California Occupational Guides

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Detailed Guide for

Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners in California

May also be called: Housekeepers; Housekeeping Aides; Housekeeping Assistants; Housekeeping Attendants; and Housepersons

What Would I Do?

Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners do light cleaning tasks in homes and commercial companies. Those who work in private homes keep these places clean and neat. Additionally, they may polish silver, clean ovens, refrigerators, and sometimes windows. Some also shop for groceries, pick up and drop off dry cleaning, and do other errands.

Some Housekeeping Cleaners work in hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics. They clean such areas as patients' rooms, bathrooms, hallways, and emergency rooms. These Cleaners disinfect and sanitize equipment. They may need to clean blood and other body fluids. Housekeeping Cleaners must also dispose of waste material.

Those who work in hotels and other commercial establishments are responsible for cleaning and maintaining the premises. Common duties include changing bed and bath linens, cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming, and cleaning floors. Housekeeping Cleaners in hotels may deliver ironing boards, cribs, and rollaway beds to guests’ rooms. They may also share other duties.

Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners typically complete the following activities:

  • Clean rooms, hallways, and other living or work areas.
  • Change sheets and towels and make beds.
  • Wash, fold, and iron clothes.
  • Empty wastebaskets and take trash to disposal areas.
  • Replenish supplies, such as soap and toilet paper.
  • Dust and polish furniture and equipment.
  • Sweep, wax, or polish floors using brooms, mops, or other floor-cleaning equipment.
  • Vacuum rugs, carpets, and upholstered furniture.
  • Clean or polish windows, walls, and woodwork.
  • Lift and move light- and medium-weight objects and equipment.


Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners typically use vacuums, cleaning solvents, carpet cleaning equipment, and floor polishers. They also use cleaning brushes, scrapers, and dusters. They may operate laundry type washing machines, clothes dryers, and clothes ironing equipment. Several may use ladders and wheeled carts. Some run data entry, facilities management, and inventory management software.

Important Tasks and Related Skills

Important skills to perform this job include active listening, service orientation, and time management. The ability to quickly bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and legs are also important.

A few skills are listed below with a sample task. Each task below is matched to a sample skill required to carry out the task.

View the skill definitions
TaskSkill Used in this Task
Hang draperies and dust window blinds.Extent Flexibility
Answer telephones and doorbells.Active Listening
Assign duties to other staff and give instructions regarding work methods and routines.Oral Comprehension
Source: U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Information Network (O*NET)

Working Conditions

Most Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners work in commercial establishments, such as hotels, restaurants, hospitals, and nursing homes. Others work in private homes.

Because most office buildings are cleaned while they are empty, many Cleaners work evenings or weekends. However some work in the daytime, such as those who work in schools. When there is a need for 24-hour upkeep, Housekeeping Cleaners may be assigned to shifts. Most Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners work full time.

The work can be physically demanding. Most building Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners work indoors. Working with machines can be noisy. Some tasks, such as cleaning bathrooms, can be dirty and unpleasant. These workers come into contact with chemicals and allergens, such as pet hair. Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners spend most of their time on their feet. Additionally, they may lift or push heavy furniture or equipment. Many tasks, such as dusting or sweeping, require constant bending, stooping, and stretching. For Maids working in hotels, lifting the increasingly heavier mattresses in order to change the linens can cause back injuries and sprains. To minimize health risks it is important to follow proper posture lifting techniques and safety rules for handling chemicals and equipment.

Hospital Housekeeping Cleaners may be members of a union like the United Healthcare Workers West or the National Union of Healthcare Workers. Hotel Housekeeping Cleaners may join a union such as the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International union.

Will This Job Fit Me?

Those who like working independently may enjoy the job of Maid and Housekeeping Cleaner. It is also helpful to enjoy doing physical activities. Those who would rather work with their hands instead of working with paperwork may like this occupation.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?


