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Become A Custodian/Substitute Custodian

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Working As A Custodian/Substitute 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

  • $19,601

    Average Salary

What Does A Custodian/Substitute 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/Substitute 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/Substitute Custodian Demographics

Gender

Male

66.4%

Female

31.9%

Unknown

1.7%
Ethnicity

White

64.0%

Hispanic or Latino

18.5%

Black or African American

8.1%

Asian

5.8%

Unknown

3.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

47.4%

German

21.1%

Japanese

10.5%

Bulgarian

5.3%

French

5.3%

Russian

5.3%

Polish

5.3%
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Custodian/Substitute Custodian Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

9.1%

Liberty University

9.1%

Modesto Junior College

7.6%

California State University - Sacramento

6.1%

Pennsylvania College of Technology

4.5%

Kent State University

4.5%

Antelope Valley College

4.5%

College of the Sequoias

4.5%

Reedley College

4.5%

Barstow Community College

4.5%

Johnson & Wales University

4.5%

Lake Superior State University

4.5%

Kaplan University

4.5%

Tidewater Community College

4.5%

University of Pittsburgh -

4.5%

Long Beach City College

4.5%

University of New Mexico

4.5%

Spokane Community College

3.0%

Merced College

3.0%

Clark College

3.0%
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Majors

Business

16.9%

Criminal Justice

8.6%

General Studies

8.3%

Psychology

7.2%

Education

6.5%

Medical Assisting Services

5.8%

Communication

5.0%

Liberal Arts

4.0%

Computer Science

3.6%

Electrical Engineering

3.6%

Health Care Administration

3.6%

Graphic Design

3.6%

English

3.2%

History

3.2%

Computer Information Systems

3.2%

Drafting And Design

2.9%

Information Technology

2.9%

Accounting

2.9%

Culinary Arts

2.5%

Early Childhood Education

2.5%
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Degrees

Other

43.2%

Bachelors

20.9%

Associate

19.6%

Certificate

8.7%

Diploma

3.4%

Masters

3.2%

License

0.6%

Doctorate

0.4%
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Top Skills for A Custodian/Substitute Custodian

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  1. Vacuum Classrooms
  2. Bathroom Fixtures
  3. Public Restrooms
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Trash and vacuum classrooms, clean restrooms, secure school sites.
  • Clean all areas of the school by emptying trash, sweeping, mopping, scrubbing bathroom fixtures and using floor scrubbers.
  • Empty out all trash cans in classrooms, offices, and multipurpose room.
  • Empty trash containers, sanitize desks and tables, vacuum, sweep and mop floors in classrooms.
  • Clean classrooms, clean and sanitize bathrooms, set up and take down/ clean after sporting events,

How Would You Rate Working As a Custodian/Substitute Custodian?

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Top Custodian/Substitute Custodian Employers

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