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Become A Cleaner

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Working As A Cleaner

  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • $17,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Cleaner Do

Janitors and building cleaners keep many types of buildings clean, orderly, and in good condition.

Duties

Janitors and building cleaners typically do the following:

  • Gather and empty trash
  • Sweep, mop, or vacuum building floors
  • Clean restrooms and stock them with supplies
  • Lock doors to secure buildings
  • Clean spills and other hazards with appropriate equipment
  • Wash windows, walls, and glass
  • Order cleaning supplies
  • Make minor building repairs
  • Notify managers when a building needs major repairs

Janitors and building cleaners keep office buildings, schools, hospitals, retail stores, hotels, and other places clean, sanitary, and in good condition. Some only clean, while others have a wide range of duties.

In addition to keeping the inside of buildings clean and orderly, some janitors and building cleaners work outdoors, mowing lawns, sweeping walkways, and removing snow. Some workers also monitor the building’s heating and cooling system, ensuring that it functions properly.

Janitors and building cleaners use many tools and equipment. Simple cleaning tools may include mops, brooms, rakes, and shovels. Other tools may include snowblowers, floor buffers, and carpet extraction equipment.

Some janitors are responsible for repairing minor electrical or plumbing problems, such as leaky faucets.

The following are examples of types of janitors and building cleaners:

Building superintendents are responsible for maintaining residential buildings, such as apartments and condominiums. Although their duties are similar to those of other janitors, some building superintendents also help collect rent and show vacancies to potential tenants.

Custodians are janitors or cleaning workers who typically maintain institutional facilities, such as public schools and hospitals.

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How To Become A Cleaner

Most janitors and building cleaners learn on the job. Formal education is not required.

Education

Janitors and building cleaners do not need any formal educational credential. However, high school courses in shop can be helpful for jobs involving repair work.

Training

Most janitors and building cleaners learn on the job. Beginners typically work with a more experienced janitor, learning how to use and maintain equipment such as vacuums, floor buffers, and other tools. On the job, they also learn how to repair minor electrical and plumbing problems.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although not required, certification is available through the Building Service Contractors Association International, the International Executive Housekeepers Association, and ISSA—The International Sanitary Supply Association. Certification can demonstrate competence and may make applicants more appealing to employers.

Important Qualities

Interpersonal skills. Janitors and building cleaners should get along well with their supervisors, other cleaners, and the people who live or work in the buildings they clean.

Mechanical skills. Janitors and building cleaners should understand general building operations. They should be able to make routine repairs, such as repairing leaky faucets. 

Physical stamina. Janitors and building cleaners spend most of their workday on their feet, operating cleaning equipment and lifting and moving supplies or tools. As a result, they should have good physical stamina.

Physical strength. Janitors and building cleaners often must lift and move cleaning materials and heavy equipment. Cases of liquid cleaner and trash receptacles, for example, can be very heavy, so workers should be strong enough to lift them without injuring their back.

Time-management skills. Janitors and building cleaners should be able to plan and complete tasks in a timely manner.

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Cleaner Demographics

Gender

Female

52.5%

Male

45.8%

Unknown

1.8%
Ethnicity

White

64.9%

Hispanic or Latino

14.7%

Black or African American

10.9%

Asian

6.3%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

69.2%

French

7.0%

Portuguese

3.4%

Polish

2.8%

Japanese

2.6%

German

2.2%

Mandarin

1.6%

Russian

1.6%

Italian

1.6%

Chinese

1.4%

Arabic

1.1%

Carrier

0.9%

Korean

0.8%

Dakota

0.8%

Cantonese

0.7%

Swahili

0.5%

Vietnamese

0.5%

Greek

0.5%

Swedish

0.4%

Thai

0.4%
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Cleaner Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

