Porter Job Description
Porters are primarily responsible for the cleaning and housekeeping of a building. They conduct routine rounds of rooms and facilities, where they sweep, mop, or vacuum floors, scrub walls and windows, and remove garbage. They may also do minor repairs and take on quick tasks, from transporting items to restocking supplies. Ideally, they maintain the cleanliness and safety of the building, looking out for rule violations and possible threats. Physical stamina is essential, as porters remain standing throughout their entire shift. They may work on evenings, weekends, or holidays.
Porter Duties and Responsibilities
Porters perform a variety of tasks on a regular workday. We analyzed several online job postings to identify the following core duties:
Porters spend much of their time maintaining the cleanliness of areas assigned to them, which include lobbies, staircases, bathrooms, and other building areas, as well as the surrounding space outside. This entails using various cleaning techniques such as sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, and disinfecting.
Since they handle cleaning equipment, porters are responsible for monitoring the inventory, taking note of missing cleaning supplies and notifying management if additional stock is necessary. This extends to items such as tissue rolls in bathrooms or blankets in hotel rooms, which they oversee and replenish regularly.
Porters have a professional, respectful attitude towards customers, greeting them and making them feel welcome within the establishment. They do their best to assist customers by giving thorough information in response to inquiries, fulfilling small requests, or directing them to appropriate staff members.
It’s common for porters to provide support to the administrative or operations team and take on miscellaneous tasks. They may book facility reservations for customers, receive and distribute packages, replace office supplies, or transport furniture and heavy objects.
Because they stay in various areas of the building and interact with customers, porters are in a good position to look out for customer complaints, safety hazards, or non-compliance issues. They must report these promptly to management, who may ask them to coordinate with other staff members for resolution.
Porter Skills and Qualifications
Porters are dependable individuals who are committed to keeping building areas and facilities pleasant and free from clutter. They are thorough with their cleaning while remaining observant of their surroundings. Employers look for porters with the following skills and qualifications:
- Cleaning expertise – porters are responsible for cleaning different areas of the building efficiently, so they should know how to handle common problems such as stains, dirty floors, and smudged windows
- Physical stamina – aside from being on their feet for several hours, porters also perform high-energy, physical tasks, from carrying heavy objects to mopping the floor of an entire room
- Attention to detail – being meticulous and detail-oriented is crucial, as porters must ensure that the areas assigned to them, along with all fixtures and furniture inside, are orderly and presentable
- Time management – porters typically clean multiple areas on a daily basis, especially those frequented by customers. To accomplish all of their tasks and accommodate extra requests, they must manage their time well
- Interpersonal skills – although porters aren’t the main employees to handle customer service, they may still talk occasionally to customers, and it’s important for them to act in a friendly, courteous manner
Porter Education and Training
There are no minimum educational requirements for porters, although some employers may look for a high school diploma or GED and even conduct a background check. For jobs that involve transporting equipment outside, porters also need to have a driver’s license. Previous experience is helpful but not necessary, as most porters undergo on-the-job training, where they learn about establishment facilities, usage of cleaning equipment, and relevant rules and regulations.
Porter Salary and Outlook
According to PayScale, porters earn a median hourly salary of $10.61 per hour, with those at the lowest ten percent of earners making less than $9 and the highest ten percent earning more than $15. All in all, their total annual pay ranges from $18,000 to $36,000.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that janitors and building dwellers, a sector that includes porters, have a job outlook of ten percent growth from 2016 to 2026. This is faster than average, mainly because healthcare companies are on the rise, leading to more demand for cleaning services, and companies are also increasingly outsourcing these job functions.
We’ve put together the following list of resources to help you learn more about becoming a porter:
International Janitorial Cleaning Services Association – IJCSA is an international organization that caters to individuals and companies in the cleaning service industry. It offers specialized cleaning certification programs that take 1 to 40 hours to study based on the complexity of the topic
The Complete Custodial Handbook – this reference guide contains detailed instructions, checklists, and illustrations for making cleaning more efficient. Reviewers describe it as practical and extremely useful to have on the job
International Sanitary Supply Association – with more than 9,000 companies worldwide as members, ISSA is a top business association in the cleaning industry. Its website features event listings, educational material, and information about industry standards and regulations
Field Guide to Stains: How to Identify and Remove Virtually Every Stain Known to Man – stains are among the most common cleaning dilemmas that porters encounter. This book catalogs more than 100 stains from diverse sources and gives step-by-step procedures for getting rid of them
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