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Become A Custodian Worker

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Working As A Custodian Worker

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

  • $23,440

    Average Salary

What Does A Custodian Worker 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 Worker

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 Worker jobs

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Average Length of Employment
Senior Custodian 4.8 years
Lead Custodian 3.6 years
Building Custodian 3.6 years
Custodian 2.6 years
Office Cleaner 2.5 years
Building Cleaner 2.4 years
Service Cleaner 2.1 years
Custodian Worker 2.0 years
Cleaner 2.0 years
Day Porter 1.9 years
Janitor 1.9 years
Porter 1.7 years
General Cleaner 1.7 years
Student Custodian 1.6 years
Sweeper 1.4 years
Top Employers Before
Cashier 15.9%
Custodian 10.3%
Cleaner 6.6%
Janitor 5.1%
Cook 3.3%
Supervisor 3.3%
Waitress 2.4%
Top Employers After
Custodian 14.2%
Cleaner 9.2%
Cashier 7.0%
Cook 4.1%
Janitor 3.7%
Driver 3.5%

Custodian Worker Demographics

Gender

Male

52.5%

Female

45.2%

Unknown

2.2%
Ethnicity

White

81.2%

Hispanic or Latino

11.1%

Asian

5.9%

Unknown

1.3%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

66.7%

Russian

8.3%

Swedish

4.2%

Portuguese

4.2%

Bulgarian

4.2%

German

4.2%

Bosnian

4.2%

Japanese

4.2%
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Custodian Worker Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

9.0%

Ashford University

7.5%

Brigham Young University - Idaho

6.0%

Allan Hancock College

6.0%

Greenville Technical College

6.0%

Henry Ford College

6.0%

Wayne County Community College District

4.5%

Brigham Young University

4.5%

Lansing Community College

4.5%

Columbus State Community College

4.5%

Everest Institute

4.5%

Ogeechee Technical College

4.5%

Sierra College

4.5%

Delgado Community College

4.5%

Nova Southeastern University

4.5%

Santa Fe College

4.5%

Anne Arundel Community College

4.5%

Sinclair Community College

4.5%

Walla Walla Community College

3.0%

Wayne State University

3.0%
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Majors

Business

18.4%

General Studies

11.0%

Criminal Justice

9.9%

Computer Science

6.3%

Health Care Administration

5.8%

Medical Assisting Services

5.5%

Nursing Assistants

5.2%

Nursing

4.9%

Psychology

4.9%

Accounting

4.9%

Cosmetology

2.7%

Education

2.7%

Culinary Arts

2.5%

English

2.5%

Graphic Design

2.5%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.2%

Liberal Arts

2.2%

Computer Information Systems

2.2%

Precision Metal Working

1.9%

Early Childhood Education

1.9%
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Degrees

Other

48.1%

Associate

18.2%

Bachelors

16.0%

Certificate

9.8%

Diploma

5.1%

Masters

2.1%

License

0.6%

Doctorate

0.2%
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Top Skills for A Custodian Worker

SanitizeRestroomsWindowSillsMopFloorsOfficeBuildingsClassRoomsEmptyTrashCleanOfficesBuildingFloorsWAXFloorsJanitorialCleanBathroomsCleanRestroomsBuffFloorsLockerRoomsCleanWindowsGlassPartitionsCustomerServiceLightBulbsTrashRemovalCleanClassrooms

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Top Custodian Worker Skills

  1. Sanitize Restrooms
  2. Window Sills
  3. Mop Floors
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Clean and sanitize restrooms using established practices and procedure refill restroom dispensers.
  • Cleaned and dusted cobwebs on light fixtures, baseboards and window sills.
  • Clean building in power plant area ....fill cleaning dispenser.......clean restrooms mop floors clean cabinet take out trash
  • Provided a wide range of custodial services for various areas of office buildings.
  • ResponsibilitiesCleaned class rooms disinfecting and general cleaning.

Top Custodian Worker Employers

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Custodian Worker Videos

Career Advice on becoming a Caretaker / Groundsman by Rob N (Full Version)

A Day in the Life of a Correctional Officer

Office Cleaning Training Video

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