How to become a housekeeper

Here are tips to prepare for a housekeeping career and find jobs.

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Housekeeping may not be a glamorous job, but it is an important one. Housekeepers clean and maintain hotels and homes, ensuring they are relaxing spaces for their occupants. In addition to cleaning, residential housekeepers may also be responsible for cooking, doing laundry, and running errands.

Are you wondering what specific steps to take to become a housekeeper? Read on for some tips to get started in this industry. 

What does a housekeeper do? 

A housekeeper’s duties vary depending on the arrangement with the employer and the type of work (e.g., residential or hotel). But here are the most common responsibilities of a housekeeper: 

Cleaning and tidying up 

  • Basic house cleaning tasks like 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 rubbish
  • Cooking and preparing meals  
  • Washing, drying, and ironing clothes   
  • Taking care of pets and plants as needed
  • Doing errands such as grocery shopping and dropping off dry cleaning

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 can become a housekeeper without a degree or formal qualifications, as long as you have the relevant skills. You’ll also need the physical stamina to be on your feet for hours and lift heavy objects. 

To set yourself apart, you can consider getting professional certifications, such as: 

  • Level 1 Certificate in Introduction to the Hospitality Industry
  • Level 1 Diploma in Preparing for a Career in the Hospitality Industry, and 
  • Level 1 Cleaning and Support Services. 

These courses usually include options in housekeeping and guest services (Source: National Careers Service). You can also take on an apprenticeship as a hospitality team member specialising in housekeeping.

If you want to become a housekeeping manager or head housekeeper, you can take the following courses: 

  • Level 2 Certificate in Hospitality and Catering Principles (Housekeeping)
  • Level 2 Certificate in Hospitality Industry Skills (Housekeeping), and 
  • Level 3 Award in Hospitality Supervision and Leadership Principles.

A hospitality supervisor apprenticeship is another great option if you’re aiming for a higher position in the industry. 

a hotel housekeeper making the bed

What skills do you need to become a housekeeper? 

Employers or clients prefer housekeepers with the following skills. 

  1. Keen attention to detail 
  2. Excellent time management skills 
  3. Flexibility 
  4. Discretion - Avoid cleaning areas that are off limits, such as bedside drawers and file cabinets, unless the client specifically requests it. If you come across your employer's personal possessions, handle them professionally and do not share them with other customers or on social media.
  5. Meal and food preparation (for residential housekeeping jobs) 
  6. Practical skills such as sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, dusting, and polishing
  7. Interpersonal skills 

How to find housekeeping jobs

As a professional housekeeper, it’s essential to find regular or part-time clients willing and able to pay for your services. Here are some simple ways to get cleaning jobs. 

1. Choose your market.

First, decide what type of housekeeping service you want to offer. Are you looking for full-time, part-time, or seasonal work? What is the demand for housekeepers in your area? Knowing the answers to these questions can help you determine what service to specialize in and where to look for jobs.

2. Join a marketplace to find housekeeping jobs. 

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 if you haven’t yet. Almost everyone is on social media these days, and it’s vital to have an online presence. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and TikTok are free to use! You can also hire a web developer to help build your business website and boost your credibility. 

What are common job interview questions for housekeepers? 

Applying for a housekeeping job may require an interview with the hotel or individual client. Here are some common interview questions to prepare to answer. 

  1. Why do you want to work for this company?
  2. Tell us about your previous experience as a housekeeper. 
  3. What hours are you available to work?
  4. How long does it take you to clean? Can you describe your cleaning process? 
  5. What’s your greatest strength as a housekeeper? How about your weakness? (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 confident during the interview.  

Find housekeeping jobs on Airtasker. 

Experience is key to becoming a successful housekeeper. You can start with simple cleaning jobs or browse 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. 

Learn more tips to get cleaning jobs.

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