Housekeepers and housekeeping coordinators are responsible for maintaining the physical appearance of major businesses and other clients. In major companies, they work behind the scenes, while housekeepers for private residences may directly interact with their clients. Housekeeping coordinators have more responsibility than housekeepers, but both positions work together to maintain their clients’ premises.
Housekeepers are cleaning professionals who tackle cleaning tasks for their clients, such as making beds, sweeping the floor, dusting furniture or washing clothes. The position also includes more detailed tasks like grocery shopping for clients, taking the laundry to the cleaners and cleaning bathrooms.
Outside of cleaning, housekeeping coordinators or cleaning supervisors are also responsible for scheduling, supervising, hiring and training housekeepers. They ensure that there are enough adequate cleaning supplies, and place orders for new inventory when necessary. Overall, the primary tasks for housekeeping coordinators include assigning cleaning tasks, checking that the work is done properly and producing reports representing the hours worked by employees and budget expenses.
Housekeepers’ schedules depend on the clients they work for. For instance, housekeepers who work for an office building may work primarily evening hours so they can clean without anyone in the office. If they work for a company that is open 24 hours, they may work on any of the available 8-hour shifts. But if they work for a private residence or school, they may work in the daytime.
There are not any specific education requirements to become a traditional housekeeper. The employee should just have experience cleaning and using household cleaning tools and products. Housekeeping coordinators should at least have a high school diploma, or a college degree in hospitality management, because they will be supervising other employees and their tasks.
Housekeepers and housekeeping coordinators work in hotels, hospitals and private residences. The nature of the tasks that a housekeeper or housekeeping coordinator performs depends on their place of work. For example, in hospitals, a housekeeper may also disinfect and sanitize equipment; in a private residence, a housekeeper may wash dishes and polish silver.
Housekeepers traditionally earn an hourly wage that averaged $10.41 in 2008. That same year, housekeeping coordinators earned an average of $16.34. The need for housekeepers is expected to increase only by 5 percent between 2008 and 2018. The reason behind the slow growth is that housekeeping is a steady industry, and companies will traditionally require the same amount of cleaning staff.
2016 Salary Information for Janitors and Building Cleaners
Janitors and building cleaners earned a median annual salary of $24,190 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, janitors and building cleaners earned a 25th percentile salary of $20,000, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $31,490, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 2,384,600 people were employed in the U.S. as janitors and building cleaners.