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JANITOR: It Can Really Be A Career If You Want It To Be

About this video 

Melvin, a Janitor, describes the variety of duties he is responsible for on his job. He shares how he got into this line of work and what he knows now about this career. Being a Janitor doesn't mean you're at the bottom of the totem pole; it takes a lot of skill and knowledge to keep a building clean.

Job Title: Janitor

Job Summary: Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners

Job Description

Janitors and building cleaning workers keep office buildings, schools, hospitals, retail stores, hotels, and other places clean, sanitary, and in good condition. Some do only cleaning, while others have a wide range of outside duties, including mowing lawns, sweeping walkways, or shoveling snow. Some janitors also monitor the heating and cooling system, ensuring that it functions properly, and may be responsible for repairing small problems with electricity or plumbing, such as leaky faucets.

On-the-Job Training

Moderate-term on-the-job training

Additional Info

Most janitors and building cleaners learn on the job. Beginners typically work with a more experienced janitor or cleaner, learning how to use and maintain machines, such as wet-and-dry vacuums and floor buffers and polishers. They may also learn on the job how to repair minor problems with the electricity or plumbing.

Certification Requirement
Recommended by the Building Service Contractors Association International and the International Sanitary Supply Association.

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$15,000 - $36,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
5 to 15 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Part-time, Full-time
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Office, Remote, Outdoor, Indoor, Hospital / Clinic, Physically demanding
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Technical skills, Strength/stamina, People skills

Educational Path

Education requirement
Education Requirement
High school degree
View Detailed Career Data

