How to become a Cleaner

Cleaners clean schools, construction sites, commercial, industrial and domestic premises, industrial machinery and vehicles using portable cleaning equipment.

Personal requirements of a Cleaner

  • Enjoy practical work
  • Methodical
  • Honest and reliable
  • Able to bend, stand and lift

Education & Training for a Cleaner

You can work as a cleaner without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. You can also become a cleaner through a traineeship. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

Additional Information

Depending on your work setting some employers may require you to undergo a National Police Check.

Duties & Tasks of a Cleaner


  • operate vacuum cleaners to clean floors, work areas and machinery
  • clean, dust and polish furniture and fittings
  • sweep, mop, scrub and polish floors; shampoo carpets and rugs; and strip wax and polish from floors
  • clean walls and windows
  • clean and disinfect laundry, kitchen, toilet and bathroom fixtures and floors
  • empty and clean ashtrays and waste containers
  • clean areas surrounding buildings, such as paths and entrances
  • remove graffiti.

Working conditions for a Cleaner

Cleaners are often responsible for the security of the building in which they work. This responsibility includes ensuring that lights and electrical appliances are turned off, that the building is locked and secure and that any security breaches are reported to building owners or managers. Cleaners often work irregular hours in shifts and may be employed as full-time, part-time or casual staff.

Employment Opportunities for a Cleaner

Most cleaners work for contract cleaning companies or large factories, businesses or firms. A high proportion of cleaners are employed on a permanent part-time or casual basis, and many have to work very early in the morning or at night. Opportunities exist for experienced cleaners to become supervisors and managers in some of the larger contract cleaning firms. Self-employment is also possible.



A carpet cleaner uses steam-clean and pile-lift machines to clean, scrub and brush carpets. They may also clean upholstered furniture and remove stains from carpets.

Window Cleaner

A window cleaner cleans interior and exterior window surfaces. Cleaning exterior surfaces on multistorey buildings involves cleaners using a 'cherry picker' or hoist system. They may also clean stone walls, metal surfaces and window frames.

Avg. weekly wage:


Future growth:


Employment by state:

ACT 1.2%

NSW 29.4%

QLD 13.7%

SA 9.2%

TAS 3.7%

VIC 28.7%

WA 13.8%

NT 0.3%

Hours worked:



Average unemployment

Gender split:

Male 86%

Female 14%

Education level:

Not completed Year 10: 9%

Not completed Year 12: 18.7%

Highest qualification is secondary school: 24.3%

Highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 21.9%

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 7.8%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 6.3%

Highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 2%

Age brackets:

15-19 - 0.1%

20-24 - 6.1%

25-34 - 26.8%

35-44 - 22.6%

45-54 - 19.5%

55-59 - 8.2%

60-64 - 7.1%

65 and Over - 9.5%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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