All You Need To Know About A Janitor Career

You consider becoming a janitor but are still not entirely sure whether this job will be the right way to go for you or not?

Great! Stick with me since I will show you everything you need to know about being a janitor in the following chapters!

Not only will we talk about salaries, but you will also learn a lot about job satisfaction, working hours, work-life balance, future outlook, duties, educational requirements and much more.

You will also find an FAQ section where I answer the most common questions about being a janitor for you.

After reading this article, you will have a much better idea of whether you still want to become a janitor or rather want to go for a different career instead.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

Table of Contents

What does a Janitor do?

Janitors are responsible for keeping private or public places clean.

They also do routine inspections and document potential shortcomings and issues.

If they are good at what they are doing, they can also fix minor issues themselves.

Responsibilities & Duties of a Janitor

  • Cleaning private and public places
  • Making sure that high hygienic requirements are met
  • Doing inspections and documenting potential problems
  • Fixing minor issues
  • Making sure that no unauthorized person is entering the property
  • Stocking of supply rooms
  • Carrying out tasks in an economically senseful manner
  • Communication with clients
  • Assuring a nice visual appearance of the property they are responsible for.
  • Comply with local rules and regulations

What a Typical Day of a Janitor looks like?

Janitors get to work between 7 and 9 a.m.

After checking their equipment and answering mails or missed calls, janitors get to their actual work.

They will clean the property they are responsible for many hours and also do minor repairs wherever needed.

They will also document any issues that come along their way so that specialists can have a look at them.

After working in a physical manner for many hours, janitors usually finish their workday between 4 and 6 p.m.

Janitor Salary 2021

Janitor salary brackets 2021

Salary BracketsSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Top 10 %> $47,000> $23.41
Top 25 %$38,000 – $42,000$18.92 – $20.89
Bottom 25 %$24,000 – $27,000$11.94 – $13.42
Bottom 10 %$20,000 – $22,000$9.88 – $10.97
Range$20,000 – $49,000$9.88 – $24.39
Average (Mean)$32,000$15.96
Median$31,000$15.43

Janitor salary 2021 by expert level

Level of ExperienceSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Entry level$20,000 – $25,000$9.88 – $12.45
Junior$24,000 – $29,000$11.97 – $14.43
Professional$28,000 – $36,000$13.92 – $17.89
Senior Professional$33,000 – $39,000$16.38 – $19.46
Expert$37,000 – $43,000$18.42 – $21.47
Top Expert$41,000 – $49,000$20.48 – $24.39

Janitor salary by state 2021 (average)

StateSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Alabama$29,800$14.89
Alaska$31,300$15.64
Arizona$33,400$16.68
Arkansas$30,500$15.23
California$41,700$20.84
Colorado$32,500$16.22
Connecticut$29,900$14.93
Delaware$28,600$14.27
District of Columbia$31,200$15.58
Florida$33,700$16.84
Georgia$30,800$15.39
Guam$31,500$15.72
Hawaii$35,200$17.59
Idaho$31,900$15.93
Illinois$30,400$15.18
Indiana$33,600$16.78
Iowa$31,700$15.82
Kansas$32,400$16.19
Kentucky$29,800$14.87
Louisiana$28,500$14.24
Maine$29,300$14.63
Maryland$31,700$15.82
Massachusetts$34,800$17.38
Michigan$32,400$16.17
Minnesota$33,900$16.94
Mississippi$27,800$13.88
Missouri$28,500$14.23
Montana$31,200$15.57
Nebraska$32,800$16.38
Nevada$30,100$15.03
New Hampshire$33,900$16.94
New Jersey$34,200$17.08
New Mexico$29,700$14.84
New York$43,800$21.89
North Carolina$32,500$16.23
North Dakota$31,900$15.93
Ohio$34,600$17.24
Oklahoma$32,300$16.13
Oregon$31,800$15.88
Pennsylvania$34,700$17.33
Rhode Island$30,800$15.37
South Carolina$35,200$17.59
South Dakota$33,100$16.53
Tennessee$31,500$15.74
Texas$30,700$15.32
Utah$32,900$16.44
Vermont$34,500$17.23
Virginia$33,900$16.94
Washington$36,200$18.09
West Virginia$34,800$17.35
Wisconsin$33,600$16.78
Wyoming$29,400$14.67

Job Security of Janitors

Janitors don’t enjoy high levels of job security since they are replaceable pretty easily.

