Working as a Janitor

What Does a Janitor 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.

How To Become a Janitor

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.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

Average Salary$23,502
Job Growth Rate7%

Janitor Jobs

Janitor Career Paths

Top Careers Before Janitor
Cashier23.7 %
Show More
Top Careers After Janitor
Cashier17.4 %
Show More

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Janitor

Janitors in America make an average salary of $23,502 per year or $11 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $27,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $19,000 per year.
Average Salary
$23,502

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Janitor
Janitor
Unique Cleaning
Unique Cleaning
07/31/2020
07/31/2020
$26,58807/31/2020
$26,588
Janitor
Janitor
Sholom Community Alliance
Sholom Community Alliance
07/31/2020
07/31/2020
$20,87007/31/2020
$20,870
Janitor (2ND Shift)
Janitor (2ND Shift)
The Reserves Network
The Reserves Network
07/30/2020
07/30/2020
$33,39207/30/2020
$33,392
Janitor
Janitor
Essential Personnel, Inc.
Essential Personnel, Inc.
07/30/2020
07/30/2020
$27,13107/30/2020
$27,131
Janitor Position-Liberty, MO-Morning Shift: Saturday and Sunday AM-Noon/H
Janitor Position-Liberty, MO-Morning Shift: Saturday and Sunday AM-Noon/H
Extra Hands Services, Inc.
Extra Hands Services, Inc.
07/30/2020
07/30/2020
$31,30507/30/2020
$31,305
See More Recent Salaries

Calculate your salary

Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to see how your pay matches up.

Janitor Demographics

Gender

Male

57.1 %

Female

38.1 %

Unknown

4.7 %
Ethnicity

White

63.7 %

Hispanic or Latino

16.1 %

Black or African American

11.0 %
Show More
Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

79.3 %

French

4.6 %

Polish

3.2 %
Show More

Janitor Education

Schools

Everest Institute

10.2 %

Kaplan University

8.5 %

Wayne County Community College District

8.1 %

Oakland Community College

6.3 %
Show More
Majors

Business

17.8 %

General Studies

11.9 %

Medical Assisting Services

8.2 %

Criminal Justice

8.1 %
Show More
Degrees

High School Diploma

57.8 %

Diploma

13.1 %

Associate

12.0 %

Bachelors

8.1 %
Show More

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Janitor

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Janitor

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, 14.6% of janitors listed building floors on their resume, but soft skills such as physical stamina and physical strength are important as well.

Best States For a Janitor

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a janitor. The best states for people in this position are Washington, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire. Janitors make the most in Washington with an average salary of $31,456. Whereas in Massachusetts and Vermont, they would average $30,956 and $29,946, respectively. While janitors would only make an average of $28,423 in New Hampshire, 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. Vermont

Total Janitor Jobs:
38
Highest 10% Earn:
$40,000
Location Quotient:
1.57
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. Maine

Total Janitor Jobs:
66
Highest 10% Earn:
$37,000
Location Quotient:
1.65
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. New Hampshire

Total Janitor Jobs:
76
Highest 10% Earn:
$39,000
Location Quotient:
1.21
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
View Full List

Janitor Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a janitor. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

At Zippia, we went through countless janitor resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Write a Janitor Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless janitor resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

How Do Janitor Rate Their Jobs?

Working as a Janitor? Share your experience anonymously.
Rate
Do you work as a Janitor?
Rate how you like work as Janitor. It's anonymous and will only take a minute.
Rate

Top Janitor Employers

1. Jani-King
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$39,163
Janitors Hired: 
983+
2. ServiceMaster
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$31,126
Janitors Hired: 
891+
3. ABM Industries
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$28,049
Janitors Hired: 
751+
4. LA Fitness
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$39,307
Janitors Hired: 
576+
5. Walmart
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$33,061
Janitors Hired: 
409+
6. Kimco Facility Services
3.8
Avg. Salary: 
$26,170
Janitors Hired: 
378+

Janitor Videos

Recently Added Janitor Jobs