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Domestic cleaner

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Summary of occupation

​Domestic cleaners tidy and clean the private homes of their clients. Their duties usually include vacuuming, dusting, sweeping, mopping and emptying bins, sanitising bathrooms, laundries and kitchens, and maintaining cleanliness in other areas of the household as defined by their client. The specific cleaning tasks they undertake will depend on their clients’ needs and requirements.

Domestic cleaners may provide cleaning services for a range of residential clients, such as people with busy lifestyles or who work long hours, the elderly or people with disabilities.

ANZSCO description: Cleans and tidies private dwellings such as houses, units, flats, apartments and townhouses.
Alternative names: Residential cleaner
Job prospects: Average
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

​A domestic cleaner needs: 

  • to be trustworthy and reliable
  • to enjoy practical work
  • an awareness of safety requirements, including the proper use and storage of chemicals
  • to have high standards and adopt a thorough and methodical approach
  • good time management skills
  • to be able to work independently, and as part of a team.
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Working conditions

​Domestic cleaners may work alone or as part of a team. They may work for large national cleaning companies or small family-operated companies. Domestic cleaners may have consistent work with regular clients daily, weekly or fortnightly, or they may have one-off placements, such as rent inspections or end-of-lease cleaning. They travel from one residence to the next, and their working hours may be irregular.

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Salary details

On average, domestic cleaners who work the equivalent of a full time week can expect to earn up to $799 per week ($41 599 per year) depending on the organisation they work for.

Many domestic cleaners run their own small business. Earnings will depend on the level of demand for their services, as well as their level of skill and experience.

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Tools and technologies

​Domestic cleaners use appliances and implements such as vacuum cleaners, mops and dusters. They may use chemical cleaning agents and are required to wear appropriate protective equipment such as gloves and facemasks.

Domestic cleaners generally use mobile phones to make their work arrangements. They also need to know how to use house alarms and security systems.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a domestic cleaner without any formal qualifications. Employers will usually provide training on the job.

To work as a domestic cleaner you usually need to obtain a National Police Certificate. You may also need to hold a current drivers licence and possess your own vehicle.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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