Industrial Cleaner Job Description
Industrial cleaners are responsible for cleaning non-domestic properties such as warehouses, hospitals, prisons, schools, and corporate offices. They also ensure that work environments are healthy and safe for the other employees who work in the building. Industrial cleaners may work during the day, but most work after the bulk of the workforce has left the building, such as after 5:00 PM. This is a full-time, entry-level position that doesn’t usually require any kind of formal education. These professionals may also work overtime hours as needed.
Industrial Cleaner Duties and Responsibilities
Industrial cleaners may work in a variety of different settings and will often clean multiple buildings of various types. Some industrial cleaners may need to be aware of hazards or cleaning standards in certain buildings. Regardless, most industrial cleaners perform these core responsibilities:
Clean the Building
Industrial cleaners are responsible for cleaning entire buildings or portions of buildings. This may include cleaning bathrooms, mopping tile, and vacuuming carpets, among other specific cleaning duties.
Empty Waste Receptacles
Industrial cleaners ensure all waste baskets are emptied before employees come in for the day. Once trash cans are emptied, industrial cleaners transport the trash bags to the building’s dumpster for trash collection.
Remove Graffiti and Other Vandalism
Sometimes, offices are vandalized with graffiti and other kinds of property damage. It is the industrial cleaner’s responsibility to remove the vandalism or report it so that it can be properly fixed in a timely manner.
Clean Building Exterior
Industrial cleaners are responsible for cleaning the exterior of the building. This typically involves picking up trash and washing ground floor windows.
Notify Employees of Hazards
During their shift, industrial cleaners may identify potential safety hazards for employees who work during the day. They may also clean in a way that leaves safety hazards. AS such, industrial cleaners are responsible for notifying employees of those hazards using warning signs such as wet floor signs.
Industrial Cleaner Skills and Qualifications
Successful industrial cleaners are tireless and can stand on their feet for extended periods of time. People who enjoy cleaning and organizing make great fits for this role. Employers look for industrial cleaners who are efficient and effective in everything they do. They also prefer to hire candidates who possess and demonstrate the following skills and qualifications:
- Work without Supervision – Industrial cleaners should be able to work under little to no supervision. They are often the only person working in an entire building and should have no problem doing so
- Physical Fitness – Cleaning non-domestic buildings can be physically demanding, and industrial cleaners should be able to handle the strenuous work. They should be able to lift, climb, and stand without any problem
- Previous Cleaning Experience – Employers like to hire industrial cleaners with previous cleaning experience so that they don’t have to train new employees as thoroughly
- Personal Integrity – Since industrial workers often work alone near sensitive materials, they hold a high level of personal integrity and can remain focused on the job at hand
- Time Management – Successful industrial cleaners are efficient and finish their work in a timely manner
Tools of the Trade
In non-domestic cleaning environments, industrial cleaners typically use general and specialized equipment such as:
- Cleaning Tools – (brooms, mops, brushes, etc.)
- Power Cleaning Equipment – (steamers, polishers, vacuums)
- Chemical Cleaning Supplies
Industrial Cleaner Education and Training
Employers typically don’t require industrial cleaner candidates to have any kind of formal education. You can get a job as an industrial cleaner without having a high school diploma or GED. However, you will likely undergo in-depth, on-the-job training after gaining employment as an industrial cleaner. This training involves teaching you how to clean specific materials and administrative items such as building layout as well as and how to safely used specialized equipment.
Industrial Cleaner Salary and Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistic (BLS), most industrial cleaners earn an average salary of $11.63 per hour, or $24,190 per year. Those with more experience and training may earn as much as $19.60 per hour while those just starting out may earn as little as $8.65 per hour. Most industrial cleaners receive vacation and sick time benefits but may not be eligible for comprehensive healthcare benefits.
The BLS reports a faster-than-average job growth outlook for industrial cleaners at 10 percent over the next 10 years. This expected growth is likely due in part to the increasing number of hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
Check out these helpful resources to learn more about being an industrial cleaner and how to succeed in this role:
Dirty Words Blog – This blog is run by a cleaning company based out of Wisconsin, but it contains a lot of helpful, informational blog posts that focus on things such as salt stains and how to prevent them and building maintenance tips for all seasons. This blog updates regularly and provides really good tips that you can apply to your own cleaning services.
The Professional Cleaner’s Personal Handbook – This book by Don Aslett offers 200 pages of cleaning advice and training that can help you become a better industrial cleaner. It talks about the background of the cleaning industry so that you have the context you need to understand your job, and then it delves into how-to guides for cleaning. It also discusses how to organize a cleaning crew for maximum effectiveness. This is a great guide for anyone who wants the full picture behind industrial cleaning.
The Cleaning Encyclopedia: Your A-to-Z Illustrated Guide to Cleaning Like the Pros – Even though this book is targeting individuals who aren’t in the cleaning business, it still outlines all the skills any good industrial cleaner should possess. Author Don Aslett includes how-to guides for cleaning different materials and the ways you can put in some extra effort to achieve better cleaning results.