The role of a cleaner is fundamental to any organisation, ensuring it operates harmoniously and in most cases, within health and safety laws. Whether working independently or part of a team, a cleaner is responsible for the cleanliness of the vehicle, building, or area they are assigned to.
Who can I work for?
There are many opportunities as cleaners are required within all manner of industries but the following are more typical examples: Construction, hospitals, shopping centres, restaurants, public transport, offices, hotels, educational institutes, airports, factories, and residential homes.
Where and when can I work?
The range of employers is so diverse, cleaners can find themselves in a local domestic household or a cruise ship crossing the Atlantic. While travelling is not a common job requirement, cleaners will often operate outside of peak working hours, so having their own transport is a benefit.
Full time, permanent cleaning positions are available but a large proportion of vacancies are part time or temporary, working from as little as 1 hour per day.
What can I earn?
The hourly rate of pay starts at the national minimum wage, currently £5.93, with many commercial positions offering around £6.50. Specialist cleaners and senior staff can earn up to £15 per hour and full time positions start at £12,400 per annum.
What are the benefits?
As the vast majority of positions are available via contract cleaning agencies, those seeking part time work may benefit from flexible working hours and experience a variety of working environments.
Are there chances of promotion?
Within a domestic setting there is seldom opportunity for progression, but team supervisors and managerial staff are usually required within larger corporations.
What will I be responsible for?
Tasks will vary from job to job, but the most common cleaning tasks include vacuuming, mopping floors, dusting, wiping surfaces, emptying bins and polishing furniture or windows. Cleaners are expected to clean all the rooms in a house or workplace, including bathrooms and toilets.
What qualifications do I need?
Currently there are no formal qualifications required of cleaners but some specialist areas request formal recognition of working practises such as: a CSCS card or the COSHH assessment.
Do I need any experience?
Cleaning work experience is almost always required when applying for a new job, particularly when working in food preparation or clinical environments where knowledge of health, safety and hygiene issues is paramount. Where work experience is lacking or to increase employability, an NVQ in Cleaning and Support Services is available.
What attributes are needed?
Cleaning is a manual job so being able bodied and physically fit is essential. Reliability is particularly important as the organisation will have a daily schedule to keep to and with a list of tasks to complete, employees need to manage their own time effectively.