Your Building’s Daily Hero: A Profile...

Your Building’s Daily Hero: A Profile of Janitors and Cleaners

by Anthony Teles
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Buildings are filled with different people doing many things. Some buildings have residents living out busy lives with their families. Others have businesspeople helping to lead to great progress and change in the world. No matter what is happening inside, all of these buildings depend on janitors and cleaners to keep the place tidy, organized, and functioning. It is a very physically demanding career path, and one that so many people around the world greatly depend on.

In general, janitors and cleaners have to maintain a clean appearance for the building they are in and make sure things are working properly. This can mean very different tasks depending on the building you are in. Usually, you will have to collect garbage and remove it. You must also clean washrooms, make sure there is enough soap, toilet paper, and so on. Cleaners must also sweep, mop, and vacuum all of the floors of the building. Janitors get to be physically active, making it ideal for those who do not want to sit at a desk all day. They get to talk to the residents and workers of the site they work at, making it the perfect job for someone who loves chatting with many different people. However, the job can also be very tough on the body and force you to deal with angry people who are upset about the condition of the building. There can be long hours, and you may have to work overnight to get everything done.

Janitors and caretakers in Canada can expect to earn minimum wage when they first start working. The median income is $17 per hour, and it can go up to around $25 hourly. There were over 202,000 people working in the field in 2014. Even as the world becomes more and more digital, there will always be buildings that need cleaning and maintenance, and so there are expected to be enough job opportunities to meet demand. From 2015 to 2024, there will be around 59,400 people looking for janitorial and cleaning jobs, with about 68,000 opportunities. Despite this, you can expect some competition because there are not many requirements for the job compared to other careers.

Some employers may require that you have completed high school and have previous experience. However, because buildings are very unique from one another, a lot of places will train you at the site. Depending on where you work, you may have to use equipment such as buffers for flooring, lawn machinery, and steam cleaners. As you gain experience, you can become promoted to a senior janitorial position and oversee other employees at the site. About 38% of employees in the field are in unions, which is higher than the average rate for all careers. This can help lead to greater job security and fair pay even if you are less experienced than a senior staff member.

Without janitors and cleaners, office buildings and condominiums would be far less organized. People would be getting sick more often from germs, equipment would break down, the site’s environment would be less pleasant, and everyone would be far less productive. This career path keeps you physically active and gives you the chance to directly affect the lives of many different people at the place you maintain. Resident communities and office buildings can only function if everyone works together, and cleaners and janitors play a very important role in that teamwork.


Job Bank. “Janitors, Caretakers and Building Superintendents.” https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/report-eng.do?action=final&noc=6733&region=9219&s=0&source=6

PayScale. “Janitor Salary.” https://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=Janitor/Hourly_Rate

SnagAJob.com. “Janitor Job Description.” https://www.snagajob.com/job-descriptions/janitor/

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