Janitors and building cleaners
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Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners
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Overview
Janitors and building cleaners keep many types of buildings clean, orderly, and in good condition.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners are expected to grow by 10%, and should have about 347,900 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
The likelihood of autmoation for ${title} is near the middle of all careers' likelihoods.
Workforce size
Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners, with 2,384,600 workers, form a larger workforce than 99% of careers.
Education
Only 5% of janitors and building cleaners have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Education attained by janitors and building cleaners
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
Fewer janitors and building cleaners have bachelor's degrees than 83% of other careeers.
Salaries
The median (middle) salary for 94% of all other jobs is higher than the middle salary for janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners. The graph shows inflation-adjusted salaries for most janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners.
This job's median $26KAll jobs' median $39K$24K$38K20142015201620172018$0$10K$20K$30K$40K$50K
Context: Median Salary
Gender
Women account for 26% of janitors and building cleaners -- that's a smaller percentage than 58% of other jobs.
Gender of janitors and building cleaners
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For janitors and building cleaners, the median men's salary was 36% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 24% of janitors and building cleaners are minority, and 30% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of janitors and building cleaners
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (30%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. The darker the blue, the higher the job density.
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Job benefits
Employer or union-sponsored pension plans are offered to 44% of janitors and building cleaners, and 55% have company-sponsored health insurance (11% have dependents enrolled in their employer's health plan).
Employer-provided health coverage for janitors and building cleaners
100% premiums covered
Partial premiums covered
Plan with no cost sharing
No health insurance
The downside
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety (65%)
  • Exposed to Contaminants (63%)
  • Time Pressure (57%)
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions (54%)
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections (37%)
SOURCES:24.0 O*NET
Salary and diversity
Salary overview
What do janitors and building cleaners earn?

In this section, we want to give you a clear idea of what you can expect to earn in this career. We use two sources of data here: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which asks employers to classify their workforce and to report salaries using the SOC-specialty level of reporting, and the American Community Survey (ACS), which asks people to classify their jobs using the broad classifications that ididio uses for career profiles, and to self-report their salaries. For some jobs, the differences in survey approaches between BLS and ACS can paint a very different end-picture. In particular, the ACS data is reported for the larger career group janitors and building cleaners, which combines the data for 2 careers, including janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners. Whenever possible, we provide data from both sources.

The BLS-compiled salary data is reported by companies for their employees. This data is classified by SOC specialty, and excludes self-employed workers. We first show the distribution of salaries for janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners, and then we show how the middle (median) salary for janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners compares to the BLS-computed median salaries of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners (BLS Salary Data)
$26K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$26K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
We compiled household data from the ACS to determine the salaries that people working at least 35 hours a week report themselves to earn. Unlike the BLS estimates, this data includes self-employed wages. Additionally, we only have ACS survey data for the larger career category and not for the specialty level. We first show the full salary distribution for all janitors and building cleaners, and then we show how the median (middle) salary for janitors and building cleaners compares to the median ACS-reported salary of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for janitors and building cleaners (ACS Salary Data)
$27K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$27K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Employers and salary
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, and following we show the salary distributions for these workers based on those employer types. For some careers, the salaries can be vastly different between private, government, and self-employment. As with our salary overview, we view the both the BLS economists' salary profiles and the household-reported salaries from ACS to get a thorough understanding of where janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners work and for what salary. We have the great faith in the accuracy of economist-vetted BLS data; however, the BLS restrictions on which employers are surveyed skews the data a bit (read more in the sources), and the ACS responses provide different and useful categorizations of employers and salaries.
Employers of Janitors and building cleaners (ACS)
Private for-profit (62.7%)
Private not-for-profit (7.7%)
Local government (14.8%)
State government (8.0%)
Federal government (2.4%)
Self-employed incorporated (1.2%)
Self-employed not incorporated (3.1%)
Working without pay (0.1%)
Distribution: Salaries of janitors and building cleaners by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses. These salaries were reported for the larger career group of janitors and building cleaners, which combines the 2 specialties for this career.
$27K$30K$28K$28K$25K$40K$31K$25K$20K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000Working without paySelf-employed not incorporatedSelf-employed incorporatedFederal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS. Remember that the BLS salaries are for the specialty janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners, and may differ signficantly from the ACS salary estimates which combine several career specialties.
$26K$37K$30K$25K$30K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000Federal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivateAll
Age and career advancement
Salary growth for janitors and building cleaners

The biggest take-away from the following two charts is the relationship between salary and experience that we can infer from age. Does this job seem to attract especially younger or older workers? Does it reward experience?

