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Director of Housekeeping Career Guide

The director of housekeeping uses their expertise in administrative and supervisory skills to maintain an appealing and hygienic environment. The position is generally going to be found in the hospitality sector, specifically hotels. 

The director of housekeepings’ work is evident, as the atmosphere and environment are a direct result of their work. Maintaining an efficient team and a clean workplace is the badge of honor and stands for itself.

In this position, you can incorporate administrative prowess to maintain an efficient stock of the necessary materials and products needed for routine business, balance budgets, handle staff, and more. Further, you can train and supervise staff, set initiatives and objectives, and coordinate with customers and management to maintain desired levels of cleanliness. Do you enjoy maintaining a clean and safe environment? Are you a great leader with a knack for training and supervision? If so, a position as a director of housekeeping might be perfect for you!

Sample job description

We’ve been in business for over 50 years, and we’ve continued to be the best at what we do for two reasons: Our passion for delivering exceptional guest experiences, and our integrity. When guests choose us, they know that their stay will be outstanding, and if something isn’t right, we’ll make it the way it should be. 

Housekeeping is a core component of the guest experience, and right now, we’re looking for a director of housekeeping to lead our team of 6. If you’re comfortable leading a team and have excellent communication skills and time management, we’d love to hear from you!

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Responsible for directing and administering the entirety of housekeeping operations to ensure the overall cleanliness
  • Conduct product quality and routine grounds inspections in accordance with hotel policy to uphold outstanding guest service
  • Maintain and ensure the cleanliness of guest rooms, public spaces, bathrooms, offices, banquet halls, meeting, and conference rooms in compliance with hotel policy and all local, state, and federal standards
  • Lead, direct, and administer all housekeeping operations, this includes management via electronic systems, budgeting, forecasting, inventory control, general department management, and implementation of policies and procedures
  • Oversee, train, and ensure proper usage of cleaning supplies and chemicals
  • Ensure proper handling, labeling, and storing of all hazardous supplies in accordance with state and federal law
  • Routinely participate in management meetings for innovation and improvement
  • Represent the hotel in an exceptional and professional manner
  • Resolve customer issues and complaints as they pertain to housekeeping

Education and experience

  • High school diploma or equivalent experience
  • Minimum 3 years experience in the hospitality field
  • Minimum 2 years experience in a supervisory position

Required skills and qualifications

  • Working knowledge of labor management scheduling procedures and systems
  • Working ability to lead and train a diverse team of employees
  • Demonstrated analytical problem solving, planning, forecasting, and implementation abilities
  • Basic management skills: Conflict resolution, development, team building, coaching, etc.
  • Ability to work flexible hours: Nights, weekends, and holidays as needed
  • Ability to lift at least 30 pounds regularly
  • Ability to stand and walk for long periods of time
  • Ability to twist, bend, squat, and stretch
  • Ability to tolerate exposure to caustic chemicals

Preferred qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • 5 years experience in the hospitality field
  • 3 years management or supervisory role over at least 4 employees
  • Spanish speaking

Typical work environment

The director of housekeeping will split work between the office and the business floor. They often conduct checks, training, and supervision of employees. Given this, they’ll check rooms and common areas, talk with guests, staff, and other employees to prevent and resolve any issues or problems. Long periods of time spent walking, talking, and standing should be expected. Light lifting and manipulation should be expected for moving inventory, furniture, and equipment on a routine basis.

Additionally, the director will spend time at a desk preparing orders, reviewing documentation, employee paperwork, and policy or law updates. Handling and using hazardous chemicals regularly in confined spaces, as well as squatting, bending, and stretching should be expected. The director of housekeeping may work long periods of time as needed under certain circumstances.

Typical hours

As this is a management and supervisory position, the hours a director of housekeeping may work are any hours their business is operating, and any hours their employees are working. Given that most businesses in hospitality are 24-hour operations, and most housekeeping is done when few or no guests are present, the hours worked in this position may vary widely.

You may be expected to work weekends, be on-call, and work holidays should the need arise. Any events that need your authorization or attention that cannot wait will bring you to the office, and large events or busy times of year may result in hours beyond the normal window of time, and days not typically worked.

Available certifications

As the director of housekeeping works in a variety of industries, there are many institutions that offer certifications, including:

  • Certified Environmental Services Executive. The CESE is offered by the Indoor Environmental Healthcare and Hospitality Association. This certification will provide real-world examples of how to safely and effectively operate the wide variety of equipment and chemicals needed to conduct adequate cleaning. Not only will the participant learn the best methods and practices, but they’ll also be taught the underlying science of cleaning.

Career path

The journey to becoming a director of housekeeping starts with an education. While not strictly necessary, a college education will make you a more competitive candidate in this field and help you stand out. Gaining experience in the hospitality field is vital to this position, as understanding the ins and outs of hospitality can only really be had by working there. 

Moving to a management position of any kind is a great next step, and need not be in the hospitality field, however that would be a great benefit if it were. After you’ve gotten demonstrable leadership experience and a track record of good hospitality work, you’ll be a very appealing choice for those looking to fill this position.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 37-1011

2020 Employment225,500
Projected Employment in 2030238,700
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 6% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift13,200 increase

Travel for business and pleasure creates a demand for accommodations. The businesses that provide these rooms and services will need people to keep them tidy and profitable, and where there are groups of people operating for a common goal, there needs to be management. This position will continue growing steadily as long as there’s a need for hospitality.