what is a cleaner?

Professional cleaners develop systems for detailed cleaning in professional settings and know which products and equipment work most effectively for cleaning different spaces and surfaces. Their duties are confined to inside the building. They include cleaning restrooms, sweeping or mopping floors, vacuuming carpeted areas, scrubbing surfaces, dusting, emptying trash bins, polishing wood surfaces, cleaning windows and disinfecting restrooms.

what does a cleaner do?

As a cleaner, you conduct various cleaning and maintenance tasks. Aside from keeping public spaces tidy, you maintain cleaning equipment and procure supplies. Sometimes, your job involves scrubbing private and public toilets and reporting repairs and replacements needed in a facility.

Would working as a cleaner suit your physical fitness and knowledge in chemical cleaning products? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a cleaner role.


cleaner jobs

average salary of a cleaner

According to National Careers, the starting salary of a cleaner is £15,000 per year while experienced cleaners earn over £21,000 annually. The compensation package depends on the cleaning job and the industry sector. For instance, industrial cleaners in the UK earn between £17,000 and £23,000 per year, while dry cleaners earn between £14,000 and £18,000 per year.

  • entry-level cleaners with less than one year of experience typically earn an average compensation of £8.57 per hour, including bonuses, overtime pay and tips. 
  • cleaners with one to four years of experience earn an average of £8.79 per hour. Cleaners with five to nine years of experience earn an average of £9.68 per hour. 
  • more experienced cleaners in the industry with 10 to 19 years earn £9.88. Those with at least 20 years of experience working as a cleaner can earn at least £10 per hour.


types of cleaner

Cleaners can work in various settings, including hotels, gyms, restaurants, banks and commercial offices. You can also find jobs in residential households where private services are requested. Some types of cleaners include:

  • janitors: janitorial cleaning services are completed at a specific time interval, depending on the type of business, usage volume and traffic patterns. When you are a janitor, you keep commercial settings tidy, from wiping down windows to mopping floors and cleaning walls.
  • project-related: project-related cleaning services are after specific events or projects. This type of cleaning is for a specific time and may require cleaning particular floors or high-traffic areas. Cleaners who perform this service often clean carpets or hard floors.
  • commercial: commercial cleaners charge one-time fees without the requirement of using the services again in the future. These professionals often power wash the exterior of an office building or wash the exterior windows.
  • industrial cleaner: as an industrial cleaner, you clean hazardous areas that require specialised cleaning procedures. You can also clean up after fires, floods or clean crime scenes.


working as a cleaner

Working as a cleaner involves keeping your work areas clean and tidy and reporting any maintenance work required. Let's dive into the specific responsibilities and work schedules of cleaners.


education & skills

Cleaning positions do not require a degree to enter the job field. However, most jobs require a high school diploma or an associate degree. Experience is often more valued for landing a job. Many cleaning professionals have previous jobs as housekeepers or sales associates. Most cleaning jobs do not require any formal training or education.

  • training: this is typically performed after the cleaner is hired. New hires may work with a more experienced cleaner, which is when they learn how to operate the equipment or use different cleaning supplies. They may also learn to handle and repair minor plumbing or electrical system issues.
  • product handling: some product handling education may be required for entry-level cleaning jobs, depending on the employer.

skills and competencies

It's important to have practical cleaning knowledge, especially handling heavy cleaning equipment and machinery. You should be capable of efficiently using new equipment. Other skills and competencies that employers look for include:

  • physical fitness: fitness is a crucial factor for most employers. You should be able to bend comfortably when cleaning under desks or tables and other types of furniture. Flexibility is necessary to ensure you're capable of reaching and cleaning the ceilings or corners of the room.
  • handling cleaning solutions: it's important to know specific cleaning solutions to ensure you use them correctly. You also need to know how to store the items properly for added safety.
  • attention to detail and working with a team: attention to detail comes in handy to ensure the rooms are thoroughly cleaned without any missed spots. Employers might look for employees who have shown that they can be a successful part of a team; you'll be working closely with other cleaners to ensure efficiency. Employers also want employees to have interpersonal skills to ensure they get along with their supervisor or manager as they clean.
  • time management: time management skills are necessary to ensure you can plan your schedule correctly and complete tasks in a timely and satisfactory manner.



Here are the most asked questions about working as an cleaner:

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