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School Custodian Job Description

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Custodians are responsible for keeping buildings clean and in an orderly condition. They have to perform heavy cleaning duties, such as washing walls and windows, shampooing rugs, cleaning floors, removing rubbish and performing routine maintenance activities. Custodians also have to notify management of repairs needed, tend to furnaces and boilers and clean snow and other debris from sidewalks.


The duties required of a custodian include replenishing stock in bathrooms, cleaning restrooms, gathering and emptying trash, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, monitoring building safety and security and dusting. Keeping the school as clean and tidy as possible is the overall responsibility of a custodian. They should be prepared to do things like moving heavy furniture to reach corners, cracks and crevices of covered parts of the room. They may have to clean laboratory equipment, such as computers and tables, mow and trim lawns and clean chimneys, flues and pipes with the use of power tools.


The skills required to become a custodian include reading comprehension skills, coordination skills, oral comprehension skills and equipment selection skills. It is important to be able to read instructions for cleaning certain surfaces and fixtures. It is also important to have oral comprehension skills to be able to follow verbal cleaning instructions. Equipment selection skills are useful in selecting the proper tools for each cleaning surface and fixture. It is also helpful to have manual dexterity, flexibility and trunk strength when moving heavy furniture and lifting and arranging things.


There aren’t any special education requirements to become a custodian or janitor. However, when applying for a custodial position, you should know basic arithmetic and you should be able to follow basic instructions. Most custodians learn their work on the job and as more experience is gained, more complex tasks can be assigned. Some cities offer government-run programs that tech janitorial skills. In classes like these, students learn how to clean thoroughly and efficiently, how to safely use cleaning agents and how to operate and maintain cleaning equipment, such as wet and dry vacuums, polishers and buffers.

Working Conditions

Many custodians and janitors work evening hours to clean while buildings are empty, however, custodians working in schools work during the day. Most full-time custodians work 40 hours per week and part-time cleaners work evenings and weekends. Custodians usually work in well-lit, heated buildings, but they may also have to work outdoors. Custodians are susceptible to bruises and burns from the tools and equipment and chemicals they use on a daily basis. Most of their time is spent on their feet, pushing and lifting heavy items. They may work around lots of noise, from loud rambunctious students to noisy machines and bending, stooping and stretching may be required for certain tasks.


Custodians made an average annual salary of $18,790 in 2004, according to, but salaries vary from location to location.

Janitors and Cleaners Employment and Labor Information 2023

Janitors and Cleaners Employment Brief:

Keep buildings in clean and orderly condition. Perform heavy cleaning duties, such as cleaning floors, shampooing rugs, washing walls and glass, and removing rubbish. Duties may include tending furnace and boiler, performing routine maintenance activities, notifying management of need for repairs, and cleaning snow or debris from sidewalk.

Janitors and Cleaners Job Description

Here is a Job Description an employer might post for potential Janitors and Cleaners.

Janitors and Cleaners Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Dust furniture, walls, machines, or equipment.
  • Steam-clean or shampoo carpets.
  • Strip, seal, finish, and polish floors.
  • Clean laboratory equipment, such as glassware or metal instruments, using solvents, brushes, rags, or power cleaning equipment.
  • Drive vans, industrial trucks, or other vehicles required to travel to, or to perform, cleaning work.
  • Gather and empty trash.
  • Service, clean, or supply restrooms.
  • Clean chimneys, flues, and connecting pipes, using power or hand tools.
  • Remove snow from sidewalks, driveways, or parking areas, using snowplows, snow blowers, or snow shovels, or spread snow-melting chemicals.
  • Set up, arrange, or remove decorations, tables, chairs, ladders, or scaffolding to prepare facilities for events, such as banquets or meetings.

Typical Daily Tasks of Janitors and Cleaners:

  • Performing General Physical Activities: Clean building walls or flooring. Clean equipment or supplies. Clean facilities or sites. Clean furniture or fixtures. Dispose of trash or waste materials. Move furniture. Prepare chemicals for work application. Remove debris from work sites. Remove snow.
  • Handling and Moving Objects: Decorate indoor or outdoor spaces. Treat facilities to eliminate pests. Trim trees or other vegetation.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials.
  • Getting Information.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Confer with coworkers to coordinate maintenance or cleaning activities.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work.

Janitors and Cleaners Skills and Requirements:

  • Systems Analysis Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • SpreadsheetsUsing a computer application to enter, manipulate, and format text and numerical data; insert, delete, and manipulate cells, rows, and columns; and create and save worksheets, charts, and graphs.
  • Technology Design Generating or adapting equipment and technology to serve user needs.
  • Science Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Repairing Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
  • InternetNavigating the Internet to find information, including the ability to open and configure standard browsers; use searches, hypertext references, and transfer protocols; and send and retrieve electronic mail (e-mail).
  • Mathematics Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Systems Evaluation Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Janitors and Cleaners Salary and Wages:

Average Salary: 58,450. Education: typical education requirements include High school diploma or equivalent.

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Data from May 2023 courtesy of U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program.


Shanea Patterson has been freelance writing professionally since 2006. Her writing interests include travel writing, occupational writing and fiction. She has been published in "InTravel Magazine" and "WAVE Journey Magazine." She also writes for "Inspire Us Magazine." Patterson is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mercy College.

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