A maidservant or in current usage maid is a female employed in domestic service. Once part of an elaborate hierarchy in great houses, today the maid may be the only domestic worker that upper and even middle-income households can afford. In the Western world, comparatively few households can afford live-in domestic help, usually compromising on periodic cleaners. In less developed nations, very large differences in the income of urban and rural households and between different socio-economic classes, fewer educated women and limited opportunities for working women ensures a labour source for domestic work.
Maids perform typical domestic chores such as cooking, ironing, washing, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, walking the family dog, and taking care of children. In many places in some poor countries, maids often take on the role of a nurse in taking care of the elderly and people with disabilities. Many maids are required by their employers to wear a uniform.
The position of chambermaid is also a job commonly found in hotels. Their job is mainly to clean the rooms of guests.
In several developing countries, working as a maid is still one of the main possibilities a poor young girl may have to earn an income.