In fact, almost everyone can become a janitor and if someone comes along who is willing to do this job at a lower price, you may just get fired from one day to the other.

Future Job Prospects of Janitors

The future outlook for caretakers may be a little bit better since not many people want to work in this field anymore and rather go for classical office jobs.

This means that you will have less competition and may be more likely to get a job in this industry.

However, barriers to entry are still quite low and since almost everyone can do this job, salaries will still be rather low.

Working Hours of Janitors

Most janitors start their workday between 7 and 9 a.m. and finish their workday between 4 and 6 p.m.

Therefore, you will work in a classical 9 to 5 environment and will have more than enough time to meet up with your favorite people after work while investment bankers or consultants who have to work long hours every day simply don’t have this luxury.

Job Satisfaction of Janitors

Most janitors are not happy with their jobs since they can’t make good money from what they are doing while they still have to work in a heavy physical manner and may ruin their bodies in the long run.

Moreover, working as a janitor may become annoying in the long run since you will have a rather low social standing and always have to deal with the problems of your clients.

Promotion Opportunities of Janitors

There are barely any promotion opportunities at all for janitors.

In fact, you will work in the same position for many years or even decades without the chance of getting promoted anytime soon and this can be really frustrating since your efforts at work seem to not matter for your personal career development.

Career Levels of Janitors

  • Janitor intern
  • Junior janitor
  • Senior janitor
  • Manager of a janitor company
  • Owner of a janitor company

Fields and Types of Janitors

  • Janitor responsible for private properties
  • Janitor responsible for public places
  • Janitor responsible for office buildings
  • Janitor specialized in fixing things around the home
  • Janitor with expertise in doing heavy cleaning work
  • Janitor specialized in doing inspections
  • Janitor with management responsibilities
  • Janitor working part-time
  • Janitor working full-time

Educational Requirements for Janitors

There are no fancy educational requirements for becoming a janitor.

You don’t need to get a degree but can rather start working in this field right after getting your high school diploma.

How to become a Janitor

  1. Inform yourself about the advantages and disadvantages of being a janitor
  2. Apply for an internship at a facility management company
  3. Make a good impression during your internship
  4. Finish high school with decent grades
  5. Apply for jobs as a facility manager
  6. Master the job interview
  7. Sign your labor contract
  8. Work hard to make your clients happy
  9. Start your own janitor business

Character Traits you need as a Janitor

  • You should be passionate about keeping things and properties clean
  • Willingness to work in a job with rather poor reputation
  • Willingness to work in a low-wage environment
  • Ability to deal with snarky comments about your career choice
  • Willingness to work with your hands
  • You should be willing to do rather unpleasant tasks
  • You should be an open and friendly person
  • You should be reliable
  • Customer service is your main priority

Hard Skills for Janitors

  • Knowledge of how to clean things in a proper manner
  • Expertise in doing minor repairs
  • Knowledge of how to use chemicals in a safe manner
  • Expertise in cleaning different floor coverings
  • Good maintenance and documentation skills
  • Mechanical abilities help as well
  • Knowledge of how to remove sticky dirt
  • You should be in good physical condition
  • Good knowledge of rules and regulations related to your work

Soft Skills for Janitors

  • You should be open to critical feedback
  • You should be open and friendly to make clients happy
  • Persistence helps you get things done
  • Good time management skills help to deal with high workloads
  • You should be confident to deal with snarky comments
  • Self-motivation for keeping properties clean
  • You should be able to work on your own
  • Clients need to know that you are reliable
  • Good communication skills help as well

Exit Options for Janitors

There are barely any exit options for janitors at all.