18.8%

Kaplan University

7.8%

Ashford University

5.6%

Liberty University

5.4%

Lansing Community College

5.1%

Everest Institute

4.7%

Hudson Valley Community College

4.6%

Community College of Allegheny County

4.4%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.1%

Ultimate Medical Academy - Clearwater

4.1%

Essex County College

4.0%

Grand Rapids Community College

3.9%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

3.6%

Mohawk Valley Community College

3.6%

Onondaga Community College

3.6%

Trident Technical College

3.5%

Strayer University

3.5%

Cuyahoga Community College

3.4%

Henry Ford College

3.1%

Brigham Young University

3.1%
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Majors

Business

20.5%

General Studies

9.1%

Criminal Justice

9.0%

Medical Assisting Services

6.6%

Nursing

6.5%

Health Care Administration

6.2%

Psychology

5.5%

Accounting

3.8%

Nursing Assistants

3.6%

Computer Science

3.5%

Liberal Arts

3.3%

Education

3.2%

Cosmetology

2.9%

Automotive Technology

2.7%

Graphic Design

2.7%

Human Services

2.3%

Communication

2.3%

Culinary Arts

2.2%

English

2.0%

Biology

2.0%
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Degrees

Other

49.4%

Associate

18.0%

Bachelors

17.9%

Certificate

8.3%

Diploma

3.8%

Masters

1.8%

License

0.7%

Doctorate

0.2%
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Real Cleaner Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Cleaner Sagewood Construction & Design Corp. New York, NY Jul 07, 2016 $39,333
Cleaner Marbod Hardwood Floors New York, NY Feb 11, 2015 $37,814
Cleaners Pine Hollow Country Club Inc. East Norwich, NY Apr 01, 2015 $31,347
Cleaner, S Aqvinos Cleaning Service Nantucket, MA Apr 01, 2016 $30,742
Cleaners Pine Hollow Country Club East Norwich, NY Apr 01, 2016 $30,742
Cleaners Finch Group Hotels and Resorts, Inc. Nantucket, MA Apr 26, 2016 $30,742
Cleaners Finch Group Hotels and Resorts, Inc. MA May 01, 2015 $29,218
Cleaner C & S Foundations Waretown, NJ Apr 15, 2015 $28,475
Boat Cleaners Salt Water Services, Inc. Chatham, MA Apr 01, 2016 $28,091
Boat Cleaners Salt Water Services, Inc. Chatham, MA Apr 19, 2016 $28,091
Commercial Cleaner WPC Commercial Cleaning & Painting, Inc. Lexington, MA Mar 05, 2016 $27,872
Cleaners Travis Hospitality, Inc. West Yarmouth, MA May 02, 2016 $27,131
Cleaner Flores Cleaning Services OK Apr 13, 2015 $26,442
Cleaner Fresh Clean Pro LLC Malden, MA May 02, 2016 $25,000
Cleaner Merrifield Garden Center Manassas, VA Jul 20, 2016 $17,680
Cleaner Merrifield Garden Center Fairfax, VA May 13, 2016 $17,680
Cleaner Merrifield Garden Center Merrifield, VA Apr 13, 2016 $17,680
Cleaner Villa Enterprises Management Ltd. Morristown, NJ Jul 23, 2015 $17,493
Residential Cleaner New World Cleaning Services Inc. Falls Church, VA Apr 08, 2016 $17,451
Cleaner JRV Enterprise LLC Towson, MD Oct 03, 2016 $16,967
Commercial Cleaner Defender Services, Inc. Anderson, SC Dec 29, 2016 $16,946

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AVERAGE SALARY FOR A Cleaner

Average Yearly Salary
$17,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$10,000
Min 10%
$17,000
Median 50%
$17,000
Median 50%
$17,000
Median 50%
$17,000
Median 50%
$17,000
Median 50%
$17,000
Median 50%
$17,000
Median 50%
$30,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Archer Daniels Midland
Highest Paying City
Portland, OR
Highest Paying State
Hawaii
Avg Experience Level
2.0 years
How much does a Cleaner make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Cleaner in the United States is $17,754 per year or $9 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $10,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $30,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Cleaner?

Have you worked as a Cleaner? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as a Cleaner.

Top Skills for A Cleaner

  1. Building Floors
  2. Bathroom Items
  3. Window Sills
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Gather and empty trash and bins, clean cafeterias, clean building floors by sweeping, mopping, or vacuuming them.
  • Sanitized restrooms, showers & locker rooms as well as restocking necessary bathroom items & toiletries.
  • Dust buff and scrub floors mop dust furniture window sills fixtures move and lift furniture as required sweep trash restrooms
  • Sanitized and disinfected all public restrooms.
  • Assisted in cleaning furnace, air handlers, duct work, and return vents in residential and office buildings.

How Would You Rate Working As a Cleaner?

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Cleaners

  1. Nevada
  2. Alaska
  3. Vermont
  4. Wyoming
  5. Maine
  6. Montana
  7. Washington
  8. Minnesota
  9. Hawaii
  10. New Hampshire
  • (270 jobs)
  • (53 jobs)
  • (70 jobs)
  • (58 jobs)
  • (134 jobs)
  • (212 jobs)
  • (509 jobs)
  • (495 jobs)
  • (111 jobs)
  • (168 jobs)

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