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Maid Duties and Responsibilities

Maids perform many tasks in order to meet the requests of various types of customers. The following duties are frequently mentioned in association with this job:

Vacuum and Wash Carpets Maids commonly keep carpeting clean and fresh by vacuuming, shampooing, and applying deodorizer to all types of carpets. They need to possess knowledge of what types of shampoos to use for certain types of carpets and what deodorizers work best in specific situations, such as removing pet odors or stains.

Dust and Sweep Floors and Surfaces From sweeping hardwood floors to dusting furniture, maids keep all floors and surfaces tidy and free of dust and debris. They dust such items as shelving, ceiling fans, TV consoles, and bookcases.

Clean Kitchens and Bathrooms Maids are typically responsible for scrubbing showers, toilets, kitchen counters, and similar surfaces. They apply cleansing agents to shower tiles and doors to remove soap scum and mold and mildew buildup. They clean mirrors, wipe down kitchen equipment, clean ovens and refrigerators, and mop tiled floors.

Replace Linens, Towels, and Other Items Typically in hotels but possibly in private residences, maids collect dirty towels and linens and replace them as needed. They also replace soaps, small bottles of shampoos and conditioners, and plastic cups in hotel bathrooms. Maids might also leave menus, information about room service, and surveys in guest rooms.

Fill Specific Housecleaning Requests Some businesses or homeowners might have specific requests, such as watering plants, cleaning a basement, or performing after-party cleanup. Maids should be flexible and have the skills to handle tasks outside of common housecleaning duties.

Maintain Cleaning Records and Inventory of Supplies Maids should keep meticulous records of what was cleaned and when, whether they are working for businesses, hotels, or in private residences. These records are important for maintaining information about when some infrequent tasks should be performed, such as weekly or monthly cleanings. Maids should also manage an inventory of cleaning supplies and ensure that they have enough cleansers and other products on hand to complete their daily duties.


Maid Skills and Qualifications

Organized and time-conscious self-starters would find success as maids. Job candidates who display the following skills and abilities are those most often considered for this occupation:
  • Cleaning skills - being a maid is about more than sweeping and dusting; maids should be knowledgeable about cleaning methods used for rug shampooing, grout cleaning, floor waxing, upholstery cleaning, and other relevant skills as needed
  • Physical capabilities - bending, stooping, lifting, standing, and carrying are among the physical demands of being a maid. Those pursuing this type of work should be in good physical condition to fulfill these obligations
  • Organizational skills - maids often adhere to an organized list of tasks that must be completed on any given day or work shift. These skills also come into play in keeping and maintaining cleaning supplies and equipment
  • Customer service - keeping customers happy and satisfied tops the list of the many skills that maids should display; companies tend to look for maids that can deliver top-notch customer satisfaction
  • Self-management - the ability to work independently or with little supervision is a plus for those working as maids
  • Teamwork - maids sometimes work in pairs or teams and should have the ability to work well with others
  • Time management - it is common for maids to be required to adhere to a given schedule, such as completing the cleaning of a certain number of rooms or homes in a given day
  • Multitasking - maids are often asked to complete several tasks in a short amount of time; the ability to multitask is crucial for success in this job
  • Attention to detail - half-clean is not fully clean. Maids should have the ability to focus and take care of every minute detail to make sure each task meets the requirements and standards of the company they are working for, as well as those of the customers they are serving

Maid Education and Training

There are no formal education requirements to become a maid. On-the-job training is typically conducted in larger venues, such as hotels or office buildings, as well as maid service companies. Some companies might also supply employees with manuals or other documentation outlining specific tasks and how to carry them out.

Maid Salary and Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, maids earn a median annual salary of $21,820. In the lowest 10th percentile, maids make $17,370, while top earners can realize a median yearly salary of $34,430. Maids working in the travel industry and in hospitals tend to make more than maids employed in other venues. Maids can work either full or part time and typically work a specific shift, such as mornings or evenings. Some but not all might enjoy health benefits and paid time off, bonuses, and participation in 401(k) plans. Those employed independently must typically buy their own health insurance and do not get paid holidays or sick days. Maids employed in Hawaii ($36,830), the District of Columbia ($34,780), and New York ($33,020) are paid the highest mean annual wages in the U.S. Both Massachusetts and Nevada round out the top five, with both states offering mean annual wages of just over $30,000 for maids.

Maid Helpful Resources

If you're ready to explore more about this occupation, we can help. The resources below provide more details about what it takes and what it's like to work as a maid:

ISSA, The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association - from networking to trade shows, this organization, which was established in 1923 and evolved into its current form in 2005, offers maids and related professionals networking opportunities, trade shows, workshops, webinars, and more

How to Build Your Business as a Housekeeper - if you want to be a maid and your own boss, check this book out. You'll get tips on job pricing, creating cleaning lists, record keeping, and so much more. Learn how to be a top-notch maid and run a clean, efficient business

MaidPro - want to know how to clean marked-up walls? How to get hardwood floors their cleanest? What to use to get different types of countertops clean? Follow the advice of a professional maid in this lighthearted, helpful blog

Maid to Shine - from time management to motivational tips, this blog gives insight into what it's like to be a maid and how you might make the job more manageable and enjoyable

A Maid's Tale: From Cleaning Floors to Climbing Company Ladders - Boston Magazine's interview with three maids/entrepreneurs about working in this occupation and running their own maid business is brief but insightful

The Professional Housekeeper - find out how to be a maid in the modern age. Review details about the evolving role of a maid, green cleaning practices, recycling, and technologies used in this occupation

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