How To Become A Housekeeper In Australia: A Complete Guide

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Students want to know how to become housekeepers in Australia.


Do you have a passion for cleanliness, organisational skills, and attention to detail? Then a career in housekeeping may be ideal for you.


Housekeepers perform various cleaning and housekeeping duties in private residences, hotels, motels, and other commercial premises.


They work alone or lead a team of cleaners, ensuring that the business, home, or institution remains hygienic and clean.


You don't need any formal qualifications to work as a Housekeeper. However, it can be beneficial to consider completing a Certificate III in Cleaning Operations or Certificate III in Hospitality. Additionally, gaining on-the-job training can further enhance your skills and prospects in the field.


Continue reading to discover the essential housekeeping skills and responsibilities, typical work environments, available career opportunities, employment pathways, average national salary, and the necessary steps to kick-start a housekeeping profession in Australia.



1. What is a Housekeeper?


A housekeeper maintains and cleans residential and commercial places, including houses, hotels, motels, resorts, hospitals, and other venues.


Their primary objective is to create clean and inviting environments for their employers or hotel guests, ensuring that cleanliness standards are met and maintained.


On top of cleaning, domestic housekeepers perform household duties and chores such as cooking, childcare, gardening, running errands, washing clothes, and more.


Housekeepers can be categorised based on the specific tasks they perform into the following groups:



  • Hotel Housekeepers: Clean and prepare hotel rooms to high standards.


  • Private/Domestic Housekeepers: They perform maintenance and housekeeping tasks based on the family's requests.


  • Commercial Housekeepers: They work for large offices, companies, and industries such as lawyer's offices, rental agencies, supermarkets, etc., providing cleaning services and organising minor maintenance jobs. 



2. Housekeeper Duties Checklist


The daily duties of a housekeeper vary based on the nature of work (e.g., hotel or residential housekeeping) and the arrangement with the employer.


A typical workday involves performing the following tasks:


  • Clean the interior and the immediate outside spaces of the buildings

  • Sweep, mop, and clean floors

  • Pick up rubbish, empty dustbins, and take contents to waste areas for removal.

  • Vacuum and wash carpets

  • Sort, wash, dry, iron, and mend clothes and linen

  • Dust and sanitise surfaces

  • Organise space and advise storage options 

  • Clean curtains and furnished furniture

  • Make beds, and change bed sheets and linen

  • Replace towels and robes

  • Dust and polish fixtures, furniture, lamps, and fittings

  • Restock and replenish drinking glasses, linen, toiletries, writing equipment, food, groceries, and other items.

  • Wash dishes, and utensils, clean appliances, counters, pantries, cupboards, and floors.

  • Prepare meals, set tables, and serve food and beverages

  • Take care of plants and pets, receive visitors, attend calls, deliver messages, and shop for groceries.

  • Supervise a group of housekeepers

  • Talk to guests concerning room-related housekeeping requests

  • Walk dogs, feed, and care for pets and plants.



3. Housekeeper Skills For Success


Housekeepers typically possess a blend of general job-related skills and industry-specific abilities. Some of these skills include:



Industry-Specific Skills and Knowledge


  • In-depth knowledge of appropriate hygiene protocols and workplace safety standards 

  • Chemical product knowledge to sanitise surfaces properly without risking anyone's safety and health with toxic fumes.

  • Knowledge of preparing food and meals (for residential housekeeping jobs)



General Skills


  • Enjoy working in a hands-on and physically demanding role

  • High physical and mental stamina to stay on feet for long hours

  • Vital customer service and interpersonal skills 

  • Time management 

  • Organisation skills

  • Attention to detail

  • Able to maintain high standards of cleanliness and tidiness that can sustain customer satisfaction

  • Problem-solving to help resolve issues concerning damage, spillage, or stains.

  • Good communication skills

  • Able to prioritise workload 

  • Dependable

  • Flexibility 



4. What Qualifications Do You Need To Be A Housekeeper?


You don't need any formal academic qualification to work as a Housekeeper.


However, undertaking a Vocational Education and Training (VET) course in hospitality can provide you with the essential skills and knowledge required to excel in this role.


