Growth Trends for Related Jobs
Cleaning: some people love it; some people hate it. For the latter group, hiring a maid can be an excellent use of your money. Maids, who are also called cleaners or housekeepers, can do anything from quick straightening jobs to hours-long deep cleans. Whether a customer finds a cleaner through word-of-mouth or through an online service such as Angie's List, house cleaning services are invaluable to the busy, disabled or downright cleaning-averse people who use them.
A maid who works for private clients will typically defer to the client when it comes to deciding what she does during a given session. Typically, these cleaners will vacuum, dust, mop floors, make beds, clean sinks, scrub toilets and showers/bathtubs, clean surfaces like counters and refrigerator doors, change bed linens, neaten clutter and wash windows. Some clients don't want their cleaners going into certain rooms; others give cleaners free rein over the entire house. It's not standard for maids to do things like wash dishes, do laundry and tackle deep cleaning projects (like washing ceiling fan blades or shampooing couches) but some maids will agree to do these tasks too.
In a hotel or motel, a housekeeper's job is usually more consistent. The same tasks must be done in each room, and the scope of the job is smaller because most rooms don't have kitchens or multiple bathrooms to clean. A hotel housekeeper will make beds for guests on multi-night stays and change sheets and bed linens in rooms where new guests will be staying. The housekeeper will also clean bathroom surfaces, vacuum as needed, replace towels, take trash out of the room and replace dirty cups, toilet paper and toiletries. Hotel housekeepers may also be required to clean public spaces like hallways, lobbies and pool areas.
Housekeepers are also employed in hospitals. There, they're typically required to do some of the same tasks that hotel housekeepers perform (changing bed linens, cleaning bathrooms, etc.) but they must also sterilize surfaces, handle hazardous waste and take other steps to maintain a high level of cleanliness for patient health.
It's rare for employers to require that maids meet any educational criteria. Companies that employ cleaners, such as private services and hotels, may require a high school diploma or a GED, but many do not. Private clients can determine their own hiring criteria, but if you're striking out as a private maid, it's unlikely that you'll lose out on jobs because of a lack of education. Having a strong work ethic and prior experience is more important.
In hospitals, housekeeping staff work around the clock, so that some cleaners may work overnight. Most hotel housekeepers work during the day because that's when guests are out of their rooms. Weekend and holiday work may be required, and both of these jobs have set hours and shifts.
Maids who work for a cleaning service only work when the service sends them out on jobs, so their schedules and pay may fluctuate from week to work. Maids who work directly for clients have the most leeway of all because they can work with clients to create their own schedules. Private maids may visit a house on an as-needed basis or on a regular basis (like once a week or once every month).
Years of Experience and Salary
Unfortunately for career cleaners, experience doesn't necessarily equal high pay in this industry. The average housekeeper salary is quite modest.
Maids are typically paid an hourly rate, although independent contractors may choose to charge a set rate per job. The average hourly rate for a maid was $11.84 as of May 2017. Work environment affects pay somewhat. For example, the average pay for a cleaner working in a hotel or motel was $11.74 per hour and $13.20 for cleaners working in hospitals.
Working for a cleaning service won't necessarily mean bigger pay. For example, the average Merry Maids salary is estimated to be around $11 to $12 per hour as of 2018.
Job Growth Trend
The Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't track or predict job growth for maids specifically, although it does predict that jobs for janitors and building cleaners will grow by 10 percent between 2016 and 2026.
Kathryn has been a lifestyle writer for more than a decade. Her work has appeared on USAToday.com and Indeed.com.
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