Job descriptions for head housekeepers

A housekeeper is employed in either domestic or commercial service. He performs basic upkeep including but not limited to house or office cleaning, laundry and cooking. He assures that a home or facility is tidy and sanitary and has all the supplies needed to run smoothly.

Job Responsibilities

A head housekeeper supervises a team of domestic professionals including housekeepers, maids and chambermaids. She schedules the staff, administers performance evaluations and terminates employees when necessary. Cleaning duties include sweeping, mopping, dusting, ironing, laundry, making beds, vacuuming and washing windows. She also ensures that her facility remains in compliance with Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.

Job Opportunities

Head housekeepers may find employment with cleaning companies, with private residences and in hospitality companies. Additionally, head housekeepers are employed by property management firms. A candidate seeking this type of employment can apply directly to the firm, residence or hotel for which he would like to work. Aside from newspaper classifieds and online resources, professional organisations such as the International Executive Housekeeper Association provide both resources and networking opportunities for active job seekers. He may also find success using the services of an employment agency that specialises in the placement of domestic and/or maintenance professionals.

Qualitative Requirements

A successful candidate for a head housekeeper role must be comfortable delegating and enforcing responsibilities to her direct reports. She must be able to lift heavy objects. She may be required o kneel, stoop or stand for long periods of time, and must have a thorough knowledge of all types of cleaning and sanitation methods and equipment. She must be able to work around chemicals. Most of all, she must provide excellent client service.

Educational Requirements

To become a head housekeeper, the successful candidate should ideally possess a high school diploma or equivalent, though this is not required. She must also understand the proper methods used for cleaning and caring for sensitive materials and objects. Many employers prefer head housekeepers roles to have prior experience in domestic or building maintenance service. Management experience is a plus.

Average Compensation

According to, in 2009 the average housekeeper working in the United States of America earns an annual base salary of £13,777. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates the employment of building cleaning workers to increase by 14 per cent within the decade of 2006 through 2016.

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About the Author

KJ Henderson has more than a decade of HR and talent acquisition experience. He has held roles at a Fortune 100 investment bank, a media conglomerate and at one of NYC's largest executive staffing firms. He currently heads recruitment sourcing at a major movie studio. He read literature at Oxford.

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