Resort Housekeeper Jobs
The life of a housekeeper at a resort is not a glamorous one. As a resort housekeeper you are indirectly responsible for the health of the guests.
A clean resort and clean room are the most important factor for guest and it plays a huge role in determining whether or not they will return to the establishment. The fact that resorts need to keep their rooms clean, means that people with housekeeping experience can usually find work very easily.
The responsibilities of a housekeeper stay the same from work place to work place, so you can go from working in a hotel to working in a resort, or even a bed and breakfast. There is a high demand for housekeepers at any given time, and there are various levels that you will find in the Housekeeping Department of a resort hotel, namely (from entry level to highest):
- Linen Porter or Assistant Housekeeper
- Housekeeper or Housekeeping Member
- Assistant Executive Housekeeper
- Executive Housekeeper or Janitorial Manager
- Housekeeping Director or Room Division Manager
Did You Know? 92% of employees in the resort housekeeping field are female and only 8 % are male.
Being a housekeeper is not easy, as most of your day is spent cleaning up after other people. However, you are left alone most of the time and are generally unsupervised. This type of job does not require much in the way of public communication or interaction, as you will usually go in after the guests have left for the day or checked out. This makes the role of the housekeeper a great position for those who do not like to communicate with others or who find it hard to communicate in a certain language.
As a housekeeper you will take care of the general cleaning of the rooms in the resort or hotel. You will make use of a vacuum cleaner, duster and cleaning detergent. You responsibilities extend to making the bed, changing the bed clothes, dusting the furniture and making sure that the room is reset every morning so that when the guest returns it looks and feels the same as when they first arrived. Hygiene and safety are an important responsibility for housekeeping staff, as well as to monitor room maintenance and make sure that the resort’s standards are being adhered to. Sometimes there might be more to the housekeeping as set out in the duty roster you receive. For instance, in smaller resorts the housekeeper does not just have the responsibility of cleaning and maintaining the rooms, but he or she will also need to keep the lounge or public area clean.
Taking the duties of the housekeeper even further, some establishments hand the cleaning of the kitchen over to the general housekeeper as well. This means that you will need do dishes, clean the floors, change and wash the table linen, dust the furniture, clean the bathrooms, vacuum the dining rooms, and take care of the public area. Most of the time you will be working on your own, at your own pace, or with a partner in a team of housekeepers, but sometimes you will work for the janitorial or housekeeping manager, also known as the executive housekeeper, which is a position that you could aspire to as a housekeeper.
To be a housekeeper you have to be a self-starter. Your duties are unsupervised most of the time so you need to have the ability to work on your own throughout the day. The housekeeper needs to be physically fit as most of the work done requires stamina. You will be lifting heavy equipment, moving heavy furniture and you will be on your feet for large parts of your day, not to mention the need to walk up and down stairs in places that do not have elevators or escalators, which is why you also need to be able-bodied.
Apart from being physically able you also need to mentally able. Working on your own is harder than most people think. As they say, it is easier to do nothing, which is why you have to be a motivated individual.
Other skills that are required as a resort housekeeper include:
- Attention to detail, whilst working within the minimum time
- Team work
- Organization and thoroughness – maintaining the resort’s internal procedures while cleaning to a time limit.
- Discretion to not disturb the resort guests
As a manager, additional skills that are required include:
- Managing priorities, stress management, team motivation, and the ability to listen.
- Ability with calculations and managing a cost center.
- Being sensitive to guests and the ability to deal face-to face if required.
- Ability to provide training at various levels.
- Understanding of IT and computer programs related to the Housekeeping Department.
- The ability to take the initiative.
- Excellent physical resilience.
Speaking a second language is also helpful in landing a housekeeping position. There is no official degree that one needs to obtain in order to land a job as a housekeeper, but many employers require a minimum of a high school certificate for an interview. You will need to have the basic time management and organizational skills as well as be able to follow very detailed instructions. You will also need to know how to use cleaning detergents safely without causing potential harm to yourself or the guests. You will also need to be at least 18 years of age, or the age of majority in the area where you work.
Training & Degrees
Most of the training you need to be a housekeeper is accomplished on the job. If you are new to the world of housekeeping you will probably only land an entry level job, which may be that of an assistant housekeeper or linen porter. Here you will acquire the skills you need to be a fully fledged housekeeper. As an assistant housekeeper your duties are to do whatever the housekeeper tells you, and to learn as much as you can.
If you are a veteran in the business you may want to climb the ladder a bit and look for a higher paying position as an assistant executive housekeeper. The assistant executive does not have any official degree, but knows a bit more about the inner workings of being a housekeeper. This person has been a housekeeper for some years and this knowledge and expertise can be used to the employer’s advantage. The assistant executive housekeeper works for the executive housekeeper.
The executive housekeeper oversees the work done by the entry level, junior, and senior housekeepers. They make sure that the rooms are uniform and that the work has been done properly. The executive housekeeper is also sometimes known as the janitorial or housekeeping manager. None of the roles mentioned above require any tertiary education, and skills are acquired on the job, however there are certain certifications that are offered to enhance the career prospects for anyone interested in becoming an executive housekeeper.
Certifications are offered through the International Executive Housekeepers Association in which the REH (Registered Executive Housekeeper) and CEH (Certified Executive Housekeeper) are the 2 designations offered. They also provide ongoing seminars and continuing education through the Professional Education Credentialing Programs (PECP) and offer a Certified Frontline Association Program, which provides all housekeeping staff with good cleaning skills and teaches them correct technique to achieve quality. Although not required, these certifications would look great on your resume.
Did You Know? While most employers offer great benefits only a handful of them offer medical and dental benefits for housekeeping staff.
Salary & Benefits
As an entry level housekeeper you do not enjoy many of the benefits that others enjoy. Most housekeepers need to work for a minimum of 90 days in order to form part of the union. There are a number of other benefits that housekeepers enjoy, like discounted rooms their place of work. This changes from employer to employer, but the discount is usually good enough for them to take a vacation in the resort or hotel when they do get vacation time.
Most people will see the fact the housekeepers work alone as a benefit. You also get to work in a great building. Also, most of the time the resort is situated in a great setting, like the Caribbean, or an area that is known for skiing. Another great benefit is that you also get monetary tips from guests.
Salaries in the industry different from employer to employer, but the minimum salary for an entry level position is $11.50 per hour and goes up to $15 per hour for senior housekeepers. The salary for executive housekeepers ranges from $20,000 to $40,000 per year. Housekeeping directors or room division managers in charge of the entire housekeeping department and reporting to the general manager can earn $31,741 – $70,864 per year on average with the following hotel’s salary ranges as an example of what to expect:
- Starwood Hotels and Resorts: $41,477 – $81,491 per year
- Aramark Corporation: $49,851 – $82,050 per year
- Hilton Hotels Corporation: $46,500 – $60,678 per year
As you can see, there is room for growth in the housekeeping department and if you want to become a housekeeper, you can easily land an entry level or junior job, with the ability to be promoted after a period of time.
- Start in an entry level position with no tertiary degree or prior qualification
- Earn a minimum of $111.50 an hour and work your way up to earning $44500 a year
- Work in an mostly unsupervised position in some of the best places in the world
- Go into a position where you will have the opportunity to climb the executive ladder