Here are the steps to qualify for a housekeeping role in Australia:


  • Enroll in a 6-12 month full-time Certificate III in Hospitality at a TAFE or RTO to develop your housekeeping skills and knowledge.

  • Enhance your skills in various areas by completing a short course and obtaining a Statement of Attainment in Food Handling. Gain practical hands-on experience by starting with an entry-level job in housekeeping and cleaning.

  • Undertaking on-the-job training opportunities will help enhance your skillset and chances of landing higher-paying jobs.



5. Steps To Start A Housekeeping Career in Australia


Though there are no formal education requirements, completing a Certificate III in Hospitality (Accommodation Services) and gaining relevant experience can improve your entry into this role.


Here is a step-by-step guide on how to become a hotel housekeeper in Australia:



Step 1: Gain A Relevant Certification


To prepare for a versatile housekeeping role, obtaining a Certificate III in Hospitality is highly recommended. Additionally, other relevant courses that can enhance your chances of securing a position include a Certificate II in Cleaning or a Certificate III in Cleaning Operations.



Step 2: Build Experience In The Hospitality Sector


The valuable experiences you get by working in the hospitality sector may help you prepare for a hotel housekeeping career.


It may equip you with the essential customer service skills and impresses potential hotel employers, giving you a competitive edge over other applicants.


Find work in entry-level housekeeping roles or a temporary job as a housekeeper in hospitality or customer service environments to grow your housekeeping skills while making money.


Many housekeeping jobs offer the flexibility to select which cleaning tasks to work on and the freedom to create a schedule that aligns with your preferences.



Step 3: Apply For Jobs


You can apply for suitable jobs once you have the necessary housekeeping knowledge, skills, and work experience. However, before you apply, ask yourself a few questions:


  • Do you want to work as a full-time/part-time/ seasonal housekeeper?

  • What area has the maximum demand for housekeeping?

  • What cleaning services are in demand in your area?


The answer to the above questions will help you identify what places to target and what service to specialise in.


With a proper job search plan, the next step is to join a job marketplace such as community bulletin boards, job portals, and other online marketplaces to find local housekeeping jobs easily.


You can even approach places requiring housekeepers, such as resorts, camping grounds, cleaning companies, youth hostels, etc., and hand over your resume to them for any relevant job vacancy.


Lastly, promote your housekeeping experience on social media to maximise your reach. Attaching snapshots of your previous cleaning work to your social media profile/ business website will help attract customers.



Step 4: Advance Your Learning


Aspire to attain a higher position in the hospitality industry. Earning a bachelor's degree in hotel management and hospitality can be helpful.



Step 5: Work Up To A Senior Role


After acquiring experience and expertise in an entry-level housekeeping position, you can progress to a senior role where you oversee a team of housekeepers. In this capacity, your responsibilities would include ensuring timely completion of tasks while upholding cleanliness standards.



6. Housekeeping Courses In Australia


The Certificate III in Cleaning Operations teaches you to use the latest techniques, equipment, and infection control measures to clean and sanitise commercial premises.


Besides learning the safe use and storage of chemicals, you also gain specialist skills in various areas, including:


  • Residential and accommodation services

  • Interior and exterior cleaning

  • Operations and safety

  • Manufacturing and food processing



The Certificate III in Hospitality is perfect qualification that prepares you for a travel, tourism, and hospitality role. Graduates of the course have adequate skills to work in various hospitality sectors, including restaurants, clubs, pubs, cafes, hotels, motels, and coffee shops.


You have the option to enroll in a housekeeping course offered by an RTO through any of the following course providers in Australia:


  • Certificate III in Cleaning Operations - MCI Institute (RTO 91088)

  • Certificate III in Hospitality - Holmesglen Institute (RTO 0416)

  • Certificate III in Hospitality - Chisholm Institute (RTO 0260)

  • Certificate III in Hospitality - TAFE Queensland (RTO 0275)

  • Certificate III in Hospitality - North Metropolitan TAFE (RTO 52786)

  • Certificate III in Hospitality - TAFE SA (RTO 41026)

  • Certificate III in Hospitality - William Angliss Institute (RTO 3045)



7. Working Conditions For A Housekeeper


A housekeeper works in diverse residential, business, and public environments.


