Domestic assistants are also known commonly as housekeepers and they work in private homes doing a variety of different jobs for the family which employs them. Some employees may work for one family as a live-in assistant doing many different jobs within the household. Others may work for a number of households, visiting each one once or twice a week. In other cases, assistants will be given households to work with through social services where parents may be ill or absent.
The day-to-day duties of a domestic assistant will depend on their employer. Some will look after children, taking them to school and picking them up, dressing and bathing them. They may also be responsible for the household work including the overall cleaning of the house, laundry, ironing and making of beds. Some assistants may also act as cooks preparing breakfasts and evening meals for the family.
There are no minimum educational requirements to become a domestic assistant. They should have a working knowledge of how home appliances work and be able to clean houses and wash clothes. Those wanting to increase their skills within this sector can take courses in subjects such as food service, child development and consumer studies in community colleges, from social services agencies and at vocational schools.
The working conditions of a domestic assistant will vary greatly due to the fact that employers and their households will vary greatly. Those who work for social services agencies will typically work in far less pleasant surroundings than domestic assistants who work and live in private homes. The work may often be physically demanding and may require lifting heavy objects when cleaning or shopping. Working hours also differ, with live-in assistants working longer hours. They will often start work before breakfast and finish once the children are in bed in the evening. They will get time off during the week, however.
Finding a job
The best way to find a job as a domestic assistant is to register with one of the many employment agencies across the country. Jobs are also advertised in the classified section of newspapers. Candidates can also opt to to apply to firms that offer housekeeping services to families. Once assistants have been in the industry for a while and gained experience and a good reputation, word of mouth often means work comes to them.
The salary of a domestic assistant will depend on where the job is located, the individual's experience and the number of hours they put in. According to State University, in 2010 the average salary of a domestic assistant is £10,985 with many receiving free meals, transportation costs and free accommodation. Some may also get benefits such as health insurance and pension plans, although this is up to the employer.