what is a caretaker?

Caretakers are in charge of the maintenance and security of houses or a group of buildings entrusted to them. Your job is to look after the assets in the property, monitor security cameras and maintain cleanliness within the premises. Sometimes, you take care of individuals within the property at the request of your employer. As a caretaker, you have to reside on the premises to provide 24-hour services. Most employers have separate living quarters for caretakers.

caretaker job description

In some cases, a caretaker's job is a short-term arrangement. For instance, if your employer is away from home for several months, you keep the house safe and complete maintenance tasks in their absence. In large estates, caretakers focus on plumbing, wiring and maintaining the gardens of the assigned premises.

As a caretaker, you can also provide caregiving duties to individuals who require assistance. Caregivers help infirm and ill people with their meals and personal hygiene. You also run errands and accompany them to medical appointments. When you are a caregiver, you live in the client's residence and have basic nursing and first-aid skills in case of emergencies.

Whether you are responsible for inanimate things like property maintenance and repairs or individuals, you need to be reliable and trustworthy. Employers depend on caretakers to keep their properties safe and care for the ill.

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



average salary of a caretaker

According to National Careers, a caretaker earns £16,000 per year at the start of their career. When you gain experience and improve your skills, your salary increases to £22,000 annually. Aside from the basic salary, a caretaker also receives medical allowances and contributions to a pension scheme. Some employers have bonuses and overtime pay for taking up extra shifts or working less sociable hours.

what factors influence the salary of a caretaker?

While a caretaker doesn't need academic qualifications, having some educational background and experience increases your salary prospects. For instance, a caretaker with electrical wiring and plumbing skills is likely to earn more since the employer doesn't have to spend additional cash on tradespeople. A caregiver with knowledge of nutrition and nursing also earns a better salary than one without prior experience. You can boost your salary by gaining additional certifications through short courses.

Aside from internal factors, external factors like changes in market demand for caretakers can influence your salary. When there is a demand for caregivers, the average pay increases and vice versa. Your employer also determines your wages based on the complexity of the duties. For instance, when you are responsible for a group of buildings, your earnings increase compared to a caretaker in charge of one property.


Health and social care
Health and social care

types of caretakers

The types of caretakers depend on the work settings. Some include:

  • school caretaker: a school caretaker ensures teachers and pupils have a clean and safe environment. You ensure the fields are well-maintained and complete all repairs within the premises. You also supervise the cleaning of all the rooms and facilities in the school compound and handle waste disposal.
  • property caretaker: as a property caretaker, you are responsible for maintenance and housekeeping duties in residential and commercial properties. In residential homes, you take care of plumbing and wiring or gardening duties. If you are in charge of an office building, you oversee cleaning and sanitation. You also install cameras and other security features to keep the building safe.
  • caregiver: caregivers look after elderly or ill patients at their homes. You create a nutritional plan, run errands for them and assist with dressing and eating. Sometimes, you have to accompany them to the hospital and perform therapeutic procedures to help with recovery.


working as a caretaker

A caretaker protects and preserves their employer's property by handling repairs and maintenance duties. Explore the schedule and work environment of a caretaker.



education and skills

If you want to work as a caretaker, you need basic education and relevant experience in related roles. A short course or training in electrical and plumbing is useful in maintenance work, while health & safety training and first-aid skills are crucial for caregivers. Most caretaker jobs require a GCSE and a driver's licence, but it is vital to have post-secondary education to boost your prospects.

Besides attending college, consider an apprenticeship in property maintenance or facilities services operative. You will gain hands-on experience on various repairs and maintenance tasks. For the apprenticeships, you need some GCSEs in English and maths.

skills and competencies

The skills you will need in the caretaker role include:

  • reliability: your employer depends on you to keep the property safe and well-maintained. Those receiving care also rely on your support and skills. Hence, you need to be trustworthy and show up to work on time.
  • flexibility: as a caretaker, you deal with various people when accomplishing your tasks. Being flexible helps you tailor your approach to everyone and provide the best service. Flexibility is also crucial when juggling multiple tasks.
  • problem-solving skills: a caretaker requires problem-solving skills to handle problems that arise within the premises. During emergencies, you need to think on your feet to minimise panic and property damage. For instance, if a pipe bursts, you have to develop creative ways to fix the problem.
  • communication skills: when you are a caretaker, you are the point person between tenants and property managers. You should be a good communicator to relay accurate information to all parties.



FAQs about working as a caretaker

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