Working in this physically active role, you spend a lot of time walking and cleaning surfaces using equipment, lifting and operating heavy equipment, and standing for an extended duration.


Usually, the job doesn't require work travel. However, those involved in site supervision must frequently travel to multiple sites as part of the job.


For specific work settings, like hotels, holidays and weekends can be the busiest times. You should work around the clock at unusual work hours and shifts, juggling multiple tasks simultaneously.


You may start room cleaning early in the morning and work till late evening or at night. Time management skills and flexibility are crucial to succeeding in this fast-paced job.



8. Employment Opportunities For A Housekeeper In Australia


Housekeepers can find jobs in a variety of indoor and outdoor settings, including:


  • Resorts

  • Backpacker's hostels

  • Hotels

  • Camping grounds

  • Mines

  • Offices or workplaces with a large housekeeping department

  • Houses 


The job allows you to work part-time in multiple places and at different times. Alternatively, those interested in customer service aspects of housekeeping may transition to front-of-house manager, accommodation manager, or training manager positions.



9. Typical Housekeeping Job Roles In Australia


The skills and knowledge you gain by completing hotel housekeeping qualifications open the door to various roles within the hospitality sector.


Some of the latest job openings for housekeepers on SEEK are as follows:


  • Housekeeper - Full-time/Part-time

  • Private Housekeeper

  • Casual Housekeeper

  • Cleaner / Commercial Cleaner / Housekeeper

  • Motel Housekeeper

  • Housekeeping Room Attendants

  • Full-Time Private Housekeeper

  • Live-in Housekeeper/Grounds person

  • Kitchen hand / Housekeeper

  • Housekeeping Co-ordinator

  • Housekeeping Room Attendant (Casual)

  • Housekeeper - High Care Unit

  • Head Housekeeper

  • Housekeeping All Rounder

  • Senior Housekeeper

  • Lead Housekeeper

  • Assistant Director of Housekeeping

  • Associate Director of Housekeeping

  • Director of Housekeeping

  • Executive Housekeeper

  • Domestic Services Manager



10. Housekeeper Career Path In Australia


The diverse nature of the housekeeper role opens up opportunities for advancement into various positions. According to Glassdoor, the career pathway for a housekeeper in Australia typically follows this trajectory:


  • Housekeeper/ Associate Housekeeper

  • Senior Housekeeper or Housekeeper Supervisor

  • Lead Housekeeper/ Team Lead Housekeeper

  • Assistant Director of Housekeeping

  • Director of Housekeeping/ Head Housekeeper

  • Executive Housekeeper



11. Job Outlook For Housekeepers In Australia


The government estimates stable professional growth, with housekeeping workers expected to rise from 20,100 in 2021 to 20,500 in 2026.



Working Arrangements


Around 22% of employed housekeepers work full-time for an average of 43 hours per week.



Main Industries Of Employment


Around 52% of housekeeping workers work in Accommodation And Food Services. The remaining percentage of workers are employed in:


  • Administrative And Support Services, 

  • Health Care And Social Assistance, and

  • Mining.  



Percentage of Employment throughout Australia


Around half of the employed housekeeping workforce live outside of capital cities. Queensland has a relatively large employment share for its population size.


  • New South Wales - 28.8%

  • Victoria - 21.1%

  • Queensland - 24.9%

  • South Australia - 7.5%

  • Western Australia - 10.4%

  • Tasmanian - 3.2%

  • Northern Territory - 2.2%

  • Australian Capital Territory - 1.8%



Worker's Age and Gender Profile


The average age of housekeepers is 41 years, with most between 25 to 34 years.


Females constitute 84% of the workforce which is 36 percentage points below the average of all jobs, i.e., 48%.



12. How Much Does A Housekeeper Make In Australia?


The housekeeper's salary depends on several factors, including:


  • The type of hospitality venue you work in (Due to limited work duties, domestic housekeepers working in residential premises earn relatively lesser than those working in commercial buildings, hospitals, or industries.)

  • The size of the facility (If you clean an entire industrial complex, your earnings will be higher than a housekeeper cleaning a few square feet of residential property.)

