|Number of Jobs:||111,600|
|This Job is Ranked in|
|Best Social Services Jobs||#28|
|The 100 Best Jobs||#95|
Television series like Downton Abbey and novels like The Help might have brought the lives and responsibilities of maids closer to the forefront. But it’s not just the upper class that benefits from these workers’ services. Housekeepers and maids perform essential tasks for our society as a whole. They’re the men and women who empty our office trash cans at night. They mop floors, make beds, and polish furniture in our hotel rooms while we’re sightseeing on vacation. In general, they dust around, soap up, suds down, mop away, and wax behind our messes, helping to keep our lives running smoothly (and hygienically). Most maids and housekeepers work in hotels and motels—which explains why some of the field’s highest-paid employees work in big cities and travel destinations with lots of hotels—but the next-largest chunk of the workforce clean in private households. The rest are split up between nursing homes, hospitals, and office buildings. In public facilities, the maids’ duties might sometimes overlap with those of janitors, although maids work indoors primarily, and janitors might also handle larger cleanup jobs and minor repair work.
The need for diligent and courteous people to perform light cleaning duties isn’t as urgent as in some other professions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts employment growth of about 7.8 percent between 2010 and 2020, which is slower than average for all occupations. Still, job prospects are expected to be good, particularly for experienced housekeepers and those looking to work in hotels. There should be more than 100,000 new positions this decade.
According to the BLS, housekeepers earned $19,390 in 2011, or approximatley $9.32 per hour. The best-paid earned about $30,130, while the lowest-paid earned less than $17,000. Areas of the industry that pay well include outpatient care centers and medical labs. Big cities also tend to compensate well—specifically, the metro areas of New York, San Francisco, and Honolulu.
There isn’t standardized training to become a housekeeper, although most jobs insist on hiring people who’ve earned a high school diploma or its equivalent. Those with prior experience are obviously more marketable, but a personable and professional new candidate also stands a good chance of gaining employment, particularly if they’re a quick study and have good customer service skills. New hires tend to receive on-the-job training from more experienced maids.
As with almost any occupation, it’s easier to land a houskeeping job when you’ve had prior experience. But if you’re brand new, then there are a few simple steps you must take to ensure a good first impression on an interview. First of all, show up on time and immaculately dressed. Punctuality is important for any interview or any job, but wearing well-fitting, freshly laundered and ironed clothes could also be indicative of what type of housekeeper you’ll be. Next, show that you have good interpersonal skills. Maids, particularly those that work in private homes, must show that they get along well with the people who have hired them. To become a housekeeper, it might also help to know how to cook and have experience working with children and pets.
|Upward Mobility||Below Average|