Housekeeper Shortage in Palm Beach Pushes Salaries to $150,000

Staffing businesses report that housekeepers in Palm Beach and South Florida are in high demand due to the rising pay of over $150,000 and the increasing frequency of bidding battles between mansion owners.

The exodus of wealthy individuals from high-tax jurisdictions like New York to Florida has resulted in a surge in the need for domestic help in affluent communities throughout the state, particularly in Palm Beach.

Staffing companies report a rise in demand for butlers (now known as “hospitality managers” or “estate managers”), nannies, cooks, drivers, and personal security.

The largest issue facing affluent homeowners, though, is the lack of housekeepers. Numerous affluent immigrants to Florida purchased large homes, which now require housekeeping services. Businesses, hotels, and resorts are competing for cleaning personnel as well.

The outcome: According to various authorities, the average wage for housekeepers has increased dramatically from roughly $25 per hour in 2020 to $45 or $50 per hour now.

“I have been placing staff for 30 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this,” April Berube, founder of The Wellington Agency stated. “We’ve seen such a boom from people relocating, especially Palm Beach and Miami.”

Housekeepers in Palm Beach who have worked in affluent households for a while usually make between $120,000 and $150,000 a year, with benefits like overtime and 401(k) plans.

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“For housekeepers it’s wonderful,” Berube stated. “For us it’s extremely difficult. It’s a severe shortage.”

The founder of Lily Pond Services, Melissa Psitos, reported that she recently worked with a customer in Florida who was looking to pay $75,000 a year for a maid.
They ultimately paid $110,000, which was fair given the state of the market. Even more can be earned by executive housekeepers, who frequently assist in supervising a team of other housekeepers and laundresses.
According to Psitos, she is aware of a head housekeeper in Palm Beach who travels with the family to their other residences and earns a salary of $250,000 annually, including overtime.
“There is just not enough supply,” she stated.

Homeowners who are rich now frequently engage in bidding wars. “Help Wanted” signs are being posted by staffing agencies in West Palm Beach and online. Customers are becoming more irritated.

“At first they’re in shock, and they say, ‘No way I’m paying that,'” Berube stated. “It’s even uncomfortable for me to give them the numbers. But when they try to hire someone for less, with less experience, they almost always come back to us and say, ‘I learned my lesson. We are willing to pay for the experience.'”

According to Berube, housekeepers for the wealthy require a very specific set of abilities. These include knowing how to go about a home stealthily, how to gently clean fine paintings, cutlery, and antiques, and how to wash and press delicate linens.

Berube stated that because there are so few competent applicants, she is considering opening a school to provide upscale cleaning training and increase the number of housekeepers.


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