How to become a Housekeeper
Job Duties of a Housekeeper
Skills and Qualities of a Housekeeper
Influential Professional Housekeepers
Leading Housekeeper Organizations
Top Cities for Housekeeper Jobs
Other Careers of Interest
There really is no special education required for most entry-level janitorial or cleaning jobs. Workers should be good at following instructions and have the ability to learn quickly. Usually a new cleaning person will spend some time working with an experienced cleaner. They do the routine cleaning and learn the tricks of the trade and gain experience as they go. With more experience they are usually assigned the more complicated tasks.
There are some cities where training programs are run by unions, government agencies or employers to teach janitorial skills. The students will learn how to clean buildings thoroughly and efficiently. They will be taught how to select and safely use various cleaning agents and how to operate and maintain machines such as wet and dry vacuums, buffers and polishers. Another important lesson involves the planning of their work and the need to carefully follow safety and health regulations. In a few cases there is also instruction in minor electrical, plumbing and other repairs.
Maids or housekeepers may be required to perform a combination of many lighter cleaning jobs to keep a private household or commercial establishment such as hotels, hospitals and restaurants clean and orderly. For example a housekeeper in a hotel may be required to not only clean but to deliver other items such as ironing boards, cribs or more towels to a guest's room. While in a hospital, housekeeping personnel may be required to clean bed frames, make beds and disinfect cleaning implements. Other businesses may have requirements that include the use of electric floor polishing machines or special cleaning solutions.
There are many things that have made many tasks easier and less time consuming such as improved chemical cleaners and power equipment. However, workers are required to learn the proper use of their equipment and chemical cleaners to avoid causing harm to floors, fixtures, the occupants of the building and indeed themselves. They must also learn to sanitize equipment and supplies with germicides.
Those who work as housekeepers or servants in private households usually dust and polish furniture, sweep, mop and wax floors. They vacuum carpets and clean ovens and refrigerators and bathrooms. Full time housekeepers usually wash dishes, polish silver and change or make the beds. Some even wash iron and fold clothing. There are a few that wash the windows as well. The full time workers may also perform such duties as taking clothing to the cleaners, buying groceries and several other errands.
Many cleaning people work evening hours especially those cleaning office buildings. This work is usually performed after the offices have closed for the day and the building is empty. However some, such as schools and hospital housekeeping work during the daytime. If the business requires 24 hour maintenance the worker may be scheduled or assigned shifts. Usually full time building cleaners work 40-hour weeks while part time workers often have evening or weekend hours.
For the most part building cleaners work indoors though some do have outdoor duties for part of the time. This might include sweeping the walkways, the mowing of grassed areas or shoveling away snow.
Cleaners may be required to do dirty or unpleasant tasks such as cleaning bathroom and trash cans. The housekeeper may suffer from minor cuts, bruises and burns from both machinery and chemical cleaners especially when used improperly so the knowledge to properly use all of the tools is a most important skill.
Such workers need to have the ability to spend most of their work hours on their feet and may be required for lifting and moving heavy items of furniture or equipment. There are several tasks that involve stooping, bending and stretching. Due to the need to lift increasingly heavy mattresses at hotels, back injuries can be caused, so the proper procedures for lifting are also an important skill.
For housekeeping workers such as maids at a hotel that come in contact with the public good communication skills is a good quality to have. Most employers are going to look for dependable individuals who are in good health and willing to work hard. They must also be able to follow directions and get along with other people.
The median annual earnings for janitors and cleaners were $19,930 in May of 2006. The earnings of the middle 50 percent were between $16,220 and $25,640. The lowest 10 percent for this occupation was $14,010 and the highest 10 percent made greater than $33,060. Elementary and secondary schools were the highest median followed by local government.
The median yearly earnings for maids and housekeepers were $17,580 in May 2006. While the middle 50 percent earned between $15,060 and $21,440. The annual earning for the lowest 10 percent was less than $13,140 and the highest 10 percent earned over $26,390 per year.
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