The median wage in 2021 for Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners in California was $33,086 annually, or $15.91 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

Change to Hourly Wages
Annual Wages for 2021Low
(25th percentile)
(50th percentile)
(75th percentile)
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2021 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
View Wages for All Areas


Benefits vary greatly for Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners. Benefits may be limited for part-time workers. Larger companies may provide medical, dental, life, and vision insurance. Additionally, they may offer vacation, sick leave, and retirement plans. Often employers will provide uniforms to Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners.

What is the Job Outlook?

Overall job opportunities should be good for Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners. However, like many occupations, employment may be sensitive to the fluctuations of the economy.

Projections of Employment

In California, the number of Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners is expected to grow slower than average growth rate for all occupations. Jobs for Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners are expected to increase by 2.2 percent, or 2,900 jobs between 2018 and 2028.

Estimated Employment and Projected Growth
Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners
Geographic Area
(Estimated Year-Projected Year)
Total Job
Source: EDD/LMID Projections of Employment by Occupation
View Projected Growth for All Areas

How Do I Qualify?

Education, Training, and Other Requirements

There are no formal training or education requirements. Most Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners are trained on the job. Entry-level Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners typically work alongside a more experienced cleaner and gain more responsibilities and more difficult tasks as they gain experience. Some employers require applicants pass a drug test. Several employers require candidates pass a background check. Employers usually look for dependable, hard-working people who are in good health. Employers also want individuals who follow directions well and get along with other people.


Some employers prefer experience in cleaning within their type of business. For instance, a hospital may want job applicants to have at least one year experience working as a Housekeeping Cleaner in a hospital. Employers may determine pay based on experience.

Early Career Planning

No special education is required for most entry-level Maid and Housekeeping Cleaner jobs, but workers should be able to perform simple math. English is another helpful course since communication is important to the job. Some Regional Occupational Programs (ROPs) may offer introductory courses that include hotel housekeeping jobs. To find an ROP program near you, go to the California Association of Regional Occupational Centers and Programs Web site.

Where Would I Work?

The largest industries employing Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners are as follows:

Industry TitlePercent of Total Employment for Occupation in California
Private Households12.9%
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals11.7%
Services to Buildings and Dwellings8.1%
Nursing Care Facilities4.4%
Source: EDD/LMID Staffing Patterns

Finding a Job

Most job seekers get hired by applying directly to hospitals, hotels, and motels. Newspaper classified ads and the Internet provide sources of job listings. Applicants may also find employment opportunities through cleaning or staffing agencies. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at and CalJOBSSM at

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).

Yellow Page Headings

You can focus your local job search by checking employers listed online or in your local telephone directory. Below are some suggested headings where you might find employers of Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners.

  • Clean
  • Custodial
  • Housekeeper
  • Janitorial
  • Maid

Find Possible Employers

To locate a list of employers in your area, go to "Find Employers" on the Labor Market Information Web site:

  • Select one of the top industries that employ the occupation. This will give you a list of employers in that industry in your area.
  • Click on "View Filter Selections" to limit your list to specific cities or employer size.
  • Click on an employer for the street address, telephone number, size of business, Web site, etc.
  • Contact the employer for possible employment.

Where Could This Job Lead?

Some Housekeeping Cleaners in hospitals and lodging may promote to supervisors. Supervisors usually need at least a high school diploma, but many have some college or more. This is especially true for those who work in hospitals and hotels. Some Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners may open their own cleaning service. In hotels, some advance to executive housekeeper or housekeeping manager. These Cleaners may also move on to desk clerk, reservations clerk, or hostess. Some hospital workers choose to take nurse training and move into nursing jobs. Others take special training and transfer to medical receptionist or hospital admitting jobs.

Related Occupations

Below is a list of occupations related to Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners with links to more information.

Chefs and Head CooksGuide
Cooks, Fast FoodProfile
Dining Room and Cafeteria Attendants and Bartender HelpersProfile
Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping CleanersProfile
Landscaping and Groundskeeping WorkersGuide

Other Sources

These links are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement by EDD.

For the Career Professional

The following codes are provided to assist counselors, job placement workers, or other career professionals.

SOC - Standard Occupational Classification37-2012
O*NET - Occupational Information Network
   Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners37-2012.00
   Interest Codes (RIASEC)RCS