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Housekeeping work in Australia

Housekeeping work in Australia

Australia is a popular destination for backpackers seeking work while exploring its diverse landscapes and vibrant cities. Housekeeping is one of the most accessible and flexible job options available to travelers on a Working Holiday Visa (WHV). Working in housekeeping is a good idea when you decide to settle in a town and look for a stable job and work. In this article you will find all you need to know to find a job, as well as some tips to make your search easier.

What is housekeeping?

Housekeeping refers to duties and chores management. In Australia, there is:

Housekeeping for more “touristy” based kind of cleaning, meaning cleaning in hotels, resorts, motels, backpackers, etc.)
Commercial cleaning in offices or for companies (eg. rental agencies, lawyer’s offices, supermarkets etc.)
Cleaning in houses, bond cleans, etc.

Where to work?

You can find a job in housekeeping/cleaning in a resort, in a backpackers hostel, in a hotel, in camping grounds, in the mines, in offices or even at someone’s home. You could be cleaning an office, a hotel room or a house and doing certain chores such as making a bed, vacuuming, cleaning a kitchen, etc.

You can clean in many different places and at different times. For example, if you are cleaning offices, it will be done outside of working hours for the employees. This means that you will be working late in the evening or sometimes even at night. If you work in a hotel, you will start early in the morning to do the rooms etc.

Why choose Housekeeping?

Housekeeping jobs are in high demand across Australia, particularly in tourist hotspots and major cities. Hotels, motels, hostels, and resorts frequently need reliable staff to maintain cleanliness and order.

Many housekeeping positions offer flexible hours, making it easy to balance work with travel and leisure activities. Part-time and full-time opportunities are available, often with the option to work weekends and holidays for extra pay.

While previous experience can be beneficial, many employers are willing to train new staff. A strong work ethic and attention to detail are often more important than prior housekeeping experience.

Some employers provide accommodation as part of the job package, which can be a significant advantage for backpackers looking to save on living expenses.

How to find a job in housekeeping?

Direct applications

Visit hotels, motels, and resorts in person to inquire about job openings. Bringing a resume and being prepared to fill out an application on the spot can make a good impression.

The easiest way to find a job is to ring or directly go in and introduce yourself to the potential employer. To do so, don’t hesitate to dress up formally. Try to respect the dress code of the venue and job. Most of the time, you will be asked to dress in black or perhaps wear a white shirt for a job in a resort. Think also about smiling, being personable and being extremely polite. Australia is a country where customer service is very important and your competences in this area will assessed at as soon as you meet your future employer.

Youth Hostels

Most of the time, jobs in hostels do not require any particular experience so don’t hesitate to apply! Is is very feasible to show up at the hostel in question and try to speak directly to the hostel manager. It is not uncommon for them to be looking for staff to help clean the rooms as this sector can be quite transient.

Hostel Notice Boards

Many hostels have job boards where employers post available positions. This is a convenient way to find local job opportunities while staying at a hostel.

Online Job Portals

Websites like Seek, Indeed, and Gumtree are great places to start your job search. These platforms regularly list housekeeping positions across the country.

Some recruitment agencies specialize in hospitality and can help connect you with housekeeping jobs. Agencies like Hays and Backpacker Job Board can be valuable resources.

In Australia, the most difficult is to find your first job. As soon as you have more experience, it will be really easy to find a job among the numerous offers on the employment market.

The different types of contracts

Be employed as Casual

Many businesses offer an hourly paid contract. Most of the time, the pay starts from $25/h and in theory you will be paid more on weekends and public holidays but this may change depending on the employer and contract.

Each sector is governed by a collective agreement called an Award. It is this Award that defines the minimum rate of pay, depending on the level of qualification in each sector. These rates of pay can be higher than the national minimum wage. For cleaning, you will generally be classified in the Cleaning Services Award [MA000022] (with some exceptions, so check with your employer).

If the company does not belong to any Award, the national minimum wage applies. This is the minimum rate of pay under the Fair Work Act 2009 and is reviewed annually. As of July 1, 2023, the national minimum wage is $23.23 per hour or $882.80 per 38-hour week.

For more information: Wages in Australia

Work under your ABN

Most hotels offer employment via an ABN (you are your own employer and pay for your taxes at the end of the financial year instead of them being taken away on your weekly pay). Working under an ABN isn’t a disadvantage per se, however some employers do use the ABN to offer extremely low rates. Some will, for example, ask you to clean a 3 bedrooms/2 bathroom apartment for $45. Once there, you realise the unit is filthy and you spend 4 hours cleaning it. You hourly rate is $11/hour, before tax! So just be careful…

For more information about ABN: How to get an ABN

Tips for Applying and Succeeding

Even for housekeeping jobs, having a well-prepared resume can set you apart from other candidates. Highlight any relevant experience and emphasize your reliability and work ethic.

Housekeeping can be physically demanding, involving tasks like lifting, bending, and standing for long periods. Being in good physical condition can help you perform well in this role.

Familiarize yourself with common cleaning techniques and tools. Understanding how to properly use cleaning agents and equipment can make your job easier and more efficient.

Employers value workers who take pride in their work and pay attention to detail. Ensuring rooms are spotless and well-organized will help you excel in housekeeping.

Housekeeping can sometimes be a thankless job, but maintaining a positive attitude can make it more enjoyable. Being friendly and cooperative with colleagues and guests can also lead to better job satisfaction.

For more information: Hospitality jobs in Australia

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Australia Backpackers Guide
The ultimate guide to work and travel around Australia with a Working Holiday Visa! Get all the tips and advice from other backpackers. The first travel guide written by Backpackers for Backpackers in Australia!!!


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