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What is a housekeeper?

A housekeeper is a domestic service professional who has general responsibilty for the maintenance and cleaning of a private household. A housekeeper's primary job responsibility is to maintain the employer's home in a clean and presentable manner at all times. A housekeeper may live in or live out, and may be employed on either a full time or a part time basis.

A housekeeper is 'hands on' in the performance of his/her job responsibilities. A housekeeper may supervise other household staff, but this is not the norm. A housekeeper may be assisted in the performance of his/her duties by a maid.

A housekeeper's duties may include any of the following:

  • Cleaning the interior of the home and the immediate areas outside (patios, porches, decks, walks)
  • Kitchen maintenance - dishes, cupboards, pantry, counters and floors.
  • Laundry (Clothing & household linens)
  • Bed making, routine bedding & linen changes
  • Meal Preparation & Service
  • Assisting with the cooking and serving for special events
  • Grocery shopping and other household errands
  • Keeping the household supplies fully stocked
  • Receive & serve guests
  • Pet care
  • Plant care (household)
  • Silver Polishing
  • Secure/supervise tradesmen/contracors
  • Organization: may rotate seasonal clothing in closets, maintain pantry and routinely clear out of date and spoiled items.
  • House-sitting while the employer is out of town
  • Occasional childcare
  • Household bookkeeping and/or accounting tasks

The position of housekeeper does not require special education. Skills required include self starter, time management, organization, tact, honesty, and basic money handling and accounting. May be a uniformed staff position. May require dietary training if meal planning is required. Housekeeper is supervised by the homeowner in smaller households, and by the Household Manager in larger households and estates.

A housekeeper may be paid on either an hourly or a salaried basis. The part-time housekeeper will generally earn between $15 - $25 per hour. The full-time housekeeper will earn between $35K and $50K per year, plus benefits.

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