Janitors and Cleaners (not including Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners)

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Also known as:
Building Custodian, Cleaning and Maintenance Worker, Custodial Worker, Custodian, Floor Cleaner, Heavy Duty Custodian, Industrial Plant Custodian, Janitor, Office Cleaner, School Custodian

ABOUT JANITOR OR CLEANER CAREERS
Video transcript

Janus was the roman god who guarded gates and doors, so it's not surprising that the first janitors were doorkeepers. Gradually the job responsibilities expanded to include cleaning, sweeping, and otherwise caring for a building. That's why janitors are sometimes also known as "building custodians" or "maintenance workers."

Just about every place people gather rely on janitors to keep them neat and clean. But cleaning and trash collection are often only part of the job. Janitors may also perform simple electrical and plumbing work. They may be responsible for making repairs, replacing light bulbs, and even fixing or replacing door locks. They may also test and service a building's heating and air conditioning systems.

At some locations, janitors keep sidewalks clear of snow in the winter and tend a building's lawns and shrubs in the summer. Some janitorial duties can be unpleasant, but building owners and supervisors depend on having a clean, pleasant environment for their tenants and visitors. Knowing that you are contributing to the maintenance of such an environment can be very satisfying.

SNAPSHOT
Keep buildings in clean and orderly condition. Perform heavy cleaning duties, such as cleaning floors, shampooing rugs, washing walls and glass, and removing rubbish. Duties may include tending furnace and boiler, performing routine maintenance activities, notifying management of need for repairs, and cleaning snow or debris from sidewalk.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
MED
Communication with others
LOW
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
HIGH
Daily tasks

Strip, seal, finish, and polish floors.

Move heavy furniture, equipment, or supplies, either manually or with hand trucks.

Clean windows, glass partitions, or mirrors, using soapy water or other cleaners, sponges, or squeegees.

Notify managers concerning the need for major repairs or additions to building operating systems.

Steam-clean or shampoo carpets.

Requisition supplies or equipment needed for cleaning and maintenance duties.

Mix water and detergents or acids in containers to prepare cleaning solutions, according to specifications.

Clean and polish furniture and fixtures.

Follow procedures for the use of chemical cleaners and power equipment to prevent damage to floors and fixtures.

Gather and empty trash.

Dust furniture, walls, machines, or equipment.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Chemistry Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
TOP SKILLS
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.