Janitorial Work

To become a Janitor-Cleaner you are able to operate janitorial equipment properly and safely. To discover if this career is for you, take one of our quizzes.

Most janitorial companies operate during normal business hours or offer their services specifically during off-hours throughout the week. Some companies may also offer weekend hours. Either way, you can expect to work about 40 hours per week on average.

Janitor-Cleaner Salary

  • Average Annual Salary: $23,250
  • Projected Lifetime Earnings: $951,000

Janitor-Cleaner – Education

Janitors and building cleaners are not required to have any formal educational, but having a high school or equivalent diploma may come in very handy for jobs involving some level of critical thinking and repair work. The majority of janitors and building cleaners are learning the details and routines on the job.

In general, beginners will be guided by experienced janitors who will teach them how to use and take care of equipment such as floor buffers, vacuums, and various other tools. They will also learn how to deal with minor electrical repair jobs and plumbing issues. See if this field may be something for you and take a career fitness test for free!

Janitor-Cleaner – The Job

Janitors and cleaners are generally performing a range of maintenance and cleaning duties. Exact assignments and duties of these professionals are not definite, and they are required to be highly flexible to be able to do everything that’s expected of them. They are responsible for keeping areas tidy and clean, for removing trash and debris, and for cleaning buildings or keeping them in an orderly and clean condition.

Sometimes they need to perform some pretty heavy cleaning tasks, like vacuuming and buffing floors, shampooing carpets, washing walls and windows, cleaning snow or trash from sidewalks, or emptying trash cans. Their duties may also include tending boilers and furnaces, and usually, they perform routine maintenance jobs and they will inform the management when repairs are required.

In 2014, there were some 2.4 janitors and building cleaners in the U.S. Around 15 percent were working in an elementary and secondary school, some 35 percent were working in service industry-related buildings and dwelling, and the rest held jobs in a huge variety of industries. Most building cleaners and are working indoors, but sometimes their work requires outdoors duties such as mowing lawns, sweeping walkways or shoveling snow in winter. Most of the time they perform their duties standing, walking, or bending, due to the nature of their work that involves cleaning.

Injuries and illnesses

Sometimes janitors and cleaners are required to lift or move or heavy equipment or supplies, and as a consequence, their work can be very strenuous on their backs, arms, or legs. Some of their duties may be unpleasant and dirty, as they frequently are required to clean restrooms and clear out trash areas. Among janitors and building cleaners, we can see, of all employment sectors, the highest rate of illnesses and injuries.

They often are suffering bruises, minor cuts, or burns caused by tools or machines, and they usually have to work with chemicals as well. Consequently, there is a tendency to require more and more safety and efficiency training for these professionals.

Work schedules

We see that the majority of janitors and building cleaners have full-time positions, but the last years, we can see a significant number of them that are part-time employed. Janitors working at schools are usually working day time jobs, while office building cleaners work evening shifts because then these buildings are empty so they can perform their tasks undisturbed. There are situations, specifically in hotels and hospitals, that there must be 24/7 maintenance, and in those situations, janitors, maintenance workers, and cleaners will be working in shifts.

Career outlook and earnings

Mostly, building cleaners and janitors will learn their profession on the job, so a formal education is not really required. However, increasingly we can see that a high school or GED test diploma is required. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (LBS) expects the job prospects to be pretty favorable for these professionals, and the ones having the most experience are expected to have the best chances. In 2014, janitors and cleaners had an average hourly income of around $11,21 and their median income was around $23,250 per year.

Here is a small compilation of tasks that usually come with the profession of a janitor and building cleaner. Their tasks include, but are not limited to:
cleaning building floors by mopping, sweeping, scrubbing, or vacuuming. Gathering and emptying trash and debris, servicing, cleaning, and supplying restrooms, cleaning and polishing furniture and fixtures, cleaning windows, mirrors, glass partitions, and using soap and water, sponges, other cleaners, and squeegees.

They can be found dusting machines, furniture, walls, and equipment, and they are often busy maintaining or making small repairs and adjustments to electrical or ventilation systems, to heating or cooling installations, or plumbing. They frequently are required to apply detergents or acids for cleaning purposes, and shampoo or steam-clean carpets.

They must often polish floors, clean or restore the interiors of buildings when they are damaged by smoke, fire, or water. Clean chimneys and connecting pipes are regular tasks where they will be using hand and power tools and they can be working in a variety of settings, such as labs, hotels, hospitals, or elderly homes.

Janitors and cleaners may have several great titles, such as Airport Attendant, Building Superintendent, Custodian, Janitor, Maintenance Supervisor, Cleaning Technician, Environmental Specialist, Furnace Operator, Project Crew Worker, and so on.