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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

  • $26,000

    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

62.4%

Female

29.5%

Unknown

8.1%
Ethnicity

White

60.4%

Hispanic or Latino

22.9%

Black or African American

8.0%

Asian

5.5%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

61.0%

German

12.2%

Russian

7.3%

Ukrainian

4.9%

Japanese

4.9%

French

4.9%

Bulgarian

2.4%

Polish

2.4%
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Custodian/Substitute Custodian Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

10.0%

Liberty University

7.3%

Modesto Junior College

6.4%

California State University - Sacramento

6.4%

Spokane Community College

5.5%

The Academy

5.5%

Kent State University

5.5%

Sacramento City College

5.5%

El Camino College

4.5%

Antelope Valley College

4.5%

Brookdale Community College

4.5%

Tidewater Community College

4.5%

Pennsylvania College of Technology

4.5%

Merced College

3.6%

Universal Technical Institute

3.6%

Nassau Community College

3.6%

Atlantic Cape Community College

3.6%

Oakland Community College

3.6%

Charter College

3.6%

Imperial Valley College

3.6%
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Majors

Business

18.3%

Criminal Justice

9.8%

General Studies

7.3%

Psychology

6.7%

Computer Science

5.1%

Medical Assisting Services

4.9%

Liberal Arts

4.7%

Education

4.4%

Accounting

4.4%

Communication

3.8%

Graphic Design

3.8%

Electrical Engineering

3.6%

Automotive Technology

3.4%

Information Technology

3.3%

General Education, Specific Areas

3.1%

Health Care Administration

2.9%

Nursing

2.7%

History

2.7%

Computer Networking

2.7%

Drafting And Design

2.4%
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Degrees

Other

41.7%

Associate

21.3%

Bachelors

20.8%

Certificate

9.1%

Diploma

3.5%

Masters

2.4%

License

1.0%

Doctorate

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$26,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$17,000
Min 10%
$26,000
Median 50%
$26,000
Median 50%
$26,000
Median 50%
$26,000
Median 50%
$26,000
Median 50%
$26,000
Median 50%
$26,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Max 90%
Highest Paying City
Billings, MT
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
1.8 years
How much does a Custodian/Substitute Custodian make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Custodian/Substitute Custodian in the United States is $26,354 per year or $13 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $17,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $39,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Custodian/Substitute Custodian?

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Top Skills for A Custodian/Substitute Custodian

  1. Classroom Management
  2. Public Restrooms
  3. Bathroom Items
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Cleaned public restrooms, including scrubbing sinks, toilets, countertops and mirrors.
  • 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.
  • Position Responsibilities: Maintain the cleanliness of the classrooms, bathrooms, hallways, office, cafeteria, and kitchen.
  • Report to second shift to vacuum, mop, dust, clean bathrooms and outside of building.

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

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