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How to Become a Janitor

If you like to be on the go and work independently, then a position as a janitor may be a great job for you. Janitors support a company’s operations by making sure their building and equipment are running properly and kept neat. It is important for janitors to be responsible and have good time management skills in order to efficiently complete their daily assignments.

Janitors are hired to clean and maintain the facility they work in. Some of their duties include mopping, vacuuming, sanitizing and stocking restrooms, picking up trash, and cleaning up spills. Some janitors are responsible for making simple repairs to light fixtures, AC and heat units, floors, and walls as well. Individuals interested in this position should be comfortable using various chemicals and tools to get the job done.

This job opportunity is great for anyone looking for flexible hours. There are many different companies that offer full-time and part-time janitorial positions, so you’re likely to find a job working the hours you want. 

Sample job description

A janitor is needed for hire at [Your Company Name]. The job of the janitor is generally straightforward and there should be no confusion as to what the role entails. The summary of this job is this: maintain and clean the designated facility. This includes mopping, sweeping, vacuuming, etc. On top of this, you must also stock supplies. This can vary from restroom supplies, cleaning supplies, or other items customers are free to use. If the janitor comes across something in need of minor repair, it is on the shoulders of the janitor to fix what is needed. If major repairs are found, you must report it to higher-ups, or whomever it may concern. Facilities will inevitably have trash being brought into the building, if not producing it. The janitor must take out the trash and clean garbage containers. Logging routine work will most likely be essential, depending on your assigned facility. Aside from that, you may have to document certain things, such as the acidity of the water. Finally, after all else is complete, the janitor will be responsible for locking all doors prior to leaving. If this seems like something you are capable of doing, this may be the job for you!

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Maintain daily cleanliness of warehouse and related areas
  • Dust and clean walls, rails, doors, work areas, etc.
  • Break down corrugated boxes and cardboard for recycling
  • Empty garbage cans and bins
  • Maintain safe work practices

Education and experience

  • This position requires a high school diploma or equivalent

Required skills and qualifications

  • Time management skills
  • Ability to work independently with minimal oversight
  • Ability to perform physical labor
  • Availability to work evening or weekend hours

Preferred qualifications

  • Conscientious and efficient, with excellent attention to detail
  • Ability to handle unpleasant tasks with a positive demeanor
  • Being on-time and dependable

Typical work environment

As a janitor, you can work in a variety of different buildings. This includes but is not limited to offices, schools, clinics, libraries, and hospitals. Although some facilities will need janitors mid-day, most will end up working early mornings or late evenings. The reasoning being that the area must be vacated in order to properly maintain everything. The skills for this job are not overly complicated. As long as you have a basic understanding of cleaning equipment, including liquid uses, you should do an excellent job. With little to no supervision, you must be able to work both efficiently and independently. Moving items may come into the job, so we recommend being fit enough to lift twenty-five pounds.

Typical hours

The typical work hours for a janitor are from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, with after-hours and weekend hours being very likely. Frequently, janitors may be asked to work opposing hours of when the building is mostly occupied. 

Available certifications

Although the field of janitor does not usually require certification, there are certain certificates and education which can immensely benefit any janitor looking for employment or improving their expertise. Some certifications include:

  • IJSCA – The International Janitorial Cleaning Services Association offers several different certificates, each resembling specific fields. These include residential, masters, custodial, medical, carpet, and more! These in-depth certifications will prove to you and your employer that you are committed to this line of work with hopes to improve your offered services. 
  • OSHA Safety and Health Specialist Certificate Program – This program is designed to provide information to those that wish to thrive in their career, land a job, or impress their employer. It goes over the general knowledge of handling supplies and machinery in your given work field to ensure safety is a priority. 

Career path

Becoming a janitor can start with earning a high school diploma or its equivalent, but this career choice doesn’t necessarily require any formal education. But, like many career paths, further learning and experience can help you advance in future opportunities. The International Janitorial Cleaning Services Association offers certifications to let potential clients and employers know that they are hiring top-notch, trained, and educated cleaning professionals. 

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 37-2011

2020 Employment2,217,000
Projected Employment in 20302,344,200
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 6% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift127,200 increase

There is a need almost anywhere for janitorial and cleaning services. Almost a quarter of facility managers outsource cleaning services. Job opportunities for janitors are expected to increase in industries such as education, healthcare, warehouse, and logistics positions during the next ten years.