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Custodians keep areas such as hospitals, office buildings and schools clean and free of bacteria. The duties of a custodian vary by company. Some custodians only handle cleaning duties, while others perform tasks such as fixing leaky faucets, painting and managing building security. Becoming a custodian does not require a lot of education, but some experience or relevant certification in some courses can help you get a custodial job.
Take high school-level courses such as science, math, workshop, business, technology, health and physical education. Try to participate in a co-op placement program where you can learn about the position and gain some experience in the process. Many high schools offer these programs, and you generally can earn high school credit at the same time. Many employers require their employees to have a high school diploma.
Prepare yourself for the job's demands. Custodians usually work a regular schedule of 35 to 40 hours per week, but the hours frequently are in the evenings. Custodians sometimes are unsupervised, and they can suffer burns, cuts and bruises on the job. Many custodians spend their work time on their feet, including lifting and pushing heavy furniture and equipment. Many tasks also involve constant bending and stretching. Many custodians have to clean while standing on ladders, and working with machines can be noisy. Tasks such as cleaning bathrooms or emptying the garbage can be unpleasant.
Learn trade skills. No formal qualifications are required to become a custodian—most custodians learn on the job. Skilled trade courses in things such as plumbing and electrical repairs, however, can be very beneficial in a custodial position. Custodians sometimes work with hazardous materials, so safety training also can be useful.
Jeff Ash has been writing professionally for the past 15 years. He has been published in numerous publications such as Associated Content, Helium and Internet Brands. He enjoys writing health, travel and animal articles. Ash holds a Bachelor of Journalism and Master of Health Science degree from the University of Wisconsin.