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Become A Custodian

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Working As A Custodian

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

  • $18,845

    Average Salary

What Does A Custodian 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 Custodian

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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Custodian Demographics

Gender

Male

59.9%

Female

38.4%

Unknown

1.7%
Ethnicity

White

63.7%

Hispanic or Latino

16.3%

Black or African American

10.6%

Asian

6.1%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

70.9%

French

4.4%

German

3.6%

Japanese

2.6%

Chinese

2.4%

Polish

2.3%

Mandarin

1.9%

Italian

1.8%

Russian

1.7%

Carrier

1.7%

Arabic

1.7%

Portuguese

1.5%

Swedish

0.6%

Vietnamese

0.5%

Greek

0.5%

Cantonese

0.4%

Hmong

0.4%

Filipino

0.4%

Thai

0.4%

Nepali

0.4%
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Custodian Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

15.4%

Brigham Young University

8.8%

Brigham Young University - Idaho

5.8%

Weber State University

5.7%

Liberty University

5.5%

Ultimate Medical Academy - Clearwater

5.2%

Ashford University

4.9%

Kaplan University

4.7%

Utah State University

4.5%

Michigan State University

4.2%

Lansing Community College

4.1%

Grand Canyon University

3.9%

Kirkwood Community College

3.8%

Utah Valley University

3.8%

American InterContinental University

3.5%

University of Northern Iowa

3.4%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.3%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

3.2%

Henry Ford College

3.0%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

3.0%
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Majors

Business

21.6%

Criminal Justice

9.6%

General Studies

9.4%

Accounting

5.2%

Health Care Administration

5.0%

Psychology

4.8%

Liberal Arts

4.1%

Medical Assisting Services

4.1%

Computer Science

4.1%

Nursing

4.0%

Communication

3.6%

Automotive Technology

3.3%

Education

3.3%

Graphic Design

2.9%

Information Technology

2.7%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.7%

English

2.6%

Management

2.5%

Computer Information Systems

2.3%

Biology

2.2%
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Degrees

Other

43.1%

Bachelors

24.7%

Associate

17.4%

Certificate

8.0%

Diploma

3.1%

Masters

3.0%

License

0.5%

Doctorate

0.2%
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Custodian Videos

Extra Credits - So You Want To Be a Game Designer - Career Advice for Making Games

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Real Custodian Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Church Custodian United Methodist Korean Church of Central Queens NY Oct 28, 2016 $44,366
Church Custodian Roman Catholic Church of The Korean Martyrs Saddle Brook, NJ Oct 23, 2007 $35,479
Custodian Jg Tree Corp DBA Perfect Cut Tree Service Pomona, NY Mar 04, 2010 $29,740
Custodian Akambi Management, LLC. Port Saint Lucie, FL Oct 05, 2007 $26,881
Custodian Guetterman Motors Inc. Cairo, IL Sep 30, 2016 $25,461
Custodian Tan Management, Inc. Upland, CA Oct 08, 2009 $16,696

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Top Skills for A Custodian

  1. Building Floors
  2. Public Restrooms
  3. Bathroom Fixtures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Clean building floors by sweeping, mopping, scrubbing and vacuuming and empty trash as well as service and clean restrooms.
  • Sanitized/dusted/cleaned common recreational areas-Sanitized/dusted/cleaned public restrooms-Sanitized/dusted/cleaned lunch rooms
  • Washed and sanitized bathroom fixtures daily with germicidal solution.
  • Vacuum the student halls, clean the bathrooms, dispose of trash, clean windows, and detail any needed areas.
  • Lock up city hall Clean all public works offices Empty trash cans Sweep and mop floors Polish desks Clean bathrooms

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Top Custodian Employers

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Custodian Videos

Extra Credits - So You Want To Be a Game Designer - Career Advice for Making Games

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