Once you work in this field, you will often not learn many skills that are needed in the job market right now and you may therefore get stuck with being a custodian for quite a long time.

Janitor – Similar Careers

  • Housekeeper
  • Supervisor
  • Stock clerk
  • Construction worker
  • Welder
  • Roofer
  • Maid
  • Babysitter
  • Nanny

Janitor Career FAQs

Is working as a janitor physically demanding?

Working as a janitor can be physically demanding since you will have to clean properties all day long and you will often do minor repairs from time to time.

Consequently, you will have to work with your hands quite a lot and if you rather want to work with your brain instead of doing heavy physical work, you should become a financial analyst or work in a different office job.

Is working as a janitor mentally demanding?

Being a janitor is not heavily mentally demanding.

In fact, you will not have to stress your brain that much at work but will rather use your hands to get things done.

Consequently, while statisticians and many other people have to stress their brains at work quite a lot, you as a caretaker will have a rather relaxed time in this regard.

Is it dangerous to work as a janitor?

Working as a facility manager is not dangerous.

While you will sometimes have to use machines to get your work done, you will still not be at the same great risk of suffering from accidents at work as roofers, welders or construction workers.

Compared to police officers or firefighters, your risk of suffering from serious incidents at work will be pretty low.

How long do janitors stay in their jobs?

Janitors often stay in their jobs for many decades simply due to a lack of alternatives.

Even though many janitors don’t like what they have to do for a living, most of them stay in their jobs due to a lack of alternatives since they don’t have many skills that are needed in the job market right now.

Is it easy for janitors to find a new job?

It is relatively easy for janitors to find a new job in this industry since not many people want to work as facility managers anymore and there will be a lack of janitors in many regions.

Is it hard to switch from being a janitor to another field of work?

While you will have a rather easy time finding a job as a janitor, you will have serious problems finding a job in a different field since you will often lack the skills that are needed for working in different positions and it will be pretty hard for you to find someone who would be willing to employ you in a different industry.

Do janitors have a high social status?

Janitors don’t have a high social status at all.

Instead, janitors often have to deal with snarky comments and people may even make fun of you.

Also your family and friends may not understand your career choice and you may have to justify for it quite often.

Can you help out your family and friends as a janitor?

You will not be able to do much good for your family and friends as a facility manager since you will often not learn many skills that would be valuable to others.

In turn, you will likely have a rather poor social standing among your circle of friends.

Can janitors work remotely?

Facility managers are not able to work remotely.

Instead, they have to be present at their workplace in person and while many other people who work in classical office jobs can work from home, you will have to commute to work and back and will have to spend lots of time and money on it.

Is it easy to find a partner as a janitor?

It is pretty hard for janitors to find someone for a long-term relationship since they suffer from pretty poor job security while they are also not able to make good money from what they are doing and have a rather low social standing.

Consequently, you will not be considered a good provider by most people in the dating market.

Do janitors have to work on weekends?

Janitors don’t have to work on weekends.

Instead, you can make nice weekend trips or spend those days with your family or your friends or on your favorite hobbies while many other people who work as train drivers or waiters often have to work on Saturdays or even Sundays.

Do janitors have to work on holidays?

Facility managers don’t have to work on holidays.

Instead, you can celebrate those special days with your loved ones or spend them on the things you like more than working in general.

Do janitors have to work at nighttime?

Facility managers also don’t have to work in the evening or at nighttime.

Instead, they work in a standard 9 to 5 job and will therefore come home from work quite early while many other people like police officers or security guards often have to work at nighttime.

Do you have to travel as a janitor?

There is no need to travel as a janitor.

