What does a Janitor do?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Janitors are charged with cleaning a property.
Janitors are charged with cleaning a property.

Janitors are individuals who manage the cleaning process in private businesses and public buildings. One may find work with a private company, as part of the support team of an office building, or as an employee of a public service system. While the work does not generally require any level of higher education, it is not unusual to find people who occupy supervisory roles within the janitorial profession to have at least some college experience.

Janitors perform common maintenance and cleaning duties at a business or institution.
Janitors perform common maintenance and cleaning duties at a business or institution.

The general responsibilities of most janitor positions involve routine cleaning tasks, like removing trash from waste cans in offices, vacuuming carpets, sweeping floors, and in general keeping the space in an orderly fashion. In many cases, this person may also handle climate control functions with the building as well. This may include keeping a furnace in proper working order, handling the function of thermostats, or keeping a boiler system in proper repair. Some are also troubleshoots plumbing issues, handling maintenance tasks with hot and cold running water, replacing leaky pipes and faucets, and even replacing sinks and toilets when necessary.

Janitorial staff may maintain boilers and plumbing systems.
Janitorial staff may maintain boilers and plumbing systems.

A janitor who works within a school or a government-owned public building is often referred to as a custodian. Along with basic cleaning responsibilities, custodians may handle other responsibilities, such as seeing that doors are locked after hours and that any electronic alarm systems are properly set before the building is closed for the evening. The head custodian may also oversee a cleaning crew, depending on the size of the facility.

General groundskeeping tasks are often performed by janitors.
General groundskeeping tasks are often performed by janitors.

While this person may work during the daylight hours, it is not unusual for many cleaning professionals to work during the evening. This is especially true with office buildings, where the cleaning staff is usually expected to do the job without disturbing people who would prefer to work without a vacuum cleaner running or someone mopping or emptying trash receptacles.

Janitors perform tasks including vacuuming carpets and sweeping floors.
Janitors perform tasks including vacuuming carpets and sweeping floors.

A janitor may work for a specific company or be the employee of a cleaning service that is contracted to handle cleaning and maintenance functions. Many enjoy employment benefits with a full range of benefits, while others may work with minimal benefits and a relatively small amount of pay.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including , and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including , and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

Discussion Comments

anon246717

What does a janitor do for work in malls or other places?

Bakersdozen

My uncle runs a janitor supply company, which is part of a larger commercial cleaning enterprise.

A full time janitor's salary can be quite high, which I think is fair enough as they have to be Jack or Jill of all trades, plus there's a lot of responsibility if you are a key holder.

CaithnessCC

Whenever I start a new job I make a point of seeking out and befriending the janitor! They really are the people who know everything that's going on in a business, and they can make your life so much easier.

anon153347

Very good and informative!

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    • Janitors are charged with cleaning a property.
      By: gustoledo
      Janitors are charged with cleaning a property.
    • Janitors perform common maintenance and cleaning duties at a business or institution.
      By: mikkolem
      Janitors perform common maintenance and cleaning duties at a business or institution.
    • Janitorial staff may maintain boilers and plumbing systems.
      By: Minerva Studio
      Janitorial staff may maintain boilers and plumbing systems.
    • General groundskeeping tasks are often performed by janitors.
      By: Fotolia RAW
      General groundskeeping tasks are often performed by janitors.
    • Janitors perform tasks including vacuuming carpets and sweeping floors.
      By: EuToch
      Janitors perform tasks including vacuuming carpets and sweeping floors.
    • Janitors clean toilets, and sometimes be able to repair or replace broken ones.
      By: afxhome
      Janitors clean toilets, and sometimes be able to repair or replace broken ones.