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Essential Information

Hospital housekeepers are responsible for sustaining a sterile environment in all areas of the
hospital by cleaning rooms, making beds, replenishing linens and maintaining floors. No formal
education beyond high school is required for this career, and on-the-job training is available.
Certification may be needed for advancement.

Required Education High school diploma

Other Requirements On-the-job training

International Executive Housekeepers Association certification is

required for promotion by some employers

Projected Job Growth*

13% for all maids and housekeeping cleaners

$24,880 annually for all maids and housekeeping cleaners in

Average Salary* (2013)
general medical or surgical hospitals
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Job Description
Hospital housekeepers routinely clean patient rooms, nursing units, surgical areas,
administrative offices, laboratory areas, waiting areas and public restrooms, as well as launder
all hospital linen. Using various cleaning chemicals and disinfectants, housekeepers wipe
equipment, clean furniture, polish floors and vacuum carpets. They make beds, empty trash and
restock medical supplies. Housekeepers also collect dirty laundry from all patient areas and
distribute the clean linen and hospital gowns back to the appropriate floors. Using cleaning
supplies and equipment are an essential part of the position, which is why housekeepers take a
daily inventory as well as inspect their equipment for any repairs or replacements.

Occasionally, hospital housekeepers attend in-service training. Such meetings can include
updates on company policies, new equipment demonstrations and discussion of complaints
made by patients or hospital staff in regards to housekeeping. They also ensure that proper
infection-control policies are being followed.

Education Requirements for Hospital Housekeepers

Entry-level housekeeping positions usually require only a high school diploma, basic math skills
and the ability to follow instructions. Most employers provide on-the-job training, which includes
effective cleaning techniques, choosing the correct cleaning agents, operating vacuums and
floor buffers, repairing minor electrical and plumbing problems, adhering to health and safety
regulations and demonstrating good customer service skills. Hospital housekeepers require
neither state licensure nor certification to gain employment.

Advancement and Certification Opportunities

Experienced hospital housekeepers can be promoted to housekeeping managers, also known
as executive housekeepers. Some employers require managers to obtain certification before
filling the position. The International Executive Housekeepers Association (IEHA) awards the
Certified Executive Housekeeper (CEH) credential to managers with a high school diploma.
They also offer the Registered Executive Housekeeper (REH) credential to managers who have
earned a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Both credentials are earned
by completing IEHA courses and passing exams. Those who pass must renew their
certifications every three years either by examination or by completing a specified amount of
continuing education units.

Career Outlook and Salary Info

As reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of maids and
housekeeping cleaners, including hospital housekeepers, was predicted to increase 13% during
the period of 2012-2022. The BLS also indicates that most of these new jobs will be in the
health care industry. As of 2013, maids and housekeeping cleaners earned an average annual
salary of $24,880 working in general medical and surgical hospitals, per the BLS.