Jobs in Demand: Janitors and Cleaners

Cleaning worker holding mop in protective gear

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one of the main ways that COVID-19 spreads is through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes, sings, or talks. Although less common, COVID-19 can also spread through contact with contaminated surfaces. For this reason, one of the ways to combat the spread of the disease includes cleaning and disinfecting. This is why janitors and cleaners of office buildings, schools, hospitals, retail stores, hotels, and other places play a role in helping slow the spread of COVID-19.

In addition to helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases, janitors and cleaners ensure that buildings are clean, orderly, and in good condition. Main tasks include gathering and emptying trash, mopping or vacuuming floors, cleaning and stocking bathrooms, washing windows and common surfaces, and cleaning spills. Some janitors and cleaners may also work outdoors, work with a building’s heating and cooling systems, or may be tasked with repairing minor electrical or plumbing issues.

While the typical education required for janitors and cleaners is a high school diploma, these jobs commonly require strong communication and scheduling skills. Employers also look for those who are detail-oriented, dependable, and can work both independently and in team settings. Janitors and cleaners spend most of the day walking, standing, and bending, and some tasks require moving or lifting heavy supplies and equipment.

Fifty percent of those employed as janitors and cleaners earn hourly wages between $12.73 and $18.90 in Minnesota, while entry-level workers can expect wages closer to $11 per hour and more experienced workers could earn closer to $23 hourly. These wages vary some by industry. For example, janitors and cleaners have higher median wages in Education and Health Services ($18.38), Public Administration ($17.20), and Manufacturing ($15.87). Janitors and cleaners may work in shifts if 24-hour cleaning services are needed, such as in hospitals.

There is significant need for janitors and cleaners in the state as businesses continue to prioritize cleaning and sanitation. According to DEED’s Job Vacancy Survey, there were nearly 1,900 job vacancies for janitors and cleaners during the second quarter of 2020. In fact, during that time period, this occupation had the 12th most vacancies out of 400 tracked occupations. Janitors and cleaners can learn more about how to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 through the Minnesota Department of Health.

If you are interested in more information about opportunities as a Janitor or Cleaner, check out Jobs in Demand here on the website for wage ranges, educational and training requirements, current open positions in Minnesota and more.  

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