Porters are also known as janitors or building cleaners.
The job of a porter includes taking care of buildings and grounds adjacent to them.
The job of a porter may vary from industry to industry as they may be employed in a variety of settings.
Porters usually work on school campuses, hospitals, offices, vacation resorts, apartments, and so on.
In the article below, you will find comprehensive information about the responsibilities, skills, and knowledge required to become a porter.
Article Table of Contents
What Does a Porter Do
Porters fulfill the roles of building cleaners, maintenance workers, and groundskeepers.
They need to know how to handle brooms, mops, sweepers and various cleaning supplies as well as handheld tools such as wrenches or screwdrivers.
Porters need to be able to work on their feet for several hours and perform other body movements including handling tools and equipment.
- Remove litter and trash from offices, rooms, kitchens, restrooms, common areas, grounds, and receipt places.
- Replace air filters, light bulbs, blinds, shades, and other items.
- Prepare rooms for new residents and guests.
- Repair windows, doors, sink fixtures, showerheads, and curtain rods.
- Organize and stock cleaning and maintenance supply closets and rooms.
- Sweep and vacuum carpets and floors.
- Inspect areas for unlocked doors in restricted areas, unsafe conditions, and potential security issues on the grounds.
- Report hazards, breaches, incidents, broken items to management or supervisors.
- Hand maps, brochures, and other literature to incoming residents or guests.
- Assist residents, guests, patients, and others to find rooms and places on the property, carrying luggage, and obtaining other services.
Porters need to organize the supply rooms by type and date of supplies, so themselves and the others could find them easily.
Sorting by date ensures that the cleaning agents and other supplies don’t become outdated.
Additionally, they have to manage time efficiently and prioritize their tasks when preparing rooms for residents or guests as well as for the meetings.
To perform property maintenance, porters need to understand the tools and how to select the right air filters and light bulbs at least on a basic level.
They also need to be knowledgeable about heating and air conditioning as well as other systems on the grounds.
When answering the questions of guests, residents, and other customers, porters need a certain level of courtesy and patience.
These may appear while the porters are performing some maintenance and cleaning.
The activity of porters involves constant walking and lifting heavy trash bags, boxes, supplies, trash cans, etc.
They also need good hand coordination and the ability to push and pull the buckets.
Besides, when working outside, porters may have to work in unpleasant weather such as heat or cold.
How to Become a Porter
The job of a porter includes manual labor such as cleaning, performing simple maintenance, and assisting guests or residents.
Therefore, the porter job requires some experience related to the setting.
Education can also play an important role involving relevant classes which include introductory topics to the tasks porters do.
Training and Qualifications
Typically, porters don’t need more education than high school.
However, they may get certified by various organizations such as the International Sanitary Supply Association, the Building Service Contractors Associations, and the IEHA (formerly the International Executive Housekeepers Association).
With such certifications, porters may become more appealing to employers.
Some employers hire porters without a high school diploma.
Others prefer high school graduates. However, typically the company will train porters on the job. It will include the layout of property, amenities, equipment, policies, and practices.
New porters may work under the supervision of an experienced employee.
Most often, applicants will need some related experience.
It can include the work with landscapers, ground keeping crews, housekeeping, or contractors as assistants.
For certain employers, experience in a particular setting may be necessary.
For example, some employers need porters with experience in institutional or commercial settings.
This may be particularly important for the porters looking to working on college campuses, industrial plants, hospitals, or large office buildings.
For resorts, apartment complexes, or condominiums, porters may need landscaping experience.
In hospitals, porters may need experience in a medical setting, so they can assist patients.
Porters can work both full-time and part-time.
Often, porters have to work evening and night shifts.
Many establishments advertise night porter positions.
Nighttime porters have to work to monitor buildings for unlocked windows or rooms when there’s an unauthorized person in the building.
During the night and evening shifts, porters can clean areas relatively free of crowds.
Porters may also have to work early shifts.
Those working the early hours in the hotels may help prepare rooms for the guests to check-in.
In other places, porters may have to clean classrooms, dining halls, or convention areas in the early mornings for the use of incoming occupants.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of “Janitors and Building Cleaners” should increase by 10% until 2026.
This means 236,500 more job openings.
In 2016, there were 2,384,600 workers employed in the area.
Also, more job openings should appear in the healthcare area.
Two major fields hiring porters are owners and developers of condominium complexes.
According to IBIS World, between 2012 and 2017, revenues from condominiums and apartments grew by 7%.
The market research site reports that the growth should continue but at slower rates.
The reason for this is that people tend to buy single-family homes more.
The number of positions available for porters in the public universities, nonprofit or government agencies properties are determined by the budgets.
Porters can move on to working as an automobile or large appliance mechanics, advisors at an automobile or other services as well as supervise porters or janitors.
Additionally, with a combination of education and experience, porters can become property managers.
Porters have good job opportunities in various areas, with most openings available in healthcare and apartment and condominium management.
The job prospects are very positive for the occupation, numbering over 2 million workers in the area.
The job of a porter includes physical skills, mechanical abilities, and attention to customer service.