Take a minute a look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working in this career changes. We only provide this data when there are enough consistent ACS survey responses to allow a reasonable margin of error, so for some careers you will see gaps in our reporting of salary by age.

$27K$25K$30K$28K$23K$30K$26K$31K$19K$0$20K$40K$60KSalary distribution20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
0100K200K300KNumber employed20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Gender and Equity
Janitors and building cleaners and gender

With 26% women, this occupation has a lower percentage of women than 58% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
26%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Janitors and building cleaners
Men (74%)
Women (26%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

As we'll illustrate at the bottom of this section, the median (middle) salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 20%, and the difference for janitors and building cleaners tops that, with the median salary for men 36% higher than the median salary for women. This chart shows you the salary range for most workers by gender.

$22K$29K$0$20K$40K$60KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

Nationwide there are twenty careers for which men do not have a higher median (middle) salary than women. The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary, for most jobs. Janitors and building cleaners have one of the higher percentage increases for men's salary, with the increase for the men's median salary over the women's median salary in this job even higher than that for 87% of other jobs.

36%0%20%40%60%80%100%

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Race/Origin
Race and origin of janitors and building cleaners

The representation of minority and foreign-born workers is quite different between careers, and the relative pay of those workers also varies significantly between careers. There is a higher percentage of minority janitors and building cleaners than for 68% of other careers. This career hires a larger percentage of foreign-born workers than most other careers.

Race/origin of janitors and building cleaners
White (64% )
Black (17% )
Other (11% )
Asian (3% )
Multiracial (2% )
Hispanic (1% )
American Indian (1% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
24%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
30%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for janitors and building cleaners by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$23K$23K$24K$25K$25K$25K$28K$29K$0$20K$40K$60KPacific IslanderAmerican IndianOtherMultiracialBlackHispanicWhiteAsian
Distribution: Salaries for janitors and building cleaners by nativity
$25K$28K$0$20K$40K$60KAll foreign-bornAll native citizens

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Pathways to this career
Education requirements and salary
Education attained by janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners typically hold no formal educational credential.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as janitors and building cleaners as reported in responses to the American Community Survey. Following, we investigate whether education level influences salary for janitors and building cleaners.

Education attained by janitors and building cleaners
None
High School
Some College
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Deg/Doct
Doctorate
Details: Education and training recommended for janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners

Janitors and building cleaners do not need any formal educational credential. However, high school courses in shop can be helpful for jobs involving repair work.

Details: Licensing and certification recommended for janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners

Although not required, certification is available through the Building Service Contractors Association International, the IEHA (formerly International Executive Housekeepers Association), and ISSA—The International Sanitary Supply Association. Certification can demonstrate competence and may make applicants more appealing to employers.

Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for janitors and building cleaners? Below we see the distribution of janitors and building cleaners salaries based on the education attained. These comparisons are based on all survey responses by those who identified themselves as janitors and building cleaners, and are not intended as a statistical analysis of salary differences that would correct for non-educational factors that could contribute to high or low earnings.

$23K$27K$30K$33K$31K$30K$27K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KNone (23%)High School (45%)Some College (20%)Associate's Degree (6%)Bachelor's Degree (4%)Master's Degree (1%)Professional Deg/Doct (0%)
Switching Careers
Most common new jobs
The most common next careers for janitors and building cleaners

What jobs will most janitors and building cleaners hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of janitors and building cleaners reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Janitors and building cleanersMaids and housekeeping cleanersMaintenance and repair workersFirst-line supervisors of housekeeping and janitorial workersGrounds maintenance workersHand laborers and freight, stock, and material moversConstruction laborersDriver/sales workers and truck drivers
Lateral career moves
Lateral job transitions for janitors and building cleaners

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 6 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as janitors and building cleaners as well as 1% of respondents after working as janitors and building cleaners. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Full prior and next career listings
Prior and next careers for janitors and building cleaners: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as janitors and building cleaners? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of janitors and building cleaners surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Read about janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners
Responsibilities and activities
Responsibilities and activities

Janitors and building cleaners typically do the following:

  • Gather and empty trash
  • Sweep, mop, or vacuum building floors
  • Clean restrooms and stock them with supplies
  • Lock doors to secure buildings
  • Clean spills and other hazards with appropriate equipment
  • Wash windows, walls, and glass
  • Order cleaning supplies
  • Make minor building repairs
  • Notify managers when a building needs major repairs

Janitors and building cleaners keep office buildings, schools, hospitals, retail stores, hotels, and other places clean, sanitary, and in good condition. Some only clean, while others have a wide range of duties.

