeper. With chapters covering things like “green cleaning” and recycling, this book covers it all.

Becoming a Nanny: Working as a Live-in Childcare Provider – Written by an experienced live-in nanny, this book delves into the reality of live-in childcare exploring duties and tasks as well as personal temperaments best suited to such care. It also provides a great deal of resources for nannies.

The Professional Cleaner’s Personal Handbook – A comprehensive training manual for those who clean for a living.

Industry Groups

International Executive Housekeepers Association – Founded in 1930, IEHA provides its members with education opportunities, professional growth and job referral services.

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