Personal care, service, and maintenance jobs

Learn about service and maintenance jobs and the many different kinds of care and service jobs. Read about different careers in personal care and maintenance. Find out what training you need and where to start your job search.

Personal care, service and maintenance jobs are spread over many different industries. But all the jobs provide important services. These jobs include everything from cleaning and property maintenance to hairdressing and looking after children. Many service jobs of this kind do not require certification or higher education. But they are not very well paid.

Personal care, direct services, cleaning and maintenance jobs are all growing fields with lots of work available. There are several reasons for this:

  • The United States population is getting older and needs more care.
  • People are spending more and more time and money on exercise and personal care.
  • People with high incomes are willing to pay other people to do their everyday chores, such as dog walking and shopping.
  • A lot of people do not want to do direct service jobs, such as cleaning and caring for older adults or people with disabilities.
  • Machines and robots cannot easily replace people in many of these jobs.

Which care, service and maintenance job?

There are many paths you can follow in this growing field:

  • Animal caretaker – taking care of pets is an expanding career for people who enjoy being with animals.
  • Attendants – attendants serve and guide the public at theaters, entertainment venues, casinos, and amusement parks.
  • Childcare – demand for childcare workers in daycare centers, schools and private homes is growing.
  • Cosmetologist – taking care of people’s skin and offering all kinds of beauty treatments is a growing industry.
  • Fitness and recreation – fitness instructors and recreation leaders are both growing fields of work.
  • Hair stylist – cutting and styling hair requires training and state-by-state certification.
  • Housekeepers and maids – people who perform cleaning and other domestic tasks in private homes and hotels often have to work unsocial hours.
  • Janitors – people who perform heavier cleaning duties and maintenance in large buildings. This is a job where there are growing numbers of vacancies.
  • Landscapers and gardeners ­– work outside tending and creating yards and larger landscaped areas, such as public parks and areas around large buildings.
  • Manicurist/pedicurist – professional nail workers will require training and some certification.
  • Personal care worker (caregiver) ­– looking after people who need physical help, such as older adults. This is one the fastest-growing occupations.
  • Supervisor – many housekeeping, landscaping and maintenance teams have supervisors or managers who coordinate and monitor their work.

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Are personal service and maintenance jobs right for me?

These jobs are very varied, so one of the many fields may be a good fit for you. You will see from reading the list above that these are not desk jobs. Most of them would suit a person who does not want be in an office or spend a lot of time on a computer. Some of them require a lot of physical work, such as janitor, gardener, and fitness instructor.

Personal care and childcare jobs are not so physical. They suit people who like caring for others and who are patient and kind. Attendant jobs and some office cleaning jobs are good for students or others who need to work in the evening. Hair styling, beauty services, and pet services would be good for a person who wants their own business.

Where do I start?

Ask community organizations

If you are a refugee, you can start by asking your resettlement agency about their employment program. Many resettlement and immigrant organizations have relationships with local employers, such as hotels. Some of them offer work training programs too. Find organizations in your community with FindHello.

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Personal service, cleaning and maintenance jobs do not require any training. For example, a new hotel housekeeper or theater attendant will be trained on the job by a supervisor or coworker.

Find classes near you

Other service and maintenance jobs will require some training. Community colleges offer courses in building and system maintenance are useful for janitors. They also offer courses in landscaping, hairdressing and skin care. Find a community college near you.

Hair and beauty training

There are also many private hair and beauty schools. Look for one that is approved by the American Association of Cosmetology Schools. Nail, hair and beauty professionals must be licensed in their state.

You can find licensing requirements in your state and you can learn more about career paths in hair and beauty.


You don’t need a license to take care of children at home unless you start a childcare business. But an online course and credential may help you find a job. The Red Cross has an advanced child care training course you can do online. You will get a certificate. Learn about Red Cross advanced childcare training online.

What if I am already qualified in another country?

If you have a qualification or a degree from another country, Upwardly Global helps work-authorized immigrants, refugees, asylees, and visa holders restart their professional careers in the United States.

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What else do I need?

Start your job search

If there is no organization to help you, you can start by applying for jobs where workers are in high demand. Government employment centers are free. They offer advice and keep a list of local jobs. They help with resumes and job applications. They can connect you to job training and education. Find your nearest employment center.

We aim to offer easy to understand information that is updated regularly. This information is not legal advice.