Janitor Job Description

Janitor job descriptionTake Note

  • No formal education requirements
  • Job opportunities are forecast to grow slowly

How much do janitors make?

  • $10.31 per hour
  • Around $22,000 average salary for full-time positions

It's a dirty job, but somebody's going to do it (and get paid for it)! Janitors and janitorial custodians are building maintenance professionals who keep offices, businesses, schools and stores clean. Sure, cleaning up spilled glitter in an elementary school art class isn't glamorous, but janitorial staff members provide a vital function. Without them, we would all work amid drifts of dust bunnies, shop in stores where the spills on aisle five were never cleaned and send our kids to schools full of overflowing trash cans and un-buffed halls.

Job opportunities are growing slowly at about four percent, but if you are looking for an entry-level job with flexible hours and good pay, consider looking into janitorial work.

Job Skills & Requirements

Education: There are no formal education requirements for janitorial staff members. Entry-level janitors are usual paired with a more experienced staff member and learn on the job, starting with simple tasks and moving on to more complex assignments that involve equipment like wet-dry vacuums, buffers and polishing machines.

Mechanical skill: Some janitors also complete light building maintenance and repair. Plumbing, electrical and other trade skills are extremely useful for janitors.

Endurance: This job means bending, walking, pushing and lifting all day. If you have physical limitations that make activity uncomfortable, you may want to consider a different profession.

Friendly demeanor: Janitors who work during operating hours take care of immediate issues (think spills, accidents and other clean up emergencies that endanger the people or pleasantness of the environment). If you aren't a people person, consider shifts that cover regular maintenance during off-hours when students, workers and customers aren't in the building.

Hours: Most janitorial companies operate during normal business hours or offer their services specifically during off-hours throughout the week. Some companies may also offer weekend hours. Either way, you can expect to work about 40 hours per week on average.

Dress the Part: Some employers distribute uniforms; others have a standard dress code you will be asked to follow. For interviews, arrive looking professional; wear slacks, button down shirt and a tie, or khaki's and a collared shirt.

Job Myth

“Janitor isn't an important job; I don't want to do something that doesn't make a difference.”

Hold it right there! Just because janitors don't have their own reality TV series doesn't mean they aren't important. If anyone ever doubts the value of their friendly office cleaning staff, they should imagine the fallout of flu season if there were no professional on hand to clean the doorknobs, desks and other surfaces that transmit illness-causing bacteria.

Without janitors and other cleaning professionals, we would probably be sick more often, less productive, have more accidents and generally be surrounded by a constant buildup of grime. That's why even if you don't become a janitor, you should be sure to thank the ones that you probably see every day.

Career Paths

  • Janitorial staff supervisor (Averages $16.30/hour)
  • Maintenance worker (Averages $16.50/hour)

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Extra Perks

  • Flexible hours
  • Staying active while you work

See all job descriptions

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