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Hotel room attendants maintain order and a clean environment in hotel guest rooms. They typically vacuum and clean the hallways and other common areas, as well. Working in teams, hotel room attendants perform a wide range of duties, including making beds, cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming, stocking mini bars, washing bedding and reporting items left behind by hotel guests. Hotel room attendants typically start out making minimum wage, but their rates will likely increase over time.
Very little experience or education are required for this job. The ability to understand and speak English at a basic conversational level is often required, but not always. Hotel room attendants should be able to follow directions and perform duties such as making beds and cleaning bathrooms satisfactorily. Those with a wider range of skills and experience can expect to advance faster than those with only basic skills. Some hotels require attendants to have a high school diploma, but in general it is not required. Candidates must be in a decent physical condition and be able to work long hours on their feet.
Starting pay for this job varies depending on one’s level experience, the type of hotel and the state where the hotel is located. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, hotel room attendants across the country were making an average $9.93 per hour as of May 2010. California, New York and Hawaii had considerably higher averages, with $10.98, $13.79 and $14.27 per hour, respectively. Starting pay for the position is usually minimum wage, which varies according to state. The federal minimum wage as of July 24, 2009 was $7.25 per hour. Hotel room attendants in high-end luxury hotels can expect to make more than those in basic motels, though competition is stiffer for those jobs.
Hotel room attendants with little or not experience must start out at the bottom of the ladder, often working lousy hours for minimum pay. However, over time, these employees can usually start to increase their hourly rates as they acquire experience and skills. Those who stick with the same hotel for several years and maintain a strong work ethic may be promoted to supervisor or other managerial positions that are usually better paying.
Salaried full-time hotel room attendants are often eligible for benefits such as healthcare and retirement saving plans. However these opportunities are not always available in the beginning, as many start out with part-time schedules. Many hotel room attendants get paid under the table and never receive any of these benefits. Different hotels and hotel chains have different policies regarding their employees, and you should always inquire about these things when interviewing for the job.
Charlie Higgins is journalist, editor and translator based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has written for a variety of lifestyle and niche market websites, including International Food Trader, The Olive Oil Times, microDINERO, Sounds and Colours, Connecting Worlds and The Buenos Aires Reader.