Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Brian Kelly from BioPharmachem Ireland to give some advice for people considering this job:

Brian Kelly

Science Entrepreneur

BioPharmachem Ireland

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Brian Kelly
Go for it!  But realise that its not going to be easy and things take time and there are LOTS of sacrifices to make. Also make sure you learn from your mistakes - because you will make them. It is really only a mistake if you don't learn from it.

Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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Domestic Services Manager

Job Zone

These occupations usually require a Leaving Certificate or equivalent.

Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, jobs requiring you to deal with the public would benefit from previous experience working directly with the public.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, retail salespersons and tellers.

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At a Glance... header image

Domestic services managers oversee the cleaning and maintenance of large residences. They work in places like universities, hospitals, nursing homes or hotels.

Videos & Interviews header image

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The Work header image

Domestic services managers make sure that places like hospitals, universities and colleges, residential homes, schools and hotels are clean and well maintained. The title of the job varies depending on where it takes place. They are known as 'housekeepers' in the hotel industry and 'domestic bursars' in places like university halls of residence. The duties are very similar, despite the variations in title.  
Domestic services managers must have a good understanding of the equipment and techniques that are used to do the cleaning, even though they don't do it themselves. They are responsible for the materials and equipment used, and must keep up-to-date with new technology.  
Many domestic services managers work in hospitals and organise teams of workers who keep the inside of the building clean and in good condition. For obvious reasons, hygiene and the control of pests are important factors in hospitals. Other duties may include:

  • organising laundry services
  • arranging repairs
  • organising and maintaining furnishings and interior decorations
  • allocating living accommodation in hospitals to medical and nursing staff
  • high risk cleaning, for example, operating theatres

Domestic services managers organise work rotas, and train, supervise and check the work of the domestic staff. They are usually responsible for taking on new staff, so need to be confident in personnel and industrial relations matters. They are required to provide a socially acceptable environment for the public. They are involved in preserving fabric, fittings and furnishings.  
Domestic services managers often work within a tight budget, and have to find the most cost-effective way of organising staff and providing an efficient service.  
Managers sometimes live in their place of work, so they can be on call at all times. Their main aim is to provide an appropriate standard of service in the most efficient and cost effective way.

Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation


Plan and prepare employee work schedules.


Coordinate activities with other departments to ensure that services are provided in an efficient and timely manner.


Inspect work performed to ensure that it meets specifications and established standards.


Perform or assist with cleaning duties as necessary.


Confer with staff to resolve performance and personnel problems, and to discuss company policies.


Establish and implement operational standards and procedures for the departments supervised.


Investigate complaints about service and equipment, and take corrective action.


Maintain required records of work hours, budgets, payrolls, and other information.


Inspect and evaluate the physical condition of facilities to determine the type of work required.


Check and maintain equipment to ensure that it is in working order.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.


Handling and Moving Objects: Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.


Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others: Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.


Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work: Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.


Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates: Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.


Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.


Scheduling Work and Activities: Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.


Coaching and Developing Others: Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.


Performing General Physical Activities: Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.


Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others: Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.


Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships: Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.


Customer and Personal Service: Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.


Administration and Management: Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.


Education and Training: Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.


English Language: Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.


Personnel and Human Resources: Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.

Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.


Management of Personnel Resources: Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.


Time Management: Managing one's own time and the time of others.


Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.


Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.


Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.


Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.


Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.


Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

You must be up to the physically demanding aspects of the job. Much of the day is spent monitoring work and training staff. You need to have good organisation skills. And you must be capable of dealing with sudden crises calmly and efficiently. You must also have good delegation skills.  
It is also important to be a good team builder. You need to win the confidence of the staff many of whom are low paid. You must keep the staff motivated and make sure that they understand the need for high standards.

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Fáilte Ireland
Address: Amiens Street, Dublin 1
Tel: (01) 884 7700
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Irish Hotels Federation
Address: 13 Northbrook Road, Dublin 6
Tel: 01 497 6459
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Building, Construction & Property

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