  • Housekeepers working in larger organisations or hotel chains get paid more than those working in smaller independent venues.)

  • The nature of employment (full-time or part-time contract basis)

  • The years of experience (As you build more experience in cleaning and cooking, you can expect a higher salary than new entrants.

  • The seniority of the role (Housekeepers that lead a team of maintenance staff or cleaners earn higher than an average housekeeper)

  • Specialised skills you have

  • Type of contract (Casual contract or working under ABN)

  • Your work location

  • The employer you work for



Casual – Housekeepers in a casual contract are paid around $20 to $25/h hourly. Working on public holidays and weekends may improve your earnings.


According to Pay Scale, in Australia, a housekeeping salary is AU$24.64 per hour. 



Salary Based on Work Experience


  • Entry-level (<1 year experience): AU$23.92 per hour

  • Early career (1-4 years of experience): AU$24.42 per hour 

  • Mid-career (5-9 years of experience): AU$24.85 per hour

  • Experienced (10-19 years of experience): AU$24.94 per hour 

  • Late career (20 years and above): AU$26 per hour  



Highest Paying Australian Cities for Housekeepers


  • Port Douglas: $32.49 per hour

  • Glen Waverley: $32.26 per hour

  • Dee Why: $31.94 per hour

  • Perth: $31.51 per hour

  • Brisbane: $30.69 per hour

  • Port Macquarie: $30.68 per hour

  • Sydney: $30.17 per hour

  • Melbourne City Centre: $29.42 per hour

  • Adelaide: $28.21 per hour



13. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)



What is The Highest-Paid Housekeeping Job? 


Senior-level full-time housekeepers working in commercial organisations and large industries in Queensland earn higher salaries than their counterparts.


According to SEEK, industry-wise average housekeeper salary in Australia


  • Community Services & Development: $66,081 per year

  • Trades and Services - $58,352 per year

  • Hospitality and Tourism - $58,078 per year

  • Healthcare and Medical - $49,671 per year



How Many Rooms Should a Housekeeper Clean in 8 hours?


The average housekeeper in a hotel is required to clean 12 to 20 rooms in an eight-hour shift, i.e., 20 to 30 minutes per room.



Is Housekeeping a Difficult Job?


It all depends on your interest and skill in that field. You will find housekeeping easy if you love cleanliness and like doing physically demanding and hands-on tasks. You will be willing to leave your comfort zone and work overtime to get the job done.


Yes, a housekeeping job requires hard work even on holidays and weekend when everyone else socialise and enjoy. If you love your job, sacrificing holidays and events to make your customers stay safe and pleasurable gives a sense of joy and contentment.


With good time management and organisation skills, you will feel energised even when managing many visitors during the year's busiest days.



How Long Should a Housekeeper Take to Clean a Room?


Several factors determine the amount of time required to clean a room, such as:


  • The number of guests per room

  • City-wide events that would increase the influx of tourists to town

  • The number of beds and other furniture in the room

  • The cleanliness of the guest and more


Generally, a hotel housekeeper gets 30 minutes to clean each room per 8-hour shift. With experience, your cleaning speed may increase, and you would clean the room in 15 to 25 minutes.



What Are the Three Important Things in Housekeeping?


Passion for cleaning, time management, and customer service are indispensable for working in a housekeeping role.



How Much Do Casual Housekeepers Make in Australia?


Many businesses pay a casual housekeeper on per hourly basis.


Most of the time, their pay varies between $20 and $25/hour. Based on the employer and contract, casual housekeepers receive more for working on weekends and public holidays.



Is Housekeeping in Demand in Australia?


Housekeepers have the desirable skills to provide a clean environment, assisting employers in maintaining a positive reputation and ranking highly over their competitors.


Being a bustling sector with a high staff turnover rate, aspiring housekeepers in Australia will find endless opportunities across all regions of Australia to work and progress in this field.


The career promises a stable job and works for capable workers with adequate knowledge and experience in the hospitality industry.



14. Conclusion


Housekeeping is one of the noblest jobs you can pursue in the hospitality industry.


If you have good stamina, like your surroundings to be clean and orderly, and know how to handle equipment, the above steps will set you in the right direction to pursuing a housekeeping career in Australia.


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