Cleaning maids work indoors in private homes, hotels, hospitals and other places to sweep floors, dust furniture and perform other housekeeping chores. Their schedules may cover evenings and weekends so they can do their jobs in rooms and spaces vacated by their occupants. They typically earn their salaries working full-time positions, but may be paid by the hour.
The country’s 894,920 maids earned $21,820 per year, or $10.49 per hour as of May 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The lowest-paid 10 percent made less than $16,430 annually, or $7.90 hourly, while the highest-paid 10 percent received more than $30,980 yearly, or $14.89 per hour. Maid salaries were lower than the national average of $45,790 per year, or $16.71 per hour, for all occupations. In fact, they were even lower than the mean wages of all building and grounds cleaning occupations, which was an annual $25,670, or $12.34 per hour.
Areas with large populations had the best opportunities for maids. Among states, California had the highest number of positions, with 93,920 maids earning a mean $24,420 per year, or $11.74 per hour. Among cities, the most populous New York City topped the employment list with 34,240 maids. It also had the highest maid wages of any metropolitan area, averaging $35,620 yearly, or $17.13 hourly. The next-highest city for pay was San Francisco, California, at a mean annual $33,200, or $15.96 per hour. The high costs of living in both locations affected pay for maids. The state with the best pay was New York at a mean annual $30,960, or $14.89 per hour.
The type of employer affected both job numbers and salaries for maids. Traveler accommodations showed the highest number of workers, with 420,590 maids averaging $21,490 per year, or $10.33 per hour. The highest-paying employers were what the BLS classifies as other financial investment activities, such as portfolio managers and investment advisers. The generally high salaries offered by these employers pushed maid compensation to an annual $36,700, or $17.64 per hour. Two other factors for wages are responsibility and experience. Maids who have experience and show administrative skills can advance to supervisory positions with higher average salaries of $40,500 per year.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects jobs for the profession to grow by 8 percent from 2010 to 2020, which is slower than the average 14 percent predicted for all workers in all U.S. industries. Some demand will come from the hotels built as a growing population travels more. Because many companies contract-out their cleaning services, employment will also increase in cleaning services. Maids with experience will find the best job opportunities.