How to become a housekeeper

Here are tips to get started in housekeeping.

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Housekeeping is truly one of the noblest jobs out there. Good housekeepers make sure their assigned areas are clean and relaxing spaces for their employers or hotel guests. On top of cleaning, residential housekeepers juggle cooking, washing clothes, and running errands as well. 

If you’re looking to get started in the industry and are keen to learn how to become a housekeeper, this guide is for you! 

What does a housekeeper do? 

Housekeeper duties vary depending on the arrangement with the employer and the type of work (e.g., residential or hotel housekeeping). But here are their most common responsibilities:  

Cleaning and tidying up 

  • Basic house cleaning tasks, such as sweeping, dusting, and vacuuming 
  • Wiping down and polishing furniture as needed 
  • Organising a space and suggesting storage options 

Other regular housekeeping tasks

  • Washing the dishes 
  • Changing bed sheets 
  • Taking out the garbage 
  • Cooking and preparing meals  
  • Washing and ironing clothes   
  • Caring for household pets or plants as needed 
  • Running errands such as grocery shopping, dropping off dry cleaning, and receiving packages  

Hotel housekeeping tasks 

  • Preparing a hotel room for the next guests 
  • Restocking hotel toiletries
  • Replacing hotel linen, towels, and robes

What qualifications do you need to be a housekeeper? 

You don’t need formal qualifications to become a housekeeper, according to Australian employment website Seek.com.au. Basic education, like a high school diploma, will usually suffice. Relevant work experience will be beneficial. You’ll also need physical stamina to be on your feet for hours. If you’re aiming to work for a hotel or establishment, you may need to complete training sessions. 

To boost your credibility as a housekeeper, you can pursue training courses, webinars, and housekeeping certification. 

Here are some options according to SEEK: 

  1. Complete a Certificate III in Hospitality Accommodation Services (Front Office and Housekeeping). You can complete this course in 18 months at Australia’s Technical and Further Education (TAFE) or a registered training organisation.  
  2. Take a short course and receive a Statement of Attainment in Food Handling. 

If you’re aiming for a higher position in the industry, you can opt to get a bachelor’s degree related to hospitality and hotel management. 

housekeeper making the bed in a hotel room

What skills do you need to become a housekeeper? 

Employers or clients prefer candidates with the following skills: 

  • Basic knowledge of cleaning materials and methods 
  • Keen attention to detail 
  • Excellent time management skills 
  • Flexibility 
  • Discretion
    • Bedside drawers, file cabinets, and similar areas should be off limits unless the client asks them to be cleaned. If you come across your employer’s private information or personal items, handle them professionally and don’t broadcast them to another customer or on social media. 
  • Meal and food preparation (for residential housekeeping jobs)
  • Interpersonal skills 

How can you find housekeeping jobs?  

As a professional housekeeper, it’s essential to find regular or part-time clients. Here are some simple tips to get cleaning jobs. 

1. Choose your market.

Consider these questions: Will you offer your services to households or offices? Do you want to be a full-time, part-time, or seasonal housekeeper? Do you live in an area where housekeepers are in-demand? What cleaning services are popular in your area? 

These questions can help you identify what service to specialise in and where to look for jobs. 

2. Join a job marketplace.

Aside from listing your services on community bulletin boards, you can also join an online marketplace like Airtasker. This can help you find local housekeeping jobs more easily. Simply sign up and start browsing housekeeping tasks near you. You can also attach photos of your past cleaning work to your profile to attract customers.  

3. Promote your housekeeping business on social media. 

Maximise your reach by setting up your social media page. With almost everyone being on social media these days, it’s important to have an online presence. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and TikTok are free to use! You can also hire a web developer to help put up your business website.

What are common job interview questions for housekeepers? 

Some housekeeping job applications may require an interview. Here are some common interview questions to prepare to answer. 

  1. Why are you applying for this job? 
  2. Do you have experience in the hospitality industry? 
  3. What hours are you available to work?
  4. How long does it normally take you to clean? Can you describe your cleaning process? 
  5. What are your best strengths as a housekeeper? How about your weaknesses? (For the latter question, highlight how you’re addressing these areas for improvement.)

Remember that to nail any job interview, you must have a good grasp of the role you’re applying for. You can practice answering these questions in front of a mirror so you’ll feel more confident during the actual interview.  

Learn more tips to get cleaning jobs

Start finding housekeeping jobs. 

Experience is key to becoming a successful housekeeper. You can start with simple cleaning jobs or find housekeeping tasks on Airtasker. This way, you can grow your skills while you make money cleaning. Have the freedom to choose which cleaning jobs to take on at a schedule that works for you. 

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