what is a janitor?

Janitors are the unsung heroes of the labor force. As a janitor, you create a safe workspace by cleaning, sanitizing, and removing safety hazards. When a spill appears, you'll mop the floor and set up caution signs before anyone trips. Janitors potentially save their employers thousands of dollars in lawsuit fees.

During flu season, you'll sanitize frequently used surfaces, such as tables, countertops, telephones, doorknobs, and keyboards. Janitors wear safety gear so that they don't get sick. Other tasks include taking out the trash, dusting furniture, washing windows, vacuuming carpet, and cleaning restrooms.

Janitors don't just clean--they repair and maintain. Staff members call on you to replace lightbulbs, unclog toilets, install new hardware, and perform other tasks. You'll complete minor repairs while leaving serious issues, such as faulty wiring, to the experts. Periodically, janitors review the supply inventory and order new products.

If you work outdoors, you'll mow the lawn, trim weeds, defrost the sidewalk, and shovel snow off the pavement. While you don't work directly with people, you'll be polite and friendly to coworkers, supervisors, and guests.

janitor jobs

average janitor salary

The salary of janitors in Canada can vary depending on several factors, including the location, level of experience, and the specific employer. The average salary for janitors and building cleaners in Canada ranged from $13 to $25 per hour, with an average of $40,000. 

download our salary guide

types of janitors

Nearly every business employs at least one janitor. Many job openings come from hotels, restaurants, hospitals, power plants, and government buildings. Each position requires specialized tools, training, and knowledge. For example, restaurant janitors adhere to stricter safety standards to prevent food contamination while hospital janitors work in a 24-hour environment.

Some custodians start as school janitors. Schools have hundreds or thousands of children who make messes and spread germs throughout the year. You're especially valuable during flu season when you sanitize the building to stop the spread of bacteria.


working as a janitor

Janitors have absorbing tasks that make the time go by quickly. You'll work in a dynamic environment with all different types of colleagues.


janitor skills and education

Most janitors don't need a formal education. At most, employers may request a high school diploma. If you're new to the industry, your supervisor provides on-the-job training on cleaning, repairing, and using the equipment.

Some colleges offer custodial training programs that teach you about tools, equipment, chemicals, maintenance, and cleaning techniques. This is attractive to employers because you won't need much training. However, don't assume that you need degrees to succeed--many janitors start working immediately after graduating high school.

Certain certifications, such as those related to workplace safety, chemical handling, or specialized cleaning equipment, can be advantageous in certain janitorial roles. It's a good idea to check if any specific certifications are required for the job you're interested in.

You can advance your knowledge by studying different topics, such as hazardous waste disposal and deep carpet cleaning. The internet has thousands of free videos and blog posts for every skill. Each skill is another technique that you can add to your resume, making you increasingly valuable in the workforce.



Here you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about janitors.


meet a recruiter

Make sure your resume is up-to-date, including information about your technical skills and certifications. Then share it with us to connect with a recruiter and be matched with job opportunities.

thank you for subscribing to your personalised job alerts.