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Become A Porter

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Working As A Porter

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

  • $19,601

    Average Salary

What Does A Porter 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 Porter

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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Average Length of Employment
Custodian 2.6 years
Custodian Worker 2.5 years
Office Cleaner 2.4 years
Cleaning Porter 2.2 years
Casino Porter 2.2 years
Utility Porter 2.1 years
Day Porter 2.0 years
Porter 2.0 years
Cleaner 2.0 years
Janitor 1.9 years
Lobby Porter 1.7 years
General Cleaner 1.6 years
Service Porter 1.5 years
Detailer/Porter 1.4 years
Car Porter 1.2 years
Top Employers Before
Cashier 14.5%
Cook 5.5%
Janitor 4.7%
Driver 4.2%
Server 3.7%
Custodian 3.6%
Teller 3.4%
Stocker 3.3%
Cleaner 3.3%
Internship 3.1%
Top Employers After
Cashier 8.5%
Driver 5.8%
Technician 5.4%
Cook 4.9%
Cleaner 3.9%
Custodian 3.7%
Janitor 3.7%
Server 3.7%

Do you work as a Porter?

Porter Demographics

Gender

Male

80.7%

Female

17.4%

Unknown

1.9%
Ethnicity

White

56.9%

Hispanic or Latino

22.1%

Black or African American

11.5%

Asian

6.2%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

72.9%

French

6.9%

German

2.7%

Italian

2.5%

Arabic

2.3%

Polish

1.5%

Russian

1.3%

Tagalog

1.3%

Chinese

1.3%

Mandarin

1.0%

Carrier

1.0%

Portuguese

1.0%

Hindi

0.8%

Japanese

0.8%

Greek

0.6%

Swahili

0.4%

Swedish

0.4%

Korean

0.4%

Albanian

0.4%

Cantonese

0.4%
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Porter Education

Schools

Universal Technical Institute

12.4%

University of Phoenix

10.4%

College of Southern Nevada

8.8%

Delgado Community College

5.9%

Nassau Community College

5.3%

College of DuPage

4.9%

Bronx Community College of the City University of New York

4.4%

Apex Technical School

4.2%

Henry Ford College

4.0%

Michigan State University

4.0%

University of Memphis

4.0%

Porter and Chester Institute

3.8%

Grand Rapids Community College

3.7%

Strayer University

3.7%

Liberty University

3.7%

Essex County College

3.5%

Ball State University

3.5%

Monroe College

3.3%

Houston Community College

3.3%

Cuyahoga Community College

3.3%
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Majors

Business

21.8%

Criminal Justice

10.5%

General Studies

7.9%

Automotive Technology

7.9%

Computer Science

5.0%

Psychology

4.7%

Communication

4.4%

Liberal Arts

4.3%

Graphic Design

3.3%

Education

3.2%

Nursing

3.2%

Accounting

3.2%

Management

2.9%

Information Technology

2.8%

Kinesiology

2.8%

Electrical Engineering

2.7%

Precision Metal Working

2.5%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.5%

English

2.4%

Heating And Air Conditioning

2.3%
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Degrees

Other

45.5%

Bachelors

22.3%

Associate

15.3%

Certificate

7.6%

Masters

3.9%

Diploma

3.6%

Doctorate

1.3%

License

0.6%
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Real Porter Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Head Porter Churchill Corporate Services Hawthorne, NJ Dec 03, 2008 $39,250
Porter Pendleton House LDHA Alexandria, VA Jul 25, 2012 $28,350
Dock Porter D and S North, LLC Mackinac Island, MI Apr 15, 2015 $23,458
Dock Porter Mission Point Resort, Inc. MI Apr 15, 2014 $22,727
House Porter Island House, Inc. Mackinac Island, MI Apr 01, 2016 $20,202
House Porter Island House, Inc. Mackinac Island, MI Apr 01, 2015 $19,868

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Top Skills for A Porter

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  1. Shampoo Carpets
  2. Trash Cans
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Strip, clean, buff and apply floor sealer and floor finish to hard surface floors, vacuum and shampoo carpets.
  • Maintain clean and orderly checkout areas and complete other general cleaning duties, such as mopping floors and emptying trash cans.
  • Delivered friendly and professional customer service.
  • Clean windows, glass partitions, or mirrors, using soapy water or other cleaners, sponges, or squeegees.
  • Gathered and emptied trash, cleaned building floors by sweeping, mopping, scrubbing, or vacuuming them.

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Top Porter Employers

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Porter Videos

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