A housekeeping manager, or head housekeeper, has overall responsibility for cleaning rooms, laundering bed linen and maintaining furnishings and other equipment in hotels, residential homes, hospitals and student accommodation.
You could be:
supervising room attendants and cleaning staff, checking that rooms are cleaned to a high standard
drawing up a shift rota for staff
hiring and training new employees
stocktaking and ordering cleaning equipment, linen and room supplies
checking for faults or damage and arranging repairs and routine maintenance work
managing budgets and controlling costs
making sure staff work to health and safety rules
helping room attendants clean rooms during busy times
in some hotels you might act as duty manager, in the absence of the general manager.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
As a housekeeping supervisor you might earn between £18,000 and £21,000 a year. With experience, housekeeping managers or head housekeepers may earn up to £27,000 a year. In a large hotel with a high star rating the salary could be higher. If you are living in, there may be a deduction from your salary for board and lodgings.
You work shifts, including early mornings, nights and weekends.
You might live-in.
Part time work is available.
You need to be fit enough to go up and down stairs and to handle bending and lifting to do this job.
You can enter housekeeping management in several ways.
You do not need formal qualifications but a good general education is useful.
As an experienced room attendant, laundry assistant or cleaner you can apply for promotion.
You could do a Modern Apprenticeship in Hospitality (Supervision and Leadership) at SCQF Level 7.
You can enter with an HNC (SCQF Level 7), HND (SCQF Level 8) or degree (SCQF Level 90-10) in hospitality management or operations. Entry requirements for a degree course are usually 4-5 Highers and for an HND 1-2 Highers.
You should be reasonably fit and not allergic to dust or cleaning products.
For some work places, such as hospitals or colleges, you may require a satisfactory criminal record check from Disclosure Scotland to show that you are suitable for this type of work. Contact Disclosure Scotland for details on the type you would need.
What Does it Take?
You need to have:
good organisational skills
a good understanding of business
an eye for detail
a flexible, hands-on attitude
good communication skills
good number skills for handling budgets
a knowledge of health and safety legislation.
You need to be able to:
make quick and effective decisions
remain calm under pressure
manage, motivate and train staff.
Most training is practical, on the job. You learn how to handle chemicals and how to lift heavy objects safely (manual handling).
You can work towards SVQs in Hospitality Supervision and Leadership at SCQF Level 7.
You might develop your career by progressing into front-of-house management, facilities management or hotel management.
If you have enough money, you can start up your own hotel or bed and breakfast business.
You could move into training.
Chances are better if you are willing to move around to different locations.