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Become A Professional Cleaner

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Working As A Professional Cleaner

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

  • $25,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Professional Cleaner 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 Professional Cleaner

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 2.9 years
Custodian Worker 2.8 years
Office Cleaner 2.6 years
House Cleaner 2.6 years
Service Cleaner 2.5 years
Carpet Cleaner 2.4 years
Building Cleaner 2.3 years
Cleaner 2.1 years
Assistant Cleaner 2.1 years
Janitor 2.0 years
Maid 1.8 years
General Cleaner 1.8 years
Industrial Cleaner 1.7 years
Maid Housekeeper 1.7 years
Top Careers Before Professional Cleaner
Cashier 20.9%
Server 5.9%
Cleaner 3.5%
Waitress 3.4%
Manager 2.9%
Hostess 2.2%
Cook 2.1%
Top Careers After Professional Cleaner
Cashier 14.6%
Server 6.3%
Cleaner 5.3%
Associate 3.0%
Janitor 2.9%
Cook 2.7%
Internship 2.5%
Driver 2.5%
Manager 2.3%

Do you work as a Professional Cleaner?

Professional Cleaner Demographics

Gender

Female

64.2%

Male

22.2%

Unknown

13.6%
Ethnicity

White

66.3%

Hispanic or Latino

13.8%

Black or African American

11.4%

Asian

5.2%

Unknown

3.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

65.2%

French

10.6%

German

6.1%

Swedish

4.5%

Russian

3.0%

Portuguese

1.5%

Ukrainian

1.5%

Bosnian

1.5%

Macedonian

1.5%

Arabic

1.5%

Thai

1.5%

Croatian

1.5%
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Professional Cleaner Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

18.8%

Kaplan University

10.1%

The Academy

8.1%

Ashford University

6.7%

Monroe Community College

6.0%

Grand Rapids Community College

4.0%

Rasmussen College

4.0%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

4.0%

Bryant and Stratton College

4.0%

Ultimate Medical Academy - Clearwater

3.4%

Everest Institute

3.4%

Community College of Philadelphia

3.4%

Augusta Technical College

3.4%

University of Maine at Augusta

3.4%

Ashworth College

3.4%

Tidewater Community College

3.4%

Prince George's Community College

2.7%

Central Piedmont Community College

2.7%

Lansing Community College

2.7%

Brown University

2.7%
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Majors

Business

21.0%

Medical Assisting Services

10.0%

Nursing

7.8%

General Studies

7.7%

Health Care Administration

7.4%

Criminal Justice

7.2%

Psychology

4.6%

Accounting

4.0%

Cosmetology

3.6%

Education

3.3%

Liberal Arts

3.3%

Human Services

3.1%

Culinary Arts

2.6%

Nursing Assistants

2.6%

Early Childhood Education

2.2%

Computer Science

2.0%

English

2.0%

Management

1.9%

Medical Technician

1.9%

Graphic Design

1.9%
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Degrees

Other

48.4%

Associate

19.5%

Bachelors

16.3%

Certificate

7.9%

Diploma

4.7%

Masters

2.0%

License

1.1%

Doctorate

0.2%
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How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Professional Cleaner?

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Top Skills for A Professional Cleaner

  1. Clean Bathrooms
  2. Building Floors
  3. Office Buildings
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Clean bathrooms at sports events.
  • Clean building floors by sweeping, mopping, scrubbing, or vacuuming.
  • Maintain cleanliness in office buildings: Mopping, sweeping, cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming floors, dusting and trash removal.
  • Provide excellent customer service by maintaining communication to ensure customer trust and satisfaction.
  • Sweep and mop floors around the house including the kitchen and the porch.

How Would You Rate Working As a Professional Cleaner?

Are you working as a Professional Cleaner? Help us rate Professional Cleaner as a Career.

Top Professional Cleaner Employers

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