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Here’s all you need to know about a career in housekeeping

The hotel sector around the world is a high revenue creator and provides relaxing and luxurious services and caters to the short-term housing, food, entertainment, business and leisure needs of guests at any given moment.

education Updated: Aug 13, 2018 20:38 IST
career,housekeeping,Mumbai College of Hotel Management and Catering Technology
The hotel sector around the world is a high revenue creator and provides relaxing and luxurious services and caters to the short-term housing, food, entertainment, business and leisure needs of guests at any given moment.(Mint//file)

The hotel sector around the world is a high revenue creator and provides relaxing and luxurious services and caters to the short-term housing, food, entertainment, business and leisure needs of guests at any given moment.

It doesn’t matter if a hotel is in the five-star category or a budget hotel, nothing sends a stronger message than cleanliness in the hospitality operation and that’s always maintained by the housekeeping department. Out of all the divisions which help run a hotel, housekeeping has always stayed out of the sight and carries out its never-ending duties 24x7x365 to provide clean, hygienic, fresh atmosphere and relief to every individual stepping into the hotel.

Like any other departments, housekeeping gives an individual a chance to make a successful career and accomplish diverse heights in the management up to the level of general manager. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an increase of 12.8% in housekeeping jobs by 2022 and those who choose this sector will do well.

Job prospects

After completion of this course, candidates may get opportunities in areas like hotels, resorts, tour and travel agencies, restaurants, lodges, guesthouses, etc. They can work as laundrymen, linen keeper, tailor, laundry master, executive housekeeper, associate housekeeping manager, etc. The average salary for these professionals ranges from Rs 2 to 5 lakh as per their expertise and experience.

Scope

The housekeeping unit today is well-versed not only in their main job but also multi-tasks. They also take care of gardening, laundry operations, centres, superiority control, cost control and to some amount also play the role of ‘guest relation managers’, upkeep the comfort and happiness of visitors.

Most complaints these days are forwarded to the principal housekeeper and fixed by the housekeeping staff. Only main grievances reach the front office to general managers.

Apart from this, the housekeeping section also does procure exclusive items for special occasions. In many hotels, this division also helps the sales team to earn revenue. It also has the experience, skill as well as information to run the rooms division.

Skills

Most housekeepers work in precise areas of housekeeping, counting with the laundry room, ironing and laundering towels and sheets and cleaning rooms and other division. Hotel housekeeping skills also include a knowledge of emptying trash, cleaning windows and bed making.

Cleaning methods

Hotels train their housekeepers in specific cleaning methods. Most require beds to be made in a particular standard or bathrooms to be cleaned using specified cleaning products. Housekeepers that work in the laundry are required to iron and fold linen to precise specifications as well. All the necessary skills are taught to students during the course in hotel management.

Cleaning tools

Housekeepers are necessary to use certain tools while maintaining a guest room. Kits range from vacuum cleaners to dust rags and mops. Housekeepers must make sure they store their cleaning carts with enough materials so they do not waste time retrieving items from the housekeeping division.

Organisation

Room setting is important when preparing a room for hotel guests. The hotel guest should feel secure on entering a room, and many hotels add special touches, such as high-end bath products, room design or bedding, that set them apart from other hotels. Housekeepers must organize these special touches to specifications required by the hotel. Other duties may comprise folding and hanging towels in an attractive design, arranging a wet bar or turning down the bed and adding chocolate.

Laundry skills

The person in this department has to iron hundreds of sheets, towel and washcloths on a daily basis. Many staffs also wash personal items for visitors and they are not supposed to ruin guest clothing. Responsibilities include washing, folding, ironing and dry cleaning.

Communication skills

Housekeepers come across hotel guest on a regular basis. They are required to speak well and foresee guest needs. They must help with requests for extra items such as towels or personal items. Housekeepers have to make sure a room is clean and relaxing. In addition, housekeepers are required to resolve any complaints that a visitor may have with a room that does not meet their standards.

Tips for career success

* Get a proper training with excellent hands-on training with valid certification.

* Physical aptitude and strengths are very important for getting into the hotel housekeeping field.

* Hotels always prefer experienced candidates since guest satisfaction is a crucial aspect of Hospitality.

Educational qualification

A diploma in housekeeping is a one year course. This course offers expertise in housekeeping management by preparing students for all housekeeping and its connected process, including ground maintenance, mechanical services, project management services, planning, and designing services.

Students who have completed their Class 12 board examination or an equivalent from a known board with an aggregate of 55% marks are entitled to a diploma in a housekeeping course.

Admission for this course is based on excellence or entrance examination based. Most of the colleges select students based on the marks obtained Class 12 examination or an equal examination for admissions. Some colleges carry out entrance exams to check a candidate’s communication skills, interpersonal skills, etc and select them on the basis of their performance.

Pay packages

Salaries of a housekeeping professional vary widely. However, discipline and perseverance are vital for success. Confidence in one’s abilities, enthusiasm about the work and skills contribute to success. Initially, one can expect Rs Rs 10,000 to Rs. 15,000 a month, including bonus and commission. Mid-level experts earn somewhere in between Rs 20,000 to Rs 25,000 per month. Experienced housekeeping professionals can earn Rs 50,000-60,000 a month.

Like any other field, the salary package of an individual also depends on factors such as qualification, knowledge and reputation.

Top institutes that offer a course in housekeeping

* Mumbai College of Hotel Management and Catering Technology

* School of Hospitality and Tourism Studies, DY Patil University, Navi Mumbai

* CEDP Skill Institute, Mumbai

* Delhi Institute of Hotel Management & Catering Technology

(Vasim Shaikh is the chief marketing officer and co-director of CEDP Skill Institute in Mumbai. Views expressed here are personal.)

First Published: Aug 13, 2018 19:49 IST