Career Detail


Building Cleaning Worker
Some do only cleaning, while others have a wide range of duties.
The Job
Janitors and cleaners perform a variety of heavy cleaning duties, such as cleaning floors, shampooing rugs, washing walls and glass, and removing rubbish. They may fix leaky faucets, empty trash cans, do painting and carpentry, replenish bathroom supplies, mow lawns, and see that heating and air-conditioning equipment works properly. On a typical day, janitors may wet- or dry-mop floors, clean bathrooms, vacuum carpets, dust furniture, make minor repairs, and exterminate insects and rodents.
Work Environment
Because most office buildings are cleaned while they are empty, many cleaning workers work evening hours. Some, however, such as school and hospital custodians, work in the daytime. When there is a ne
College Majors
high school
Minimum Qualifications
Most building cleaning workers, except supervisors, have a high school degree or less and mainly learn their skills on the job or in informal training sessions sponsored by their employers. Supervisors, though, generally have at least a high school diploma and often some college.
Personality traits helpful for this career
Employers usually look for dependable, hard-working individuals who are in good health, follow directions well, and get along with other people.
Quick Facts
  • (PDF) How to best view PDF files Building Cleaning Workers * Nature of the Work * Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement * Employment * Job Outlook * Projections Data
  • Most job openings result from the need to replace the many workers who leave these jobs because they provide low pay and few benefits, limited opportunities for training or advancement, and often only
  • Most new jobs will occur in businesses providing janitorial and cleaning services on a contract basis.
Compensation and Outlook
Median hourly wages of janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners, were $10.31 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $8.42 and $13.30. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $7.41and the highest 10 percent earned more than $17.08.
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