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Become A Janitor

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Working As A Janitor

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

  • $20,447

    Average Salary

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.

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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.

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Janitor jobs

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Janitor Typical Career Paths

Average Length of Employment
Custodial Engineer 2.8 years
Lead Janitor 2.7 years
Custodian 2.6 years
Office Cleaner 2.5 years
Custodian Worker 2.4 years
Building Cleaner 2.4 years
Service Cleaner 2.1 years
Janitor 2.0 years
Cleaner 2.0 years
Assistant Cleaner 2.0 years
Cleaning Maid 2.0 years
Day Porter 1.9 years
School Janitor 1.9 years
Janitor Helper 1.7 years
Porter 1.7 years
Industrial Cleaner 1.7 years
General Cleaner 1.7 years
Sweeper 1.4 years
Top Employers Before
Cashier 20.7%
Cook 5.5%
Cleaner 3.8%
Custodian 3.5%
Stocker 3.0%
Server 2.6%
Top Employers After
Cashier 14.3%
Cook 5.1%
Cleaner 4.5%
Custodian 4.2%
Driver 3.6%
Server 2.7%

Janitor Demographics

Gender

Male

56.6%

Female

41.3%

Unknown

2.0%
Ethnicity

White

79.3%

Hispanic or Latino

12.8%

Asian

6.1%

Unknown

1.3%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

75.6%

French

5.2%

Polish

2.4%

German

2.3%

Russian

2.0%

Japanese

1.6%

Italian

1.5%

Carrier

1.4%

Hmong

1.2%

Portuguese

1.1%

Chinese

1.0%

Mandarin

0.7%

Dakota

0.7%

Vietnamese

0.5%

Cantonese

0.5%

Greek

0.5%

Arabic

0.5%

Swahili

0.4%

Lithuanian

0.4%

Hindi

0.3%
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Janitor Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

16.1%

Lansing Community College

6.4%

Kaplan University

6.0%

Ashford University

5.1%

Delgado Community College

5.0%

Fresno City College

4.9%

Henry Ford College

4.8%

Liberty University

4.7%

Grand Rapids Community College

4.6%

Everest Institute

4.5%

Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana

4.2%

Weber State University

4.1%

Ultimate Medical Academy - Clearwater

4.0%

Kirkwood Community College

4.0%

Sinclair Community College

3.9%

Grand Canyon University

3.8%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

3.7%

Community College of Allegheny County

3.5%

Baker College

3.4%

Utah State University

3.3%
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Majors

Business

18.8%

General Studies

11.8%

Criminal Justice

8.5%

Medical Assisting Services

7.2%

Nursing

5.8%

Health Care Administration

5.2%

Computer Science

4.7%

Psychology

4.4%

Accounting

4.1%

Automotive Technology

3.9%

Liberal Arts

3.0%

Nursing Assistants

3.0%

Graphic Design

3.0%

Education

2.9%

Culinary Arts

2.7%

Communication

2.5%

Precision Metal Working

2.2%

Cosmetology

2.2%

Information Technology

2.1%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.1%
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Degrees

Other

51.6%

Associate

17.7%

Bachelors

15.5%

Certificate

9.0%

Diploma

3.8%

Masters

1.6%

License

0.5%

Doctorate

0.2%
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Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Janitor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Supervisor of Housekeeping and Janitorial Workers Unicpro Inc. Shrewsbury, MA Jan 14, 2016 $50,294
Janitor Marclean, LLC Hayward, CA Aug 01, 2016 $45,309
Janitorial Worker Gemini Building Systems, LLC Wilmington, DE Jan 14, 2016 $34,861
Supervisor of Janitorial Workers DTK Inc. Houston, TX Sep 06, 2016 $34,400
Janitor Mavis Tire Supply Corp. NY Apr 08, 2016 $32,885
Janitors Nantucket Island Management, LLC Nantucket, MA Apr 01, 2015 $30,074
Janitors Crown and Anchor, Inc. Provincetown, MA Apr 01, 2016 $29,969
Janitors Nantucket Island Management, LLC Nantucket, MA Apr 01, 2016 $29,969
Janitors Crown & Anchor, LLC Provincetown, MA Mar 15, 2015 $29,802
Janitors Crown & Anchor, LLC Provincetown, MA May 08, 2015 $29,802
Janitor Stratton Corporation Stratton, VT Nov 10, 2015 $29,281
Janitor Stratton Corporation Stratton, VT Nov 01, 2016 $29,281
Janitor Cleaners of America Corporation Alexandria, VA Sep 01, 2015 $16,890
Janitor United Maintenance Corporation Charlotte, NC Oct 19, 2016 $16,848
Janitor United Maintenance Corporation Charlotte, NC Oct 20, 2016 $16,848
Janitor Discover Learning Group, Inc. Coppell, TX Jan 12, 2016 $16,848
Janitor United Maintenance Corporation Charlotte, NC Dec 19, 2016 $16,848
Janitor United Maintenance Corporation Charlotte, NC Dec 21, 2016 $16,848
Janitor DMKD, Inc. Dba Servicemaster Building Care Greensboro, NC Feb 09, 2016 $16,806
Janitor DMKD, Inc. Dba Servicemaster Building Care Greensboro, NC Jun 13, 2016 $16,806
Janitor DMKD, Inc. Dba Servicemaster Building Care Greensboro, NC Dec 23, 2016 $16,806
Janitor DMKD, Inc. Dba Servicemaster Building Care Greensboro, NC Sep 08, 2016 $16,806
Janitor DMKD, Inc. Dba Servicemaster Building Care Greensboro, NC Sep 09, 2016 $16,806

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Top Skills for A Janitor

BuildingFloorsWindowSillsBathroomFixturesServiceRestroomsOfficeBuildingsMopFloorsJanitorialGlassPartitionsCleanWindowsSoapyWaterChemicalCleanersCleanBathroomsTrashCansBuildingSecuritySteam-CleanCleanRestroomsPolishFurnitureTrashRemovalMajorRepairsCustomerService

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Top Janitor Skills

  1. Building Floors
  2. Window Sills
  3. Bathroom Fixtures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Clean building floors by sweeping, mopping, scrubbing, or vacuuming.
  • Hand dust and clean all office furnishings, files, fixtures, paneling, window sills and all other flat surfaces.
  • Wiped and disinfected bathroom fixtures, swept and mopped, dusted, vacuumed, etc.
  • Dust furniture and scrub surfaces, I also clean and service restrooms with mops and disinfectants.
  • General cleaning/janitorial duties for commercial office buildings.

Top Janitor Employers

Janitor Videos

The Janitor - A Short Documentary

Office Cleaning Training Video

Don Bradman Cricket '14 Career #5 - The Janitor

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