Household Workers


Education and Training Requirements

High School

To be hired as a full-time household worker, you should have a high school diploma or its equivalent. Classes you may find beneficial to take include English to increase your communication skills and ability to follow directions and family and consumer science or home economics classes. If you are interested in a certain area of work, take classes that will increase your skills in those areas. For example, someone interested in lawn care and property maintenance might take horticulture or biology classes to learn about plant life, and shop classes to learn how to use various tools. Someone interested in child care might take classes concentrating on child development and health. No matter what your area of interest, however, basic math classes will be useful. If your goal is to rise to a position such as home housekeeper or to own a cleaning business, you should also take accounting and business classes to help you prepare for the bookkeeping and other business aspects of the work.

Postsecondary Training

There are a number of schools across the country that offer specific training for positions such as butler, household manager, and nanny. For many jobs you will not need this additional training. However, those wishing to work in households employing a large staff or those wishing to advance their skills to increase employment possibilities may want to consider this option. Although these training programs can be expensive—some cost several thousand dollars—they typically provide job placement services to graduates.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

Those who graduate from postsecondary training programs may receive certification from their program. Like the training programs themselves, these certifications are voluntary. Certifications are also available from professional associations such as the American Culinary Federation (

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Household workers should have experience in areas such as housekeeping, lawn and garden work, or general household maintenance. They must have adequate communication skills to work smoothly with employers and may need to work as part of a team in a household.

A good personal appearance and demeanor are very important to a person who wishes to do household work. Because of the close contact between household workers and the members of the household, employers generally look for agreeable, discreet, and trustworthy individuals who have a neat, clean appearance and who are in good health. Much of the work done—whether out in the yard or in the house—involves a great deal of physical labor. Activities can include carrying, lifting, climbing, or standing for long periods of time. Anyone wanting to do this work, therefore, should be in good physical condition and have plenty of stamina.