An office cleaner dusts, mops and takes out the trash, making sure a building is well-kept. Office cleaners have important duties, as they are responsible for helping to create a pleasant environment for workers and customers. They work in every type of establishment, from medical offices to insurance agencies to general buildings.
Office cleaners wipe down appliances and furniture, as well as vacuum and shampoo carpet. They might clean everything from the company president’s desk to the employee microwave. Although their jobs are fairly basic, and usually considered entry-level, office cleaners have responsibilities that are important nonetheless. They need to know how to use various equipment needed for cleaning, such as tools used to polish floors. They also must have a firm grasp of which types of cleaning chemicals are to be used for each job--and be sure not to mix ones that could be toxic.
Office cleaners must be professional, organized and work quickly. They also need to be detailed, giving special attention to each task. Most have to spend entire workdays on their feet, so they also must possess the endurance needed for the job. More than anything, office cleaners need a strong work ethic and a positive approach to their occupation, and work well alone, as well as with a member of a team. On top of those things, office cleaners have to be able to follow the instruction of a supervisor.
The majority of office cleaners are able to learn on the job with no formal education or training. Most employers expect applicants to possess at least a high school diploma. Some companies, however, employ students who work on a part-time basis to clean their buildings. Also, some office cleaners may have had employment in related fields, working as custodians or janitors.
As long as offices aim for a clean, safe work environment, there will be jobs for office cleaners. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of building cleaners was expected to increase 5 percent from 2008 through 2018. Not all of those jobs will be in office settings--some will be in hospitals or hotels--but the bottom line is workers with cleaning skills can find opportunities in just about any building.
Wages for office cleaners vary greatly based on a number of factors. That includes whether or not they are full-time employees and how much experience they possess. According to PayScale.com, those with the title of cleaner earned a median hourly wage of $9.26 in June 2010.
2016 Salary Information for Janitors and Building Cleaners
Janitors and building cleaners earned a median annual salary of $24,190 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, janitors and building cleaners earned a 25th percentile salary of $20,000, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $31,490, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 2,384,600 people were employed in the U.S. as janitors and building cleaners.