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Custodian Jobs

Custodian Jobs Overview

Custodians help keep employees or residents of a building stay healthy and safe by performing basic cleaning and maintenance tasks. Because custodian jobs are so vital, they are considered essential workers.

While the terms janitor and custodian are sometimes used interchangeably, traditional custodians are considered responsible for a specific building. This means that they perform tasks beyond cleaning and housekeeping and are on site more frequently. They may also be expected to take more initiatives and have more of an overall responsibility for the conditions of the building. Note that this position might also be referred to as cleaner or building caretaker.

Job responsibilities may include:

  • cleaning floors, furniture, restrooms, carpets, windows etc.
  • unlocking doors and arming/disarming security systems
  • performing simple repair and maintenance tasks
  • operating, servicing, and cleaning machine equipment
  • moving furniture and other heavy objects
  • maintaining the outdoor areas, including pools, patios, and gardens
  • restocking supplies
  • applying insecticides
  • enforcing building rules
  • reporting issues that need attention

This job can be a great fit if you like working alone, prefer a job where you are physically active instead of sitting in front of a desk, and are looking for an entry-level position that does not require a college degree.

Some custodians supervise other janitors. This position is called head custodian. Head custodians may hire, train and manage a team of janitors. They may also have additional job responsibilities, such as managing inventories and ordering supplies, developing cleaning and maintenance plans, and overseeing contractors and gardeners.

To expand your job search, look at the listings for other building maintenance jobs. Some other positions that offer similar job responsibilities are:

Custodian Jobs: Training and Skills

A job as a custodian does not require a formal education. Some positions require a high school degree, but most people learn on the job. It is helpful to have basic mechanical skills to operate cleaning and landscaping equipment, perform minor repairs, and service HVAC, plumbing, and other systems.

You should be physically strong since you may move heavy objects or equipment. Some jobs will require you to be able to lift at least 50 lbs. or more. It is also essential to be in good general health, since you will be on your feet for most of the workday and may need to climb ladders, bend down, and perform repetitive movements. You also need to be comfortable in different weather conditions because many positions include outdoor work.

Paying attention to details is key since your employer will expect you to fix or make note of issues in the building. You will also need to carefully follow safety procedures for chemical cleaners and industrial equipment. While this is often a solitary job, it is important to have a customer service–oriented personality when interacting with the building's residents, employees, or customers.

If you want to work as a head custodian, consider taking classes and getting a certificate from Building Service Contractors Association International or the International Sanitary Supply Association. Most head custodians do not hold a college degree. You can learn more in Monster's job description for custodians.

Update Your Custodian Resume

The first step in your job search is to update your resume and cover letter. Because the job responsibilities typically combine cleaning and maintenance tasks, include any previous work experience as a janitor, housekeeper, handyman, contractor, or gardener. If you have operated industrial cleaning or gardening equipment, mention that as well. Take a look at our custodian resume sample and custodian cover letter for guidance in this process. We also have general tips on how to write a resume and sample cover letters.

How Much Do Custodian Jobs Pay?

A janitor makes a median salary of $12.38 an hour. A position that carries more responsibility than typical janitor work may have a higher salary. You can use Monster's Salary Tools to search for the median salary in your area.

Get Started Applying to Custodian Jobs

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