While many other people who work in leading positions in the corporate world have to do business trips quite often, you as a janitor don’t have to do those things but can rather stay at home with your loved ones.

Are janitor pensions good?

Since janitors don’t make good money from their jobs, also their pensions will be rather poor.

Moreover, facility managers are often not able to save enough money during their active careers and may therefore get into serious financial trouble once they get older.

Are janitor salaries going up?

Janitor salaries have not been going up significantly over the past years since barriers to entry are pretty low and almost everyone can work in this field.

Consequently, employers don’t have to pay high hourly wages since they also find enough people who are willing to work for a pretty poor salary.

Can you have a positive impact on society as a janitor?

While you will do an important job to keep properties clean, you will still not have the same high social impact as teachers or doctors who can really change the lives of many people.

How long does it take to become a janitor?

Since you don’t need to get a fancy degree, it will not take you long to become a facility manager at all.

All you need to do is getting your high school diploma and you will be ready to apply for jobs in this field.

Is it difficult to become a janitor?

Becoming a janitor is not difficult at all.

All you need to do is finish high school with decent grades and you will be good to work in this field without having to get any fancy education.

Do you need to be smart to work as a janitor?

You don’t need to have a high IQ for working as a facility manager.

What’s much more important than your intelligence is that you are really passionate about working in this field so that you stay motivated with what you are doing in the long run.

Do janitors have a good work-life balance?

Janitors enjoy pretty good work-life balance since they have free weekends and holidays while they also don’t have to work in the evening or at nighttime.

Consequently, facility managers have more than enough time to meet up with their favorite people after work.

Do janitors have to work many extra hours?

You don’t have to work many extra hours as a janitor.

Instead, you will have a fixed schedule and once your workday is over, you will just continue with your work the next day and don’t have to meet strict timelines as in many other jobs.

How to maximize your chances of becoming a janitor?

The sooner you get exposure and experience in this field, the more likely it will be to find a job later on.

Hence, to maximize your chances of becoming a facility manager, you should apply for an internship while you are still in school to make some contacts that can help you to get a job in this industry in the future.

Can janitors work part-time?

While janitors can work part-time in theory, most caretakers still have to work full-time since they would not be able to make enough money from a part-time job in this field to cover their expenses.

Do janitors work indoors or outdoors?

Janitors have to work both indoors as well as outdoors.

Consequently, you should not be afraid of working outdoors during times of bad weather and if you do, you should rather become an auditor or work in another classical office job instead of aspiring to a career as a janitor.

What does the workplace of a janitor look like?

As a janitor, you will often clean the homes of private persons or corporations.

Hence, it is hard to say what your workplace will exactly look like, even though you can almost be 100% sure that cleaning equipment will be part of your daily routine.

Do you have to look good for working as a janitor?

You don’t have to look good for working as a janitor.

However, you should still look groomed so that your clients will not be afraid or disgusted by your appearance and you can represent the janitor company you work for in the best possible manner.

Is a janitor career beneficial for your private life?

Being a janitor doesn’t provide many advantages for your private life since you will not be able to make good money while you will also not enjoy good job security.

In turn, you will not be considered a solid partner for a relationship and even if you find someone who wants to marry you, your spouse may start to cheat on you sooner or later to find a better deal.

Do you need a college degree for becoming a janitor?

You don’t need a college degree for working as a janitor.

Instead, what’s much more important than formal education is that you are passionate about what you are doing and that you are also willing to work with your hands.

Do you need to be certified to work as a janitor?

You also don’t need to get certified to be able to work as a facility manager.

Instead, you just need to get a high school diploma and you will be ready to work in this field.

How much does it cost to become a janitor?

Janitors don’t need to go to college and can therefore save lots of time and money on college education.

Thus, you can become a janitor at almost no cost and may even be able to make money at a rather young age.

Is being a janitor a good career?

Working as a facility manager is not considered a good career by most people since you can not make good money from what you are doing and also have a rather low social status compared to many office jobs out there.

