Career Profile: Window Washer
When you look out a window, you see many different things. You might see trees and flowers or maybe tall buildings. Your windows at home might face a soccer field or tennis courts, where you can see people playing together. You might have a wonderful view from your window, but what you can see depends on the glass being clean or not. In many offices and other tall buildings, window washers help to keep windows clean so that people can look out and see the world around them.
Windows get dirty for many reasons. People sometimes touch them and get fingerprints on them, but often, it happens just because of the weather. Windows become dusty after the wind blows through or they get spattered in the rain. Many windows are difficult to wash because they are too large or too high off the ground for people to reach without special equipment, and they would never be clean without help.
Cleaning large or hard-to reach windows is what window washers do. Have you ever seen people standing on small platforms on the sides of tall buildings? Window washers clean the windows of buildings that can include anything from small houses to huge skyscrapers with hundreds of floors. They have to be able to get windows clean and streak-free while hanging from ropes and harnesses hundreds of metres in the air. Anyone who is clumsy or afraid of heights should never apply for work as a window washer.
Getting up to the top floors of buildings requires special equipment, and window washers need to be able to work with ropes, pulleys, and anything else that they need to use. The work can be dangerous at such great heights, and accidents can often be very serious. Knowledge and practice can help window washers increase their safety.
Even with the best preparation, however, working as a window washer has its difficulties and dangers. Birds sometimes attack the workers, and sudden gusts of wind can blow platforms over or set the window washer off balance. Quick reflexes are important for avoiding danger, and window washers should also be aware of weather forecasts and changing conditions throughout the day.
Becoming a window washer normally doesn’t require any special education, but training in how to use ropes and tie knots is very useful. Some employers might also have other requirements for their employees, and it is important to check with them before applying for jobs. Salaries can vary, depending on the location and other factors, but the average is about $28,000 per year. You could work fulltime or part-time.
Careful work is an important part of the job because no one likes to look through a window with streaks or lines of dust on it. Even if the clean windows last only a day before they become spattered by rain or covered by dust, window washers should make sure that they do the best job they can