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A Clean Slate: The Hotel Housekeeping Career Path

by | CAREER TIPS

Returning from brunch to find a spotless room with fresh linens is a part of the hotel experience that many guests take for granted. However, if they open the door to a messy room, that could ruin their entire stay and lose the hotel money.

The housekeeping department is one of the most crucial parts of the hotel industry. They are always working efficiently behind the scenes to make sure the hotel’s guests are comfortable and the whole place is sparkling clean at all times.

A team this important needs solid managers with strong leadership skills who understand the inner workings of the hotel. The hotel housekeeping career path is perfect if you can handle an entry-level job that requires some physical labor but is also the first step on your journey to becoming a manager.

If you stick with this career path, have strong organizational skills, and show that you can be team leader, you could go from attending rooms to managing the department in a matter of years.

The Three Level Career Path in Hotel Housekeeping

The hotel housekeeping career path is divided into three levels: junior, mid, and senior. Salaries for each level of the career path will vary depending on where you work, your experience level, and what type of hotel you work in.

Junior Level (Average Salary: €13,000)

The junior level of the hotel housekeeping career path consists of two distinct roles: room attendant and linen room assistant.  

Hotel room attendants are responsible for making sure rooms are clean and presentable. You will work with the other room attendants on the housekeeping team to make sure guests are blown away every time they open the door to find their room looking like new. 

Room attendants must change linens, replace toiletries, and re-make beds at the same time every day. A strong attention to detail is important to succeed in this role as a hotel’s cleanliness is one of the most important things to its guests. You may also need to attend to special requests from guests so it’s important to be extremely well organized in this role.

The linen room assistant position is much different than the room attendant role as you won’t be cleaning the rooms themselves. 

Instead, you will be coordinating the laundry for all linens and towels that are used in the rooms and throughout the public areas of the hotel. Depending on the hotel, you could be tasked with cleaning the linens yourself or you may be coordinating and communicating with an outside service that cleans them for you. 

The linen room assistant must be in constant communication with the room attendants to guarantee that there is always the right amount of sheets and towels needed for new arrivals. The bookings of a hotel can be dynamic and change quickly so it’s important to stay on top of things and make sure the linens room is always well-organized and fully stocked.

After 1 – 3 years in either of these roles, if you show that you are a team player, have strong organizational skills, and an attention to detail, you could find yourself promoted to the next level of the hotel housekeeping department.

Mid Level (Average Salary: €15,000 – €29,000)

Similar to the entry level, the mid level of this career path is divided into two roles: floor manager and assistant head housekeeper. The floor manager reports directly to the assistant head housekeeper.

The floor manager coordinates and supervises the work of the hotel’s housekeeping attendants. Depending on the type of hotel and your experience, you could be responsible for the attendants on a single or multiple floors. 

This is where you will put your organizational and leadership abilities to the test and start developing your staff management skills. You also need to be a strong communicator as you will be coordinating with both the reception department and the linen room assistant to ensure everything is clean and ready for the guests when they arrive.

An assistant head housekeeper is responsible for the cleanliness of every area of the hotel and is in charge of coordinating a team of cleaners, the room attendants, and floor managers. It’s a job that requires a high level of communication and organization as you are essentially the assistant manager of the housekeeping department. 

You will report directly to the head housekeeper and must step in to fill their role if they are away from the hotel or on holiday. In addition to coordinating the housekeeping teams, you must motivate them to meet a high standard of cleanliness and train new staff when it’s needed.

Depending on the size and type of hotel, you can expect to spend 3 – 5 years in the mid level of this career path. If you feel that you’ve learned and done all you can in a role with a specific company but haven’t been promoted to head housekeeper, this may be the time to check out the job market and see what other opportunities are out there. You may be able to move up to a head housekeeper position more easily by moving on to another company.

Senior Level (€19,000 – €32,000)

At the top of the hotel housekeeping hierarchy sits the head housekeeper. 

While the head housekeeper is ultimately responsible for all of the work done by the housekeeping department, most of your time will be spent training new employees and creating rotas for your staff. Constantly maintaining a high level of cleanliness requires a lot of organization so you must be skilled at managing budgets, take stock, and perform safety audits to ensure the staff is following protocol.

As a head housekeeper you will report to the general manager but you must also maintain close contact with other department managers to ensure all departments are on the same page and the hotel is running smoothly.

Although this is the last step of the hotel housekeeping career path, you will have gained a ton of management experience and knowledge of how hotels operate. This puts you in a great spot to be promoted to assistant general manager or to pursue that position at another hotel.

The hotel housekeeping path is a great place to start if you don’t have any formal education but want a career with a clear ladder to climb. On Hosco, we have hotel housekeeping jobs all around the world so check our most recent openings and get started on your hospitality journey today.

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