Housekeepers and Maids
Nearly 1.5 million maids and housekeeping cleaners and 245,300 first-line supervisors of housekeeping and janitorial workers are employed in the United States. Many maids and housekeepers work directly for private homeowners. Others are employed by residential cleaning companies such as The Maids, which has more than 205 franchise owners serving over 90 U.S. and Canadian cities. Some maids and housekeepers work for real estate companies, hotels, hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and other facilities that require regular cleaning. Most jobs are located in large cities and wealthy suburbs.
Aspiring maids and housekeepers can learn about job opportunities by contacting local private employment agencies, state employment service offices, and residential cleaning companies. They can also obtain job leads through newspaper or Internet want ads, or by contacting potential employers directly. Training programs may offer job placement services to their graduates.
Entry-level maids typically learn the ropes by working alongside a more experienced maid until they prove that they have mastered the assigned duties. As they gain experience, they are given more responsibilities.
Other than wage increases, there are few advancement opportunities for maids—especially in households with only a few workers. The turnover rate for housekeepers is low (given the position’s more lucrative compensation and higher level of prestige), so few maids have the opportunity to advance to this position. Maids may choose to leave household service to pursue similar positions at hotels and other businesses. These employers typically offer higher salaries and more fringe benefits than do private employers.
Housekeepers advance by receiving pay raises and working at larger private homes. With additional education, they can become hotel executive housekeepers or pursue related career paths in other industries.
Tips for Entry
During high school, find a part-time or summer job at a nearby inn or hotel to gain experience.
Talk to maids and housekeepers about their careers. Ask them for advice on breaking into the field.
Visit the following Web sites for job listings: