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 in Cleaning Operations. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.

Duties & Tasks of a Cleaner

Cleaners may perform the following tasks:

  • 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.

Specialisations:


Carpet Cleaner

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.


Domestic Cleaner

A domestic cleaner cleans and tidies homes, performing tasks such as cleaning floors, walls and windows, emptying rubbish bins, and tidying rooms. They may also make beds, iron clothes and wash dishes.


Hospital/Hostel Cleaner

A hospital/hostel cleaner undertakes sterilisation and antiseptic protocols and procedures using specialised chemicals.


Industrial Cleaner

An industrial cleaner may remove rubble and surplus building materials from construction sites or dismantle and clean machinery. They may use heavy-duty cleaning equipment, such as pressure hoses and ride-on powered scrubbing machines.


Industrial Plant Cleaner

An industrial plant cleaner keeps working areas in production departments of industrial establishments clean and orderly.


Steam, Pressure and Chemical Cleaner

A steam, pressure and chemical cleaner works indoors and outdoors with high-pressure or chemical cleaning equipment to strip paint, dirt or grease from buildings and machines.


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.

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