In addition to keeping the inside of buildings clean and orderly, some janitors and building cleaners work outdoors, mowing lawns, sweeping walkways, and removing snow. Some workers also monitor the building’s heating and cooling system, ensuring that it functions properly.

Janitors and building cleaners use many tools and equipment. Simple cleaning tools may include mops, brooms, rakes, and shovels. Other tools may include snowblowers, floor buffers, and carpet extraction equipment.

Some janitors are responsible for repairing minor electrical or plumbing problems, such as leaky faucets.

The following are examples of types of janitors and building cleaners:

Building superintendents are responsible for maintaining residential buildings, such as apartments and condominiums. Although their duties are similar to those of other janitors, some building superintendents also help collect rent and show vacancies to potential tenants.

Custodians are janitors or cleaning workers who typically maintain institutional facilities, such as public schools and hospitals.

Personality and skills
Personality and skills

Can you see yourself in the ranks of janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners? Here are the skills and traits that could lead to success.

Interpersonal skills
Janitors and building cleaners should get along well with their supervisors, other cleaners, and the people who live or work in the buildings they clean.
Mechanical skills
Janitors and building cleaners should understand general building operations. They should be able to make routine repairs, such as repairing leaky faucets.
Physical stamina
Janitors and building cleaners spend most of their workday on their feet, operating cleaning equipment and lifting and moving supplies or tools. As a result, they should have good physical stamina.
Physical strength
Janitors and building cleaners often must lift and move cleaning materials and heavy equipment. Cases of liquid cleaner and trash receptacles, for example, can be very heavy, so workers should be strong enough to lift them without injuring their back.
Time-management skills
Janitors and building cleaners should be able to plan and complete tasks in a timely manner.
Trends in employment
Salary trends
Distribution and trends: Salaries for janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners
Choose actual dollars or inflation-adjusted dollars to view
Adjusted for inflation
Historic dollars

In 2018, the median (middle) for 94% of all other jobs were higher than the median (middle) salary for janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners. This graphic shows how the salary distribution (adjusted for inflation) has changed for this job over recent years. The gray line, as a comparison, shows the median salary of all US workers.

This job's median $26KAll jobs' median $39K$25K$38K200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018$0$10K$20K$30K$40K$50K
Projected versus actual employment
Exploring actual employment trends versus projected trends

Currently, jobs for janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners are anticipated to grow by 10% over the next decade, which is faster growth than is predicted for 63% of other jobs.

The projected employment for janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners is the best guess created by talented economists and statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, as you look through several careers you'll notice that the projections are heavily influenced by past performance and may miss current trends. No one can tell the future, and as new information and better techniques are developed, actual counts and future projections may change. Here's a glimpse at the actual counts versus the projections over time.

200020102020203001,000,0002,000,0003,000,000
Employment counts
Actual measured employment
BLS 10-year predictions
Variation by state
Employment
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

One important factor in the differences between ACS and BLS data is that the ACS numbers are for all janitors and building cleaners, comprised of all specialities listed in the menu bar, and you can choose to view the BLS at the specialty or full career level.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Number of Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.010.020.030.040.0
Salary
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for janitors and building cleaners compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for janitors and building cleaners.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information. The ACS salaries are for all janitors and building cleaners, which combines the specialities from which you can choose at the top of the page.

Choose the metric to review
In-state comparisions
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Median salary ratio: Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners to all workers (BLS for this specialty)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.00.20.40.60.81.0
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the dots below to find other jobs you might like. The dots closer to the top represent jobs that are like Janitors and building cleaners (shown with a blue star). Look for the dots to the right to find the best salaries! (We pulled salary data from BLS, and they give a top salary value of just over $200K to protect privacy, so our graph would go much higher if the salaries were not top coded.)

How should the career similarity be computed

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?
Choose the similarity measure to compare careers
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