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How Much Money Does a High Rise Window Cleaner Make?

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A high rise window cleaner has one of the most dangerous jobs in the building, cleaning and maintenance industries. This job is not a good one for people with acrophobia, or fear of heights. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists salary information for high rise window cleaners within the broader category of building cleaning workers. According to the bureau, there were more than 12,280 building cleaning workers employed in this field in 2010. Earnings tend to vary by location and employer.

Pay Scale

The average salary for high-rise window washers and other building cleaning workers was $27,830, or about $13.38 per hour in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The bureau indicates that the median salary earned by those working in this field was $26,470 per year, with the middle half earning between $21,210 and $32,610. The highest-paid workers made more than $39,570 per year, while those on the bottom rung of the pay ladder made $17,840 or less per year.

Industry Pay

The window washer's employer plays a role in determining how much he is paid. Many high-rise window washers are self-employed contractors who provide services to buildings and dwellings. According to the BLS, the average salary for those employed in this capacity was $28,920 per year in 2010. Those who worked for local government agencies made an average of $24,430, while state government employees made $21,440. The highest-paid workers were employed in the architectural and engineering services field, making an average of $51,510 per year.


Where the window washer works can also play a role in determining how much he is paid. According to the BLS, the highest-paid building cleaning workers worked in the state of Delaware, earning an average salary of $51,070 per year in 2010. Those employed in Indiana made an average salary of $42,840 per year, while those who worked in the state of Florida made $27,330. In California, the average salary was $28,420 per year, while those employed in New York made $32,140.

Job Outlook

The number of jobs for building cleaning workers, including high rise window washers, should grow by about 5 percent during the period from 2008 to 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The bureau indicates that this slower-than-average job growth will occur due to the slower pace of construction and the fact that most employers will not need additional staff to meet building maintenance needs. Much of the available work in this field will come through contract work, rather than full-time employment with one specific company.


Jared Lewis is a professor of history, philosophy and the humanities. He has taught various courses in these fields since 2001. A former licensed financial adviser, he now works as a writer and has published numerous articles on education and business. He holds a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in theology and has completed doctoral work in American history.