Custodians deal with a variety of tasks related to cleaning and maintenance every day.
They ensure that facilities, buildings, and public places remain sanitary and healthy.
The duties of a custodian include cleaning and caring for facilities as well as regularly reporting to a Senior Administrative Officer.
Custodians don’t need any specific education.
However, most employers require custodians to have a high school diploma.
Depending on the setting, the responsibilities of a custodian may vary, such as in a school or church.
Article Table of Contents
What Does a Custodian Do
Custodians handle various maintenance tasks, such as dusting, cleaning, mopping, vacuuming, and taking out the trash.
If necessary, they may be tasked with other duties, such as changing light bulbs, repairing broken installations, or attending to the recycling process.
Sometimes, custodians are considered to be handymen, so, if needed, they should be able to do such tasks as fixing broken doors or furniture.
New custodians typically work under the supervision of a head custodian, who has a more complicated job that includes the coordinator duties.
- Fulfilling the assigned duties and reporting to the Custodian Supervisor.
- Sanitizing, cleaning, and maintaining bathrooms using specific products and procedures.
- Dusting, wiping and waxing furniture.
- Mopping the floors and vacuuming the carpets.
- Emptying and washing trash cans and attending to recycling procedures when needed.
- Providing assistance with setting facilities for events, meetings, or classes.
- Using and maintaining the power equipment and tools properly to ensure safety.
- Securing doors and buildings when not in use.
- Following the instructions and regulations related to the use of chemicals and safety hazards in the workplace.
Custodians need to properly organize their activities and fulfill them in a timely manner.
They need to be able to manage and attend to emergencies if necessary.
For complicated tasks such as moving, carrying and storing heavy items, custodians need a certain level of physical abilities.
Also, the job is physically demanding overall, since it includes dusting, cleaning, wiping rooms and large furniture, floors, and carpets.
Custodians need to wash walls and equipment using ladders when necessary.
Custodians should follow directions.
They need to thoroughly understand what is requested and collaborate with other employees when needed.
They also communicate with lead custodians.
To perform their duties successfully, custodians need excellent attention to detail.
They should be attentive when cleaning and washing according to instructions when it comes to the use of chemicals and supplies.
They should ensure to fulfill all the necessary activities for a day.
Custodians should be reliable.
They need a good memory and to be responsible when performing their duties and toward their daily demands.
How to Become a Custodian
Custodians don’t need any college degree.
However, you will have to fulfill the requirements that come with the position.
You need general knowledge on how to use and maintain cleaning equipment and other tools you will occasionally use.
Training and Qualifications
Custodians aren’t required to have any specific training.
Usually, they can enroll in an apprenticeship to learn from more experienced custodians and get trained in all the necessary operations.
After an apprenticeship, they can start working independently while occasionally reporting to their supervisors.
The training includes theoretical and practical knowledge of chemicals, safety regulations, and techniques.
They should also learn simple repair techniques to perform some maintenance when needed.
Periodically, custodians have to attend safety meetings, and sometimes, they may have to take classes on cleaning methods, particular products, as well as First Aid and CPR.
After completing the training, even those custodians who lack experience can get a job under the supervision of a coordinator.
Even though this job is fairly easy to get, it’s not as well-paid as other jobs related to maintenance.
However, with a few years of experience in the field, you can get a pay raise as well as some benefits.
However, the job of a custodian remains almost the same over the years.
So, custodians are rarely required to perform new tasks.
The work of a custodian can be either full-time or part-time.
This depends on the institution they care for.
It’s worth mentioning, that full-time custodians are also eligible for some benefits.
The schedule is usually standard with 9-5 hours, including legally solicited overtime, when needed.
Custodians receive health insurance and other benefits, as they may be exposed to hazards at work.
Entry-level custodians can over time become lead custodians or members of the management team.
After you gain experience and prove to be a reliable, responsible, and determined employee, you can get promoted.
PayScale reports that the hourly rate of custodians is $12.03, which makes the median salary of $25,022.
Custodians can also receive bonuses as well as have their salary increased with experience.
Some overtime work can also be available which means some extra money as well.
Lead custodians have more responsibilities, a higher salary, and need specific training in team leading and management.
As mentioned before, the job of a school custodian can differ greatly from other custodian positions.
So, below we gathered some details about this specific position.
What They Do
School custodians keep the school sanitary and safe for students, teachers, parents, and staff.
They are responsible for caring for both the inside and outside of the school.
School custodians are usually employed full-time.
The hours may not be the typical 9-5, though, because they should often work outside of school hours.
School custodians need to clean the classrooms, cafeterias, gyms, etc., which is difficult to do while children are in school.
So mostly they work in the early mornings and evenings.
At some schools, custodians have to raise and take down the flag every day.
They also need to trim bushes, remove trash from the playgrounds, mow the grass, shovel snow, etc.
Custodians mop, sweep, wash windows, vacuum, empty trash, scrub desks and tables, clean the bathrooms, etc.
They should also sanitize and control pests.
School custodians ensure the safety of students, teachers, and staff.
This includes various repairs, such as broken chairs, or cracked sidewalks.
They deal with various tasks such as replacing light bulbs, fixing windows, filling soap dispensers, etc.
More experienced custodians may also work on heating and AC systems, and wiring.
Custodians can be on-call for staff for such tasks as fixing a broken desk, or cleaning a spill, etc.
The job of a custodian has specific requirements.
If you feel that you have what it takes to become a custodian, you may find this job rewarding.
It is also an excellent opportunity for personal growth.