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Working as an Equipment Cleaner

What Does an Equipment Cleaner Do

Hand laborers and material movers manually move freight, stock, or other materials. Others feed or remove material to or from machines, clean vehicles, pick up unwanted household goods, and pack materials for moving.

Duties

Hand laborers and material movers typically do the following:

  • Manually move material from one place to another
  • Pack or wrap products by hand
  • Keep a record of the material they move
  • Signal machine operators who help move material
  • Clean cars, equipment, and workplaces

In warehouses and wholesale and retail operations, hand laborers and material movers work closely with material moving machine operators and material recording clerks. Some workers are employed in manufacturing industries, where they load material onto conveyor belts or other machines.

Cleaners of vehicles and equipment wash automobiles and other vehicles, as well as storage tanks, pipelines, and related machinery. They use cleaning products, vacuums, hoses, and brushes. Most of these workers clean cars at a car wash, an automobile dealership, or a rental agency. Some clean industrial equipment at manufacturing firms. Some—for example, those who work at a car wash—interact with customers.

Hand laborers and freight, stock, and material movers move materials to and from storage and production areas, loading docks, delivery trucks, ships, and containers. Although their specific duties may vary, most of these movers, often called pickers, work in warehouses. Some workers retrieve products from storage and move them to loading areas. Other workers load and unload cargo from a truck. When moving a package, pickers keep track of the package number, sometimes with a hand-held scanner, to ensure proper delivery. Sometimes they open containers and sort the material.

Hand packers and packagers package a variety of materials by hand. They may label cartons, inspect items for defects, and keep records of items packed. Some of these workers pack materials for shipment and move them to a loading dock. Many hand packers are employed by grocery stores, where they bag groceries for customers at checkout.

Machine feeders and offbearers process materials by feeding them into equipment or by removing them from equipment. The equipment is generally operated by other workers, such as material moving machine operators. Machine feeders and offbearers help the operator if the machine becomes jammed or needs minor repairs. Machine feeders track the amount of material they process during a shift.

Refuse and recyclable material collectors gather garbage and recyclables from homes and businesses to transport to a dump, landfill, or recycling center. Many collectors lift garbage cans by hand and empty them into their truck. Some collectors drive the garbage or recycling truck along a scheduled route. When collecting materials from a dumpster, drivers use a hydraulic lift to empty the contents of the dumpster into their truck.

How To Become an Equipment Cleaner

Formal education is not usually required to become a hand laborer or material mover. Employers typically require only that applicants be physically able to perform the work.

Education

There are no formal education requirements to become a hand laborer or material mover.

Training

Most positions for hand laborers and material movers require less than 1 month of on-the-job training. Some workers need only a few days of training, and most training is done by a supervisor or a more experienced worker who decides when trainees are ready to work on their own.

Workers learn safety rules as part of their training. Many of these rules are standardized through the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Refuse and recyclable material collectors who drive trucks that exceed a certain capacity—such as vehicles with the combined weight of the vehicle, passengers, and cargo exceeding 26,000 pounds—must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Obtaining a CDL requires passing written, skill, and vision tests.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. Hand laborers and material movers who work with the public, such as grocery baggers or car wash attendants, must be pleasant and courteous to customers.

Hand–eye coordination. Most hand laborers and material movers use their arms and hands to manipulate objects or move objects into specific positions.

Listening skills. Hand laborers and material movers follow instructions that a supervisor gives them.

Physical stamina. Hand laborers and material movers need the endurance to perform strenuous tasks, such as moving or cleaning objects, throughout the day.

Physical strength. Some workers must be able to lift and carry heavy objects.

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Average Salary$24,516
Job Growth Rate4%

Equipment Cleaner Jobs

Average Salary for an Equipment Cleaner

Equipment Cleaners in America make an average salary of $24,516 per year or $12 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $29,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $20,000 per year.
Average Salary
$24,516

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
San Fernando, CA
Salary Range24k - 37k$30k$30,339
Plainview, NY
Salary Range23k - 36k$29k$29,383
Lakewood, CO
Salary Range23k - 33k$28k$27,934
Wallingford, CT
Salary Range21k - 32k$27k$26,742
Easton, PA
Salary Range21k - 33k$27k$26,547
Prescott, AZ
Salary Range21k - 32k$26k$26,366
$17k
$37k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Equipment Cleaner-Processing Sani
Equipment Cleaner-Processing Sani
The Kraft Heinz Company
The Kraft Heinz Company
11/04/2020
11/04/2020
$37,77511/04/2020
$37,775
P.M. Weekend Only Equipment Cleaner
P.M. Weekend Only Equipment Cleaner
Campbell Soup Co
Campbell Soup Co
10/30/2020
10/30/2020
$37,56610/30/2020
$37,566
5 Equipment Cleaner-Sanitation
5 Equipment Cleaner-Sanitation
The Kraft Heinz Company
The Kraft Heinz Company
10/24/2020
10/24/2020
$37,77510/24/2020
$37,775
Equipment Cleaner
Equipment Cleaner
Adecco Staffing
Adecco Staffing
10/17/2020
10/17/2020
$34,43610/17/2020
$34,436
Equipment Cleaner
Equipment Cleaner
Talentteam
Talentteam
10/14/2020
10/14/2020
$25,04410/14/2020
$25,044
See More Recent Salaries

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Equipment Cleaner Demographics

Gender

male

71.7 %

female

24.0 %

unknown

4.3 %

Ethnicity

White

65.9 %

Hispanic or Latino

15.2 %

Black or African American

11.0 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Swahili

20.0 %

Lingala

20.0 %

French

20.0 %
See More Demographics

Equipment Cleaner Education

Majors

Business
18.7 %

Degrees

High School Diploma

51.1 %

Associate

15.3 %

Certificate

11.5 %

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming An Equipment Cleaner

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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For an Equipment Cleaner

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 21.4% of equipment cleaners listed safety rules on their resume, but soft skills such as hand-eye coordination and listening skills are important as well.

Best States For an Equipment Cleaner

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an equipment cleaner. The best states for people in this position are North Dakota, California, Wyoming, and Massachusetts. Equipment cleaners make the most in North Dakota with an average salary of $31,649. Whereas in California and Wyoming, they would average $30,722 and $29,732, respectively. While equipment cleaners would only make an average of $29,512 in Massachusetts, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. North Dakota

Total Equipment Cleaner Jobs:
9
Highest 10% Earn:
$44,000
Location Quotient:
1.41
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Wisconsin

Total Equipment Cleaner Jobs:
167
Highest 10% Earn:
$40,000
Location Quotient:
3.99
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Iowa

Total Equipment Cleaner Jobs:
62
Highest 10% Earn:
$39,000
Location Quotient:
2.23
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Equipment Cleaner Employers

1. Kraft Group
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$58,586
Equipment Cleaners Hired: 
12+
2. Kraft Heinz Company
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$44,478
Equipment Cleaners Hired: 
11+
3. Kelly Services
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$31,147
Equipment Cleaners Hired: 
8+
4. Adecco
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$30,013
Equipment Cleaners Hired: 
8+
5. Pepperidge Farm
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$41,075
Equipment Cleaners Hired: 
6+
6. Campbell Soup
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$62,684
Equipment Cleaners Hired: 
4+

Recently Added Equipment Cleaner Jobs

Updated October 2, 2020