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P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='580'>I</span> <span m='750'>work</span> <span m='930'>janitorial.</span> <span m='1880'>It's</span> <span m='2210'>pretty</span> <span m='2440'>much</span> <span m='2660'>the</span> <span m='2760'>same</span> <span m='3100'>routine</span> <span m='3600'>over</span> <span m='3920'>and</span> <span m='4030'>over.</span> <span m='4990'>So</span> <span m='5190'>you</span> <span m='5330'>know,</span> <span m='5660'>I</span> <span m='6050'>get</span> <span m='6370'>in</span> <span m='6480'>early,</span> <span m='6830'>do</span> <span m='6980'>what</span> <span m='7110'>I</span> <span m='7220'>got</span> <span m='7390'>to</span> <span m='7450'>do.</span> </p><p><span m='8000'>I</span> <span m='8100'>mean,</span> <span m='8600'>it</span> <span m='8830'>goes</span> <span m='9110'>a</span> <span m='9250'>long</span> <span m='9690'>distance,</span> <span m='10040'>from</span> <span m='12500'>garbage</span> <span m='12860'>compactors--</span> <span m='13490'>I'm</span> <span m='13590'>not</span> <span m='13750'>sure</span> <span m='14035'>if</span> <span m='14320'>some</span> <span m='14590'>people</span> <span m='14880'>even</span> <span m='15070'>know</span> <span m='15230'>about</span> <span m='15530'>that.</span> <span m='15990'>But</span> <span m='16230'>they</span> <span m='16360'>have</span> <span m='16620'>to be</span> <span m='16840'>emptied</span> <span m='17620'>and</span> <span m='17780'>cleaned</span> <span m='18190'>out.</span> <span m='18370'>Sometimes</span> <span m='18850'>they</span> <span m='18950'>get</span> <span m='19430'>clogged.</span> <span m='19900'>You</span> <span m='20180'>have</span> <span m='20580'>to</span> <span m='20690'>know</span> <span m='20890'>how</span> <span m='21440'>to</span> <span m='21540'>manage</span> <span m='21890'>them,</span> <span m='22060'>and</span> <span m='22220'>what</span> <span m='22460'>buttons</span> <span m='22810'>to</span> <span m='22900'>work</span> <span m='23660'>to</span> <span m='24020'>unclog</span> <span m='24350'>them.</span> </p><p><span m='24840'>I</span> <span m='24990'>go</span> <span m='25180'>from</span> <span m='25400'>there</span> <span m='25640'>to</span> <span m='25720'>cleaning</span> <span m='26060'>bathrooms,</span> <span m='26850'>sweeping,</span> <span m='27330'>mopping,</span> <span m='29780'>cleaning</span> <span m='30180'>toilets.</span> <span m='30750'>I</span> <span m='31130'>wash</span> <span m='31500'>windows.</span> <span m='32640'>I</span> <span m='33250'>vacuum</span> <span m='34060'>rugs.</span> <span m='34920'>I buff</span> <span m='35280'>floors.</span> <span m='36650'>You</span> <span m='36760'>know,</span> <span m='36980'>I</span> <span m='37530'>pick</span> <span m='37810'>up</span> <span m='37950'>debris</span> <span m='38380'>outside</span> <span m='38980'>of</span> <span m='39060'>the</span> <span m='39140'>building,</span> <span m='39730'>things</span> <span m='40060'>of</span> <span m='40330'>that</span> <span m='40500'>nature.</span> </p><p><span m='41130'>Well,</span> <span m='42260'>it</span> <span m='42370'>came</span> <span m='42590'>about</span> <span m='43670'>probably</span> <span m='44650'>like</span> <span m='44920'>10</span> <span m='45120'>years</span> <span m='45370'>ago.</span> <span m='46320'>I</span> <span m='46440'>was</span> <span m='46880'>laid</span> <span m='47140'>off from</span> <span m='47310'>my</span> <span m='47510'>job</span> <span m='47910'>because</span> <span m='48240'>my</span> <span m='48770'>license</span> <span m='49130'>was</span> <span m='49490'>suspended.</span> <span m='49770'>I</span> <span m='49880'>used</span> <span m='50040'>to</span> <span m='50100'>be</span> <span m='50260'>a</span> <span m='50320'>delivery</span> <span m='50760'>driver.</span> <span m='51440'>So</span> <span m='51960'>my</span> <span m='52150'>company</span> <span m='52590'>didn't</span> <span m='52810'>want</span> <span m='52980'>to</span> <span m='53010'>lay</span> <span m='53210'>me</span> <span m='53430'>off,</span> <span m='53730'>so</span> <span m='53790'>they</span> <span m='53920'>put</span> <span m='54160'>me</span> <span m='54350'>into</span> <span m='54610'>a</span> <span m='54670'>janitorial</span> <span m='55390'>position.</span> </p><p><span m='56230'>And</span> <span m='56390'>after</span> <span m='56620'>that,</span> <span m='58550'>it</span> <span m='58700'>just</span> <span m='58940'>meshed</span> <span m='59140'>together.</span> <span m='59900'>I</span> <span m='60040'>throw</span> <span m='60250'>my</span> <span m='60380'>headphones</span> <span m='60700'>in</span> <span m='61020'>and</span> <span m='61260'>just</span> <span m='61600'>go</span> <span m='61770'>to</span> <span m='61810'>work.</span> <span m='62150'>Just</span> <span m='62430'>sweep,</span> <span m='62710'>mop,</span> <span m='62920'>whatever.</span> <span m='64180'>And</span> <span m='64330'>the</span> <span m='64430'>time</span> <span m='64750'>goes</span> <span m='64950'>by</span> <span m='65220'>quick.</span> </p><p><span m='65920'>So</span> <span m='66220'>recently,</span> <span m='66810'>I</span> <span m='66890'>just</span> <span m='67140'>went</span> <span m='67370'>to</span> <span m='67460'>City</span> <span m='67720'>College,</span> <span m='68150'>and</span> <span m='68270'>graduated,</span> <span m='68930'>and</span> <span m='69450'>got</span> <span m='69700'>my</span> <span m='69810'>certificate</span> <span m='70990'>to</span> <span m='71130'>be</span> <span m='71300'>able</span> <span m='71430'>to</span> <span m='71500'>work</span> <span m='71860'>for</span> <span m='72120'>a</span> <span m='72720'>city</span> <span m='72970'>company,</span> <span m='73320'>as</span> <span m='73450'>a</span> <span m='73490'>hospital,</span> <span m='74180'>or</span> <span m='74270'>an</span> <span m='74350'>airport,</span> <span m='75290'>and</span> <span m='75460'>things</span> <span m='75700'>like</span> <span m='75930'>that.</span> <span m='76870'>And</span> <span m='77700'>yes, so</span> <span m='78055'>I have</span> <span m='78410'>my</span> <span m='78510'>certificate</span> <span m='79100'>for</span> <span m='79240'>that.</span> <span m='79500'>So</span> <span m='79920'>it</span> <span m='80750'>could</span> <span m='80870'>really</span> <span m='81100'>be</span> <span m='81260'>a career</span> <span m='81660'>if</span> <span m='81750'>you</span> <span m='81880'>want</span> <span m='82090'>it to</span> <span m='82230'>be.</span> </p><p><span m='83060'>I</span> <span m='83200'>thought it was walking</span> <span m='83580'>around,</span> <span m='84070'>you</span> <span m='84474'>know,</span> <span m='86090'>at</span> <span m='86220'>the</span> <span m='86290'>bottom</span> <span m='86600'>of</span> <span m='86800'>the</span> <span m='87130'>totem</span> <span m='87430'>pole.</span> <span m='88060'>But</span> <span m='88150'>really,</span> <span m='88530'>you can</span> <span m='89250'>be</span> <span m='89400'>a</span> <span m='89450'>supervisor</span> <span m='90090'>and</span> <span m='90200'>this and</span> <span m='90470'>that.</span> <span m='90820'>Because</span> <span m='91150'>it's</span> <span m='91810'>a</span> <span m='91850'>lot</span> <span m='92030'>of</span> <span m='92090'>work</span> <span m='92380'>to</span> <span m='92540'>know</span> <span m='92730'>what</span> <span m='93160'>chemicals</span> <span m='93740'>to</span> <span m='93780'>use,</span> <span m='94540'>what</span> <span m='94930'>pads</span> <span m='95300'>to</span> <span m='95380'>use</span> <span m='95710'>to</span> <span m='95810'>buff.</span> </p><p><span m='96380'>And</span> <span m='96620'>it's</span> <span m='97450'>a</span> <span m='97510'>lot</span> <span m='97770'>with</span> <span m='97910'>the</span> <span m='97990'>territory</span> <span m='98295'>that</span> <span m='98600'>people don't</span> <span m='98850'>understand,</span> <span m='99900'>when</span> <span m='100540'>they</span> <span m='100630'>just</span> <span m='100870'>come in</span> <span m='101100'>the</span> <span m='101150'>building,</span> <span m='101440'>and</span> <span m='101530'>it's</span> <span m='101780'>clean.</span> <span m='102110'>But</span> <span m='102290'>you</span> <span m='102360'>don't</span> <span m='102530'>know</span> <span m='102650'>what</span> <span m='102780'>a</span> <span m='102820'>person</span> <span m='103160'>does</span> <span m='103410'>overnight</span> <span m='104070'>and</span> <span m='104230'>things</span> <span m='104460'>like</span> <span m='104670'>that,</span> <span m='104950'>or</span> <span m='105120'>while</span> <span m='105340'>you're</span> <span m='105610'>at</span> <span m='105790'>work.</span> <span m='106460'>It's</span> <span m='107000'>a</span> <span m='107050'>lot</span> <span m='107290'>to it.</span> 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