Is it easy to start your own business as a janitor?

It is relatively easy to start your own janitor business since you don’t need to spend lots of money on equipment and can start out as one-man or one-woman shop until you get enough clients to employ people to do the work for you.

Can janitors teach themselves?

Facility managers are able to teach themselves most things they need.

In fact, you can look up many tips and tricks on YouTube or on the internet in general and you will find solutions to most problems you will face during your job.

Do janitors make good money?

Facility managers are not able to make good money at all.

Instead, they have a pretty poor hourly wage and also their overall salary will be rather low.

Many janitors complain about their low salaries and secretly think about switching to a different career where they could make more money.

Is it ever too late to become a janitor?

Since there are no high formal requirements you have to meet, you can become a janitor at every age.

However, working as a caretaker can still be physically demanding and the sooner you start working in this field, the easier it will be to do this job.

Do janitors have to quit their careers early?

Some facility managers also have to quit their careers early due to physical health issues.

In fact, working as a janitor can be physically demanding and you may have to stress your body quite a lot.

In turn, once you get older, your body may no longer work properly and you may no longer be able to work in this industry.

What is the most challenging thing about working as a janitor?

The most challenging part about being a caretaker is that you will have to deal with many different people and you will never know how they react to your suggestions and your work in general.

Hence, you will also have to solve many interpersonal conflicts in the long run.

Can you provide for your family by working as a janitor?

Most janitors are not able to provide for their families since they just make poor money and are often not able to pay for rent and other basic expenses.

Consequently, if you want to have a family, your spouse may have to work as well to cover your expenses.

Will janitors suffer from old-age poverty?

Many caretakers will suffer from old-age poverty since they don’t make enough money during their active careers and receive pretty poor pensions.

In turn, many janitors are no longer able to pay their bills once they get to retirement age.

Can janitors retire early?

Due to their rather low salary, most janitors are also not able to retire early.

Instead, they have to work until they reach retirement age and some caretakers even have to work during their 70s since their pensions will not be enough to cover their expenses.

Do janitors get a fixed or variable salary?

Most janitors get a fixed salary and even though you might also get a variable salary, this variable fraction will be rather low and your performance at work will therefore not greatly matter for your income.

Can you get rich as a janitor?

It is impossible to get rich as an employed janitor.

If you really want to make good money in this industry, you would have to start your own business and scale it as much as possible.

Do janitors need a second job?

Many janitors also need a second job to pay their bills since their hourly wage is often pretty low and many caretakers are therefore not able to even cover their basic expenses.

Do you get continuous training as a janitor?

You don’t get continuous training as a janitor.

Instead, you will learn most things you need on the job and it will be on you to get better at what you are doing so that your clients are happy with your work in the long run.

Do you get sick pay as a janitor?

Most janitors don’t receive sick pay.

However, if you want to be 100% sure in this regard, you should have a look at your labor contract or ask people who already work in this industry.

Do janitors have a high level of responsibility?

Even though you will do an important job for society, you will still not have the same high level of responsibility compared to doctors or other people whose mistakes could take away the lives of many people.

Can janitors work abroad?

Janitors are able to work all over the world.

However, working conditions and salaries may be quite different in foreign countries from what you are used to at home and you should therefore inform yourself about those issues in order to not get disappointed in this regard.

Is it stressful to work as a janitor?

Working as a janitor is not stressful.

Even though you may have to deal with high workloads from time to time, you will still have a rather relaxed life for the majority of the year and also don’t have to meet strict deadlines.

Is it boring to work as a janitor?

It may become pretty boring to work as a facility manager in case you are not really passionate about working in this field.

In such a case, you should not go for a caretaker career but rather aspire to a more exciting career.

Is being a janitor hard?

While working as a janitor can be physically demanding, you will still not have to stress your brain that much and you will also have a rather relaxed workday and don’t have to deal with lots of pressure.

