Housekeeper jobs
Wealthy newcomers flocking to Florida fuel record demand for housekeepers in elite enclaves like Palm Beach. Pexels

It is raining money for Palm Beach and South Florida housekeepers. With demand soaring, salaries are reaching new heights of $150,000 or more, and bidding wars are becoming commonplace, according to staffing firms.

A surge of wealthy migrants from high-tax states like New York has fueled record demand for household staff in Florida's elite enclaves, particularly Palm Beach. Staffing agencies told CNBC that there's skyrocketing demand for everything from nannies and chefs to butlers (now called "hospitality managers" or "estate managers") and even personal security.

However, the biggest headache for wealthy homeowners is the need for more housekeepers. These new Florida residents, who own expansive estates, require cleaning staff. However, hotels, resorts, and businesses compete for the same worker pool.

According to staffing agencies, this intense competition has sent typical housekeeper wages soaring from roughly $25 per hour in 2020 to $45 or even $50.

April Berube, founder of The Wellington Agency, which serves Palm Beach, Miami, New York, and beyond, noted that she has never encountered a market this hot in her 30 years of placing household staff. "We've seen such a boom from people relocating, especially Palm Beach and Miami," she said.

Palm Beach housekeepers with experience in luxury homes enjoy top salaries ranging from $120,000 to $150,000 a year, with a competitive benefits package that includes 401(k) contributions, health insurance, and overtime pay.

According to Census Bureau data, this surge in migration from New York to Florida, with over 91,000 residents leaving the Empire State for the Sunshine State in 2022 alone, has fueled a record demand for housekeepers.

But landing a dream job as a private housekeeper requires more than just cleaning skills - special skills and qualifications are often preferred. So how can you get a piece of this pie? Here's what you can do to make a strong impression - ZipRecruiter outlines the basic requirements and considerations for private housekeepers, including cleaning skills, manual labour capabilities, and knowledge of cleaning techniques.

What Does the Private Housekeeper Job Description Include?

From the employer's perspective, a private housekeeper job description typically addresses these key questions: Full-time or Part-time? Will this be a full-time position requiring consistent hours or a part-time role with flexible scheduling? To clarify, look over the following:

Reporting Structure: Who will the housekeeper answer to on a day-to-day basis? This could be the homeowner directly, a house or estate manager, or even an executive housekeeper overseeing a more extensive staff.

Live-in Arrangement Needed? Does the position require the housekeeper to live within the residence, or is it a commute-based role?

To stand out as a top candidate, be prepared to address these questions during your interview to make a strong impression:

  • Determine if you're seeking a full-time or part-time position, and be flexible within those parameters if possible.
  • If you can find out anything about the home size, number of occupants, or any special needs (pets, allergies), tailor your experience and skills to address them.
  • Quantify your experience whenever possible. For example, instead of "cleaned houses," say, "maintained a 5,000 square foot home for a family of four, ensuring all areas were spotless every week."
  • Do you have experience working independently or as part of a larger team? Knowing your preferences can help you determine if the job description is a good fit.
  • If the job requires living on-site, be upfront about your comfort level and any needs you may have (separate living space, meals provided).

Crafting Your Application

The next step is crafting a compelling application. Before you begin writing, thoroughly research the specific housekeeping role, the employer, and any industry trends you can uncover. Tailoring your CV or application to the job description is crucial to standing out as the most qualified candidate. For housekeeping positions, highlight relevant experience and skills in these areas: -

  • Emphasise your cleaning proficiency and experience maintaining a spotless environment.
  • Showcase your comfort and ability to thrive in a home environment.
  • Demonstrate your ability to prioritise tasks, manage your schedule effectively, and work independently.

Finding Housekeeping Jobs

With your tailored application ready, it's time to find your perfect housekeeping position! Utilise various job boards to browse current vacancies and filter them by location and availability to streamline your search.

While online job boards offer a convenient and time-saving approach, you can also explore local avenues such as newspapers and community notice boards. However, these methods may require more legwork.

Qualities for Success

While housekeeping positions encompass a range of experience levels, certain qualities are universally valued. These include organisational skills, strong work ethic, self-motivation, reliability and trustworthiness.

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has some computer scientists, like Geoffrey Hinton, suggesting it may automate many routine tasks. While the impact on housekeeping jobs remains to be seen, these roles offer a distinct advantage: They are built on hands-on skills that will likely remain in demand for the foreseeable future.

Blue-collar jobs, like housekeeping, which often involve hands-on work, critical thinking, and the ability to navigate dynamic environments, may prove more resistant to AI takeover in the near future. For example, housekeeping tasks require a human touch and the ability to adapt to specific needs and situations, qualities that current AI technology may struggle to replicate.