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Become A Cleaner/Shifter

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Working As A Cleaner/Shifter

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

  • $19,601

    Average Salary

What Does A Cleaner/Shifter 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/Shifter

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/Shifter Jobs

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Cleaner/Shifter Typical Career Paths

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Do you work as a Cleaner/Shifter?

Cleaner/Shifter Demographics

Gender

Female

52.8%

Male

47.2%
Ethnicity

White

63.8%

Black or African American

14.3%

Hispanic or Latino

13.4%

Unknown

5.1%

Asian

3.4%
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Languages Spoken

Somali

100.0%

Cleaner/Shifter Education

Schools

University of New Orleans

5.6%

State University of New York Buffalo

5.6%

Remington College-Cleveland Campus

5.6%

Niagara County Community College

5.6%

University of Pittsburgh -

5.6%

University of Phoenix

5.6%

Clarion County Career Center Practical Nursing Program

5.6%

State University of New York College at Cortland

5.6%

Southern Maine Community College

5.6%

Pasadena City College

5.6%

Prince George's Community College

5.6%

U.S. Career Institute

5.6%

San Joaquin Delta College

5.6%

Muskegon Community College

5.6%

Fresno City College

5.6%

Montgomery College

5.6%

Graceland University

5.6%

Gaston College

5.6%
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Majors

Computer Science

8.0%

Health Education

8.0%

Medical Assisting Services

8.0%

Health Care Administration

8.0%

Information Technology

8.0%

Somatic Bodywork

4.0%

International Business

4.0%

Hospitality Management

4.0%

Business Communications

4.0%

Liberal Arts

4.0%

Computer Networking

4.0%

Nursing Assistants

4.0%

Criminal Justice

4.0%

Computer Technical Support

4.0%

Kinesiology

4.0%

Property Management

4.0%

Curriculum And Instruction

4.0%

Nursing

4.0%

Legal Support Services

4.0%

Criminology

4.0%
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Degrees

Other

52.0%

Associate

16.0%

Diploma

12.0%

Masters

8.0%

Certificate

4.0%

License

4.0%

Bachelors

4.0%
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Top Skills for A Cleaner/Shifter

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  1. Unusual Conditions
  2. Transmission Fluid
  3. Fuel Systems
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Reported conspicuous visible damages and unusual conditions warranting corrective action.
  • Performed duties in conformance with safety, environmental, and maintenance practices and procedures.
  • Cleaned and washed interiors and exteriors of vehicles, manually and/or with automatic equipment.
  • Removed debris from inside the vehicles, inspected for personal property left in vehicles, and released to proper authority.

How Would You Rate Working As a Cleaner/Shifter?

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Top Cleaner/Shifter Employers

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Jobs From Top Cleaner/Shifter Employers

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