Consequently, compared to many other jobs out there, working as a caretaker is not that hard.

Are janitors at risk of burnout?

Since janitors don’t have to deal with lots of stress at work, they will also not be at great risk of burnout compared to other people like plastic surgeons who have to deal with lots of stress on a regular basis.

Is there a dress code for janitors?

You don’t need to comply with a fixed dress code as a janitor.

While many other people who work in demanding office jobs have to wear fancy suits or dresses, you as a facility manager can wear whatever you feel most comfortable with instead.

What kind of janitors are paid the most?

The more experience you have as a janitor and the more work you can get done in one day, the more valuable you will be to your clients and the more money they will be willing to pay for your services.

What percentage of janitors are women?

While around 60% of all janitors are men, only 40% of them are women.

However, you will still have decent chances to work in this industry, independent of your gender.

Do I need a mentor to succeed as a janitor?

You don’t need a mentor for succeeding as a janitor.

What’s much more important is that you are passionate about cleaning and fixing things so that you stay happy and motivated with what you are doing in the long run.

Will you be personally liable for mistakes as a janitor?

You will often not be personally liable for mistakes you make as an employed caretaker.

However, if you want to be 100% sure in this regard, you should ask a lawyer or get proper insurance.

Do janitors have a high life expectancy?

Since janitors are not able to make good money from what they are doing, they are often not able to afford proper medical treatment in case of emergency and their overall life expectancy is therefore rather low.

Do janitors suffer from sleeping problems?

Since janitors don’t have to work at nighttime, most of them also don’t suffer from sleeping problems related to their work, even though some also don’t sleep well due to the high levels of insecurity that come along with working in this field.

What states are best for working as a janitor?

Since janitors are not able to make good money, no matter in what state they work, you should work as a facility manager in a state where living costs are pretty low so that you are able to make a living from what you are doing and don’t need a second job to pay your bills.

Who do janitors work with?

Janitors work with many different people.

Hence, it is crucial that you are an open person who is not afraid to get in touch with strangers to stay happy and motivated with what you are doing in the long run.

Is working as a janitor cool?

Working as a janitor is not considered cool by most people out there.

However, you should still not care that much about the opinion of others but should rather figure out for yourself whether working in this field will be beneficial for you in the long run.

Can you start a side hustle as a janitor?

It will be pretty hard for you to start a side hustle as a janitor since you will often not learn many skills in this regard during your day job and you may have a pretty hard time making additional money on the side.

Do you have to be creative as a janitor?

You don’t need to be creative as a caretaker.

What’s much more important than being creative is having a good work ethic and that you are passionate about what you are doing.

Do janitors suffer from being overweight?

Since janitors often work in a physical manner, they are not at great risk of suffering from being overweight since they get enough exercise at work and burn enough calories to stay in shape.

How employable are janitors?

Since not many people want to do this job anymore, there is a lack of good janitors in many regions and you may have a pretty easy time finding a job in this field.

Are janitors happy with their jobs?

Most facility managers are not happy with their jobs at all since they only make pretty poor money and also have to deal with lots of insecurity related to their jobs.

In turn, many caretakers consider quitting their jobs and working in a different field.

Is working as a janitor exciting?

Working as a janitor is not exciting.

You will just do many things over and over again and if you don’t have a real passion for working in this field, you may get bored with it sooner or later.

Can you have a positive impact on our environment as a janitor?

While you can keep properties clean, you will still not have a big positive impact on our environment and substances you use for cleaning purposes may even be harmful to our planet.

What are the pros and cons of working as a janitor?

If you still consider becoming a janitor, you should also have a look at additional pros and cons of being a caretaker.

Sources

https://www.statista.com/statistics/885247/revenue-of-janitorial-services-in-the-us/

https://www.statista.com/statistics/324433/industries-with-the-highest-levels-of-employment-of-janitors-and-cleaners-us/

Interviews and own research.

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.

This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.

Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.

I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.

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