Housekeepers and maids do general cleaning tasks in homes and commercial buildings and other properties, notes the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Some common duties include cleaning rooms, working or living areas and hallways. Housekeepers may change bed linens and towels, make beds and do laundry tasks, including washing, drying, folding and ironing.
The job of the housekeeper varies widely with the employer. Housekeepers may take out the trash, empty wastebaskets and keep supplies replenished, such as toilet paper and soap, in bathrooms and other areas, notes the BLS. Floor care, including sweeping, polishing and waxing the floor using a mop, broom or other types of floor-care equipment also falls under the duties of a housekeeper. Additionally, the housekeeper vacuums rugs and carpets and cares for upholstered furniture, and cleans windows, wood work and walls.
Housekeepers and maids may work in homes and private residences or be employed in hotels, eating establishments, hospitals and nursing homes. In addition to cleaning, some housekeepers may be asked to do other duties, such as running errands, picking up items from the dry cleaner or shopping for household supplies and groceries. The average median wage for housekeepers in 2012 was $9.41 per hour or roughly $19,570, notes the BLS.