Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents are usually responsible for cleaning and maintaining commercial, institutional or residential buildings.
People in this occupation:
Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Note:Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Source: 2021 Job Bank Wage Report
Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook
10 year expected job openings: 13,110
Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents:
Caretakers and building superintendents employed in residential buildings:
Most office buildings are cleaned when they are empty, which means that many cleaners work evening hours, though some cleaners, such as school and hospital custodians, work during the day. When there is a need for 24-hour maintenance, janitors may be assigned to shifts.
Caretakers and superintendents can often set their own hours and work methods as long as the building is well maintained.
Most full-time janitors and cleaners work about 40 hours a week and part-time cleaners often work evenings and on weekends. Janitors, caretakers and superintendents usually work in heated, well-lit buildings. However, they sometimes work outdoors to sweep walkways, mow lawns or shovel snow.
These workers can spend much of their time on their feet, sometimes lifting and pushing heavy furniture and equipment. Many tasks, such as dusting and sweeping, require bending and stretching and workers often use noisy cleaning equipment. Some tasks, such as cleaning bathrooms and trash rooms, can be dirty and mildly unpleasant.
Working conditions for janitors have changed somewhat in recent years, as many employers have begun to use better-designed equipment, including lightweight mopping systems, as well as more environmentally friendly products.
Many employers are altering their cleaning procedures to reflect the need to protect the environment, so the chemicals and procedures are more environmentally safe and user-friendly than in the past.
Some caretakers and building superintendents live in the buildings where they work, providing on-call service. While many enjoy dealing with the people who live or work in the building, they usually work alone and are responsible for calling in more specialized maintenance help when required.
Workers enjoy the independence that comes with being solely responsible for the upkeep of their building or area of responsibility, and take pride in doing their job well.
Source: 2016 Census
Completion of secondary school may be required to work as a janitor, caretaker or superintendent, particularly if supervision of other workers is needed. Other requirements may include:
Those who are certified for an occupation by a regulator elsewhere in Canada can apply for the same certification from the regulator in B.C. Under the terms of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA), most applicants who are transferring their credentials from elsewhere in Canada will not be required to complete additional training or testing. However, the B.C. regulator may ask applicants to provide further information such as a letter of good standing, references, or criminal record check.
For those who trained outside of Canada and never received certification from any Canadian jurisdiction, a full assessment is likely needed. Most occupational regulators have a process for assessment and recognize internationally trained applicants.
Contact the Industry Training Authority of BC for details on how to apply for certification in B.C.
For information about labour mobility in Canada, visit www.workersmobility.ca.
View a list of B.C. occupational regulators.
For more information about programs offered specifically for this career, visit EducationPlannerBC.
Every job calls for a certain set of skills. Knowing those skills is the first step in finding a good career fit.
Here, you will find the 35 most relevant workplace skills. Some are more important to achieving success in a certain career than others. These skills may come naturally to you or you may need to gain them through education, training and experience.
See the list of work-related skills below, ranked in order of importance for this career. You’ll also find the skill strength needed, letting you know how capable you must be in that skill.
Check out the list and see if this career matches your skills—take that first step!
The number of retired individuals involved in resident caretaking responsibilities in their buildings is in decline. However, openings in these areas will also result from worker turnover.
Knowledge of new environmentally friendly standards and associated products may be helpful as companies move towards more environmentally friendly cleaning methods.
Entry-level positions include janitorial and cleaning positions. Progression to supervisory cleaning positions is possible with additional training or experience. As well, some experienced workers may open their own company.
Some building caretakers may take on more building management responsibilities with experience and training, such as the administrative tasks of advertising vacancies, enforcing residential tenancy laws and processing security deposit refunds. Experienced caretakers and building superintendents can go on to property management or building management positions.