Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners

Summary

maids and housekeeping cleaners image
Maids and housekeeping cleaners perform light cleaning duties, such as vacuuming.
Quick Facts: Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners
2012 Median Pay $19,570 per year
$9.41 per hour
Entry-Level Education Less than high school
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training Short-term on-the-job training
Number of Jobs, 2012 1,434,600
Job Outlook, 2012-22 13% (As fast as average)
Employment Change, 2012-22 183,400

What Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners Do

Maids and housekeeping cleaners perform general cleaning tasks, including making beds and vacuuming halls, in private homes and commercial establishments.

Work Environment

Most maids and housekeeping cleaners work full time. Part-time maids and cleaners—particularly those who work at hotels and hospitals—often work evenings and weekends. The work can be physically demanding.

How to Become a Maid or Housekeeping Cleaner

No formal training or education is required. Most workers learn on the job.

Pay

The median annual wage for maids and housekeeping cleaners was $19,570 in May 2012.

Job Outlook

Employment of maids and housekeeping cleaners is projected to grow 13 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Job opportunities are expected to be good overall and more favorable for those who have related work experience.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of maids and housekeeping cleaners with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about maids and housekeeping cleaners by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners Do About this section

Maids and housekeeping cleaners
Maids and housekeeping cleaners clean or polish windows, walls, and woodwork.

Maids and housekeeping cleaners perform general cleaning tasks, including making beds and vacuuming halls, in private homes and commercial establishments.

Duties

Maids and housekeeping cleaners typically do the following:

  • Clean rooms, hallways, and other living or work areas
  • Change sheets and towels; make beds; and wash, fold, and iron clothes
  • Empty wastebaskets and take trash to disposal areas
  • Replenish supplies, such as soap and toilet paper
  • Dust and polish furniture and equipment
  • Sweep, wax, or polish floors, using brooms, mops, and other floor-cleaning equipment
  • Vacuum rugs, carpets, and upholstered furniture
  • Clean and polish windows, walls, and woodwork
  • Lift and move lightweight objects and equipment

Maids and housekeeping cleaners do light cleaning tasks in homes and commercial establishments, such as hotels, restaurants, hospitals, and nursing facilities.

In addition to keeping places clean and neat, maids who work in private homes also may prepare meals, polish silver, and clean ovens, refrigerators, and sometimes windows. Some also shop for groceries, pick up and drop off drycleaning, and run other errands.

Those who work in hotels, hospitals, and other commercial establishments are responsible for cleaning and maintaining the premises. They also may share other duties. For example, housekeeping cleaners who work in hotels may deliver ironing boards, cribs, and roll-away beds to guests’ rooms. In hospitals, workers may have to wash bedframes and disinfect and sanitize other equipment with germicides.

Work Environment About this section

Maids and housekeeping cleaners
Those who work in private households often wash dishes.

Maids and housekeeping cleaners held about 1.4 million jobs in 2012. About 12 percent were self-employed.

Although most cleaners work indoors in a hotel, restaurant, hospital, or nursing home, many maids who work for individuals or families may have to run errands outside the home. The work can be physically demanding.

The industries that employed the most maids and housekeeping cleaners in 2012 were as follows:

Traveler accommodation30%
Nursing and residential care facilities9
Hospitals; state, local, and private8
Services to buildings and dwellings7

Work Schedules

Most maids and housekeeping cleaners work full time. Part-time maids and cleaners—particularly those who work at hotels and hospitals—often work evenings and weekends.

Injuries and Illnesses

Maids and housekeeping cleaners spend most of their day on their feet, sometimes lifting or pushing heavy furniture. Many tasks, such as dusting or sweeping, require frequent bending, stooping, and stretching. Lifting mattresses to change the linens can cause back injuries and sprains. Because of these hazards, maids and housekeeping cleaners have a rate of injuries and illnesses that is much higher than the national average.

How to Become a Maid or Housekeeping Cleaner About this section

Maids and housekeeping cleaners
Entry-level maids and housekeeping cleaners typically work alongside a more experienced cleaner.

Most maids and housekeeping cleaners are trained on the job. No formal education is required.

Education

Formal education is not required. Most maids and housekeeping cleaners are trained on the job.

Training

Entry-level maids and housekeeping cleaners typically work alongside a more experienced cleaner and gain more responsibilities and more difficult work as they become experienced.

Important Qualities

Detail oriented. Because maids and housekeeping cleaners are responsible for cleaning rooms, they must pay close attention to detail. For example, household maids need to be thorough when polishing silver.

Interpersonal skills. Maids and housekeeping cleaners who work in private homes must get along well with the people they provide services for. Those who work in hotels, hospitals, office buildings, and other places also often come into contact with people whose spaces they are cleaning. They must be polite and friendly.

Physical stamina. Maids and housekeeping cleaners spend many hours on their feet, scrubbing, bending, and stretching. As a result, they should have good physical stamina.

Pay About this section

Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners

Median annual wages, May 2012

Total, all occupations

$34,750

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations

$22,690

Maids and housekeeping cleaners

$19,570

 

The median annual wage for maids and housekeeping cleaners was $19,570 in May 2012. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $16,430, and the top 10 percent earned more than $30,980.

In May 2012, the median annual wages in the top four industries employing the largest numbers of maids and housekeeping cleaners were as follows:

Hospitals; state, local, and private $22,840
Nursing and residential care facilities19,910
Administrative and support services 19,140
Accommodation and food services19,010

Most maids and housekeeping cleaners work full time. Part-time maids and cleaners—particularly those who work at hotels and hospitals—often work evenings and weekends.

Job Outlook About this section

Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners

Percent change in employment, projected 2012-22

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations

13%

Maids and housekeeping cleaners

13%

Total, all occupations

11%

 

Employment of maids and housekeeping cleaners is projected to grow 13 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Most new jobs are expected in health care, as this industry is expected to grow rapidly. In addition, many jobs will continue to be at hotels—the largest employing industry—as demand for accommodations increases.

Companies that supply cleaning services on a contract basis also will experience employment growth as more of this work is being contracted out.

Job Prospects

Job opportunities are expected to be good overall and more favorable for those who have related work experience. Many job openings will result from the need to replace workers who leave the occupation each year.

Employment projections data for maids and housekeeping cleaners, 2012-22
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2012 Projected Employment, 2022 Change, 2012-22 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Maids and housekeeping cleaners

37-2012 1,434,600 1,618,000 13 183,400 [XLS]

Similar Occupations About this section

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of maids and housekeeping cleaners.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION Help 2012 MEDIAN PAY Help
Janitors and building cleaners

Janitors and Building Cleaners

Janitors and building cleaners keep many types of buildings clean, orderly, and in good condition.

Less than high school $22,320
Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners,
on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/building-and-grounds-cleaning/maids-and-housekeeping-cleaners.htm (visited September 18, 2014).

Publish Date: Wednesday, January 8, 2014