- Carrying out general cleaning or more specialised cleaning like upholstery or the outsides of buildings
- Option to start your own cleaning business
- Depending on the job, you might clean the same area every day, or go to different sites
Cleaners are responsible for keeping their place of employment looking presentable for fellow employees and other visitors. They clean and maintain floors with sweeping, mopping, and buffing; they also clean walls, windows, and doors. Cleaners dispose of rubbish, vacuum floors, and clean spills.
You could have general cleaning duties or specialise in certain areas like cleaning carpets and upholstery, stripping and resealing hard floor coverings, cleaning premises where food is prepared, industrial cleaning of new buildings, cleaning hospital wards, house and squat clearance, cleaning passenger vehicles, cleaning at heights using either ladders or mobile access equipment, clearing up after fires, floods or building work, or crime scene cleaning. You'd need to know which cleaning chemicals to use for each task, and to follow professional guidelines on the use of cleaning chemicals and equipment. You may have to carry out some simple maintenance of the equipment you use and check the stock levels of cleaning materials.
Part-time cleaners are usually paid by the hour. Rates are often in line with the national minimum wage. You may have to work when buildings are closed for normal activities. This could be in the evenings, early morning or at weekends. You could work part-time or on a casual basis. In a full-time job you could work 35 to 40 hours a week. Overtime may be available.
Depending on the job, you might clean the same area every day, or go to different sites; obviously your working environment may be dirty and in some jobs you may need to wear a uniform or protective clothing. If you're a supervisor you may visit teams of cleaners working in different locations.
There are no set requirements to be a cleaner, but you'll need to be able to show employers that you are reliable and able to do the job.
Previous experience can help, particularly if you're looking for specialised cleaning work.
You could also get into this job through an intermediate apprenticeship in cleaning and support services, or if you would like to work in hospitals, care homes or other places with infection control requirements, you could do a Healthcare cleaning operative intermediate apprenticeship
With experience you could move into specialist cleaning, or a more senior managerial or supervisory role.You could also start your own business.