Janitors are individuals who clean buildings and make sure equipment in a building is working properly, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. Janitorial supervisors are professionals who manage these individuals. First-line supervisors of building cleaning workers, which include janitorial supervisors, filled 251,100 jobs in 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Janitorial supervisors organize janitors’ schedules of duties and assign various tasks to janitors. These tasks can include cleaning rugs and floors, removing trash, replacing supplies in bathrooms, cleaning bathrooms and even removing snow from sidewalks. Janitors additionally might be responsible for completing minor maintenance tasks and alerting janitorial supervisors of larger building or equipment problems that need outside attention. Once janitors have completed their cleaning tasks, janitorial supervisors examine buildings to ensure the work meets established standards. They also might have to investigate complaints about janitorial service, according to CareerPlanner.com. Janitorial supervisors might be required to complete cleaning duties as well, especially if they are short-staffed.
Janitorial supervisors also manage inventories of cleaning equipment and supplies such as mops, vacuum cleaners, cleaning solutions and floor buffers to make sure their janitors can perform their jobs effectively. They thus must be able to manage their cleaning expenses well and might even have to produce reports on their expenditures. These professionals additionally hire janitors, provide training to both current and new workers and manage the number of hours their employees work. Janitorial supervisors can terminate or promote employees as well.
Janitorial supervisors must have strong leadership skills. They should be able to communicate well both verbally and through writing when directing the tasks of janitors and preparing reports for their own supervisors. Janitorial supervisors should be very organized, pay strong attention to detail and be able to motivate their employees. These professionals also should have strong training skills for teaching employees how to perform various cleaning procedures or use equipment properly. They must be good managers of time and have good judgment as well.
Janitorial supervisors typically need at least a high school diploma or GED, but employers also look for those who have a college degree or have completed at least some post-secondary education. College education is particularly attractive to employers in the health care and hospitality industries, where clean rooms and well-maintained facilities are critical. Many companies also work to increase janitorial supervisors’ leadership skills through in-service training. Janitorial supervisors usually can find work in firms that provide services to office facilities and residential buildings, or they can land jobs at schools, universities and government offices. Janitorial supervisors also can run their own businesses.
Employment of janitorial supervisors is projected to grow five percent from 2008 to 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The health care industry especially is a growing area of potential for these professionals. Median hourly wages of first-line supervisors of building cleaning workers such as janitorial workers in May 2008 were $16.34, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics.