Ever wonder what it’s really like to be a janitor? You’re about to find out. As a janitor, you have a lot on your plate each and every day. Your main job is keeping spaces clean and tidy for everyone using the building. You sweep, mop, vacuum, empty trash, clean windows, and make sure the bathrooms are spic and span. Not glamorous work but essential work. Without you, offices, schools, hospitals, and other places would be a total mess. Being a janitor requires physical stamina, attention to detail, and a lot of patience. But for the right person, it can be rewarding work knowing you’re providing a valuable service and helping create a pleasant environment for all. If you’re up for the challenge, read on to discover the duties and responsibilities that come with being a janitor.
Duties and Responsibilities of Janitor
As a janitor, you’ll have a number of duties and responsibilities to handle on a daily basis. Your main role is to ensure the location you work in, whether an office building, school, or other facility, is clean and properly maintained.
Your cleaning duties will make up the bulk of your work. This includes:
- Sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming floors. You’ll sweep and mop hard floors like wood, tile, and linoleum and vacuum carpets and entryways.
- Dusting and polishing furniture. Wipe down tables, chairs, desks, cabinets, and shelving. Polish wood furniture and dust knickknacks.
- Cleaning bathrooms. Disinfect and scrub toilets and urinals, sinks, counters, mirrors, and floors. Replenish soap, paper towels, and toilet paper.
- Taking out the trash. Empty wastebaskets, recycling bins, and replace liners. Transport trash and recycling to designated dumpster or pickup area.
- Disinfecting surfaces. Wipe down doorknobs, light switches, phones, keyboards, and other frequently touched surfaces to prevent the spread of germs.
- Cleaning spills and messes. Respond quickly to clean up spills, leaks, and other accidents to prevent slips and falls. Use proper cleaning and disinfecting methods based on the type of spill.
- Tidying entryways and common areas. Straighten furniture, sweep exterior entryways, clean entryway mats and rugs, and ensure any decorations or flyers are neatly arranged.
Maintenance and Restocking
In addition to cleaning, you’ll handle basic maintenance and restocking duties such as:
- Replenishing cleaning supplies. Refill soap, paper towel, toilet paper, and other dispensers. Reorder additional supplies as needed to ensure you have enough to properly clean the facility.
- Performing minor repairs. Fix leaky faucets, replace burned out lightbulbs, unclog drains, and other small repairs within your abilities. Report more complex issues to the appropriate supervisor or maintenance crew.
- Setting up for events or meetings. If requested, you may set up chairs, tables, equipment, or other amenities for meetings, functions, or other gatherings. Tear down and clean up after the event concludes.
- Seasonal tasks. In colder months you may be required to shovel snowy or icy walkways. During warmer months you’ll sweep outside areas and empty additional exterior trash cans. Perform other seasonal tasks as directed.
With a consistent routine and dedication to cleanliness, you’ll keep the location in tip-top shape and ensure a healthy, welcoming environment
As a janitor, you probably get a lot of questions about your job. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and their answers:
What are my main duties and responsibilities?
Your core duties typically include:
- Sweeping, mopping, vacuuming and cleaning floors and carpets
- Dusting and polishing furniture and fixtures
- Emptying trash cans and wastebaskets and transporting trash to disposal areas
- Cleaning and sanitizing restrooms including toilets, urinals, sinks and mirrors
- Replenishing bathroom supplies like soap, paper towels and toilet paper
- Cleaning windows, glass partitions and mirrors
- Cleaning and tidying staircases and elevators
- Monitoring building security and safety by inspecting for any damage or needed repairs
- Setting up and arranging rooms or facilities for meetings, events or other functions
- Performing minor maintenance tasks like replacing light bulbs or filters
What education or training is required?
Most janitorial or custodial roles do not require formal education beyond a high school diploma. However, you may need on-the-job training to learn proper cleaning techniques and the safe use of chemicals and equipment. Some positions may prefer or require certification in areas like green cleaning, bloodborne pathogens, or handling hazardous waste.
What is the work environment like?
Janitors and custodians typically work indoors in a variety of settings like office buildings, schools, hospitals, retail businesses, and apartment complexes. The job often requires standing, bending, and walking for long periods. You may encounter unpleasant conditions like dirt, odors, and vermin. The work schedule is usually full-time during evenings, nights, or weekends.
How much do janitors and custodians earn?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for janitors and custodians in the U.S. is around $25,000 per year. Exact wages depend on factors like:
- Location – Pay tends to be higher in large cities and certain regions of the country.
- Experience and skills – More experienced custodians with certifications or specializations may earn higher pay.
- Employer – Wages vary between different industries and organizations. Government, healthcare facilities, and large corporations typically offer higher compensation than small private companies.
- Union membership – Being part of a labor union usually means higher wages and better benefits. Around 20% of janitors belong to a union.
Does this help answer some of your questions? Let me know if you have any other concerns about the role and responsibilities of a janitor.