Light duty cleaners (NOC 6731)

About this job

Light duty cleaners ensure the lobbies, hallways, offices and rooms of office buildings, hotels, hospitals, schools and private homes are clean.

Common job titles
  • charworker
  • cleaner, home - domestic maid
  • clean-up crew
  • environmental service worker (ESW) - hospital

Duties

Light duty cleaners:

  • Dust furniture and baseboards
  • Sweep, mop and wash floors
  • Vacuum carpeting, area rugs, curtains and soft furniture
  • Spot-clean walls and doors 
  • Make beds and change sheets
  • Clean, disinfect and polish kitchen appliances as well as bathroom fixtures
  • Clean and disinfect public areas, such as changing rooms, showers as well as elevators
  • Disinfect high-touch surfaces, including door handles, railings and light switches
  • Pick up trash and empty garbage cans
  • Stock linen closets and supply areas
  • Report and store lost-and-found items

Those working in hotels, motels and resorts also provide guests with clean towels and toiletries. Those working in hospitals disinfect operating rooms and other areas.

Light duty cleaners may sometimes do heavier cleaning, such as waxing and polishing floors.

Work environment

Light duty cleaners can work for different organizations, including:

  • Hotels, motels, resorts and recreational facilities 
  • Hospitals 
  • School boards 
  • Offices
  • Building management companies 
  • Cleaning service companies

They may also work for private individuals or be self-employed.

The work takes place indoors. Most office buildings are cleaned when they are empty, which means that cleaners may work evening hours.

This work is physical. Many tasks, such as dusting and sweeping, require bending, stretching, stooping, kneeling as well as crouching. Some tasks, like cleaning bathroom fixtures and emptying trash cans, can be unpleasant.

Light duty cleaners use cleaning products and can be exposed to toxic substances and strong odours. Recently though, more natural products have become commonplace.

Insights from industry

The COVID-19 pandemic  made the importance of this work very clear. Higher standards and more focus on cleaning and disinfecting, both in public places and private homes, increased the demands on cleaners. 

Nevertheless, employment for light duty cleaners fell significantly in British Columbia as the pandemic took hold. As more people worked from home and fewer people travelled, the need for cleaners in offices and hotels decreased. The pandemic also led to lower demand for in-home cleaning. 

As the pandemic eases, the demand for light duty cleaners has begun to increase. Higher expectations for building cleanliness will likely continue. Light duty cleaners who can find efficient and economical ways to keep buildings clean and safe are expected to be in strong demand by building owners.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

Progression to supervisory cleaning positions is possible with additional training or experience.

Additional resources

Additional resources are not currently available for this career.