When my husband and I decided to take a little trip down to Ocean city, MD in June, we stayed at the Commander Hotel. This is a hotel that we’ve stayed at the past six years or so and have always had a pleasant stay. On this particular visit, our housekeeper’s name was Denise. She was friendly, did her job effectively and chatted as she worked. We talked about family and work and things like that. It did get me to thinking though; just what did a housekeeper at a hotel do? What qualifications do you need? So I looked in to it.
I found out that most hotels require you to have a high school education or at least an equivalent of it. If you have your eye on becoming a supervisor you have to have college hours in addition to the high school diploma. A lot of supervisors are members of the International Executive Housekeepers Association. There are two certificates for this association; the Certified Executive Housekeeper if you have a high school degree and the registered Executive Housekeeper for people with a college degree. Many hotels do have training programs for their new housekeepers. The new employee will work with a veteran employee to be taught the cleaning methods and the safe way to use the cleaning products. Once the employee knows what they are doing, then they are left on their own.
What are the duties of a housekeeper really? You would be responsible for keeping the guest rooms clean. You also would provide clean linens and bedding, vacuum and remove trash. You would change and provide fresh towels and scrub floors. Some jobs include tidying up the hallways, lobbies and other public areas. You would also provide a thorough cleaning after the guests have left and take inventory and report if anything is missing or damaged. You do need to be in decent physical condition, be able to lift or carry small to medium amount of weight and you have to stand for long periods of time. A really good trait to have is an eye for detail and be able to carry out and perform instructions on your own.
How’s the pay? You would start at minimum wage in most places. If you have previous experience, your pay may be based on that. However there is room for advancement if you have strong leadership skills and communication skills. Some employers offer full time employees healthcare coverage, paid time off and discounts on hotel rates.
So is being a housekeeper a good job to have? Denise thought so. She came to work early and left around three pm which gave her time with her family. She said the work could be hard some days but she did meet a lot of nice people in her line of work.
So, the next time you stay at a hotel, greet your housekeeper with a cherry good morning, say thank you when they bring you those extra towels and leave a nice tip!
Have you ever thought about applying for a job in housekeeping?