what is a janitor?

Janitors are the unsung heroes of the labor force. As a janitor, you create a safe workspace by cleaning, sanitizing, and removing safety hazards. When a spill appears, you'll mop the floor and set up caution signs before anyone trips. Janitors potentially save their employers thousands of dollars in lawsuit fees.

During flu season, you'll sanitize frequently used surfaces, such as tables, countertops, telephones, doorknobs, and keyboards. Janitors wear safety gear so that they don't get sick. Other tasks include taking out the trash, dusting furniture, washing windows, vacuuming carpet, and cleaning restrooms.

Janitors don't just clean--they repair and maintain. Staff members call on you to replace lightbulbs, unclog toilets, install new hardware, and perform other tasks. You'll complete minor repairs while leaving serious issues, such as faulty wiring, to the experts. Periodically, janitors review the supply inventory and order new products.

If you work outdoors, you'll mow the lawn, trim weeds, defrost the sidewalk, and shovel snow off the pavement. While you don't work directly with people, you'll be polite and friendly to coworkers, supervisors, and guests. People look forward to seeing you every day because you clean, repair, and sanitize with a smile on your face.

Would working as a janitor suit your labor skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a janitor role.

janitor jobs near you

average janitor salary

Would you like to know what a janitor earns? Where the highest salaries are paid for a janitor? Then check out this janitor salary page and find out all about the salary of a janitor in the USA.

lady janitor
lady janitor

types of janitors

Nearly every business employs at least one janitor. Many job openings come from hotels, restaurants, hospitals, power plants, and government buildings. Each position requires specialized tools, training, and knowledge. For example, restaurant janitors adhere to stricter safety standards to prevent food contamination while hospital janitors work in a 24-hour environment.

Some custodians start as school janitors. Schools have hundreds or thousands of children who make messes and spread germs throughout the year. You're especially valuable during flu season when you sanitize the building to stop the spread of bacteria.


working as a janitor

Janitors have absorbing tasks that make the time go by quickly. You'll work in a dynamic environment with all different types of colleagues.


janitor skills and education

Most janitors don't need a formal education. At most, employers may request a high school diploma or GED. If you're new to the industry, your supervisor provides on-the-job training on cleaning, repairing, and using the equipment.

Some colleges offer custodial training programs that teach you about tools, equipment, chemicals, maintenance, and cleaning techniques. This is attractive to employers because you won't need much training. However, don't assume that you need degrees to succeed--many janitors start working immediately after graduating high school.

Online training and certification courses include green cleaning, medical cleaning, bloodborne pathogens, mold inspection, carpet cleaning, and customer service. Master certification programs require over 200 training and research hours.

You can advance your knowledge by studying different topics, such as hazardous waste disposal and deep carpet cleaning. The internet has thousands of free videos and blog posts for every skill. Each skill is another technique that you can add to your resume, making you increasingly valuable in the workforce.

two cleaners
two cleaners

FAQs about working as a janitor

Here you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about janitors.

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