what is a cleaner?

You regularly clean and organise homes and offices as a cleaner to ensure work environments and residential areas are welcoming. You can perform housekeeping duties like folding, cleaning laundry and refilling toiletries. Some cleaners are industrial workers undertaking industrial cleaning tasks like cleaning machines and production plants.

Professional cleaners develop systems for detailed cleaning in professional settings and know which products and equipment work most effectively for different spaces and surfaces. Their duties are confined to the building's interior. They include cleaning restrooms, sweeping or mopping floors, vacuuming carpeted areas, scrubbing surfaces, dusting, emptying rubbish bins, polishing wood surfaces, cleaning windows and disinfecting toilets.

what does a cleaner do?

As a cleaner, you conduct various cleaning and maintenance tasks. You maintain cleaning equipment and procure supplies while keeping public spaces tidy. Sometimes, your job involves scrubbing private and public toilets and reporting necessary repairs and replacements in a facility.

cleaner roles available

average salary of a cleaner

The average salary of a cleaner is $50,000 annually. Some employers pay weekly or hourly wages, depending on the cleaning service.

Aside from the basic salary, most employers provide various perks for cleaners. For instance, your remuneration package can include medical and life insurance in case of work-related accidents or injuries. You may also receive car allowances and annual leave days.

how to increase your remuneration package as a cleaner

Landing a job as a cleaner doesn't depend on your educational qualification, but having formal qualifications boosts your salary prospects. Your experience also dictates your remuneration package, and you can earn more if you have experience in the role.

The location of the job can also increase or decrease your remuneration package. For instance, metro areas and large cities have better salary prospects due to the greater demand for cleaners and the high cost of living. Smaller towns with less demand have lower hourly rates for cleaners.

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cleaner salary

types of cleaners

Cleaners work in various settings, including hotels, gyms, restaurants, banks and commercial offices. You can also find jobs in residential households where private services are requested.

Some types of cleaners include:


  • Caretaker cleaning services are completed at specific times depending on the type of business, usage volume and traffic patterns. You conduct various cleaning duties to keep commercial settings tidy, from wiping down windows to mopping floors and cleaning walls.

project-related cleaners

  • Project-related cleaning services are used after events or projects. This type of cleaning is required at a specific time and may involve cleaning floors or high-traffic areas. Cleaners who perform this service often clean carpets or hard floors.

commercial cleaners

  • Commercial cleaners charge a one-time fee with no ongoing contractual obligation. These professionals often power wash the exterior of office buildings or clean external windows.

industrial cleaners

  • You clean hazardous areas that require specialised cleaning procedures as an industrial cleaner. You may also clean up after fires or clean crime scenes.

working as a cleaner

Working as a cleaner involves keeping your work areas clean and tidy and reporting any maintenance work required. Let's dive into the specific responsibilities and work schedules of cleaners.


education and skills

You don't require formal education to be a cleaner. When you complete Year 10, you can get some relevant work experience. Voluntary work and part-time cleaning jobs can boost your resume. Some employers also provide on-the-job learning and development opportunities.

You can improve your skills by undertaking a traineeship that boosts your qualifications. For instance, if you complete a traineeship in cleaning operations Level III, your remuneration improves, and you can take up supervisory roles.

To work in professional cleaning services, you need specialised qualifications. For instance, trauma or crime scene cleaners need medical-grade chemical handling or biohazard waste training.

skills and competencies

It's essential to have practical cleaning knowledge, especially when handling heavy cleaning equipment and machinery. You should be capable of efficiently using new equipment.

Other skills and competencies that employers look for include:

physical fitness

  • Fitness is a crucial factor for most employers. You should be able to bend when cleaning under desks or tables and other types of furniture. Flexibility is necessary to ensure you can reach and clean the ceilings or corners of rooms.

handling cleaning solutions

  • Knowing specific cleaning solutions is vital to ensure you use them correctly. You also need to know how to store cleaning chemicals safely.

attention to detail and working with a team

  • Attention to detail is essential to ensure you clean the rooms thoroughly. Employers might look for employees who have shown they can be a successful part of a team; you'll work closely with other cleaners to ensure efficiency. Employers also want cleaners to have good interpersonal skills to get along with their supervisors or managers.

time management

  • Time management skills are necessary to ensure you can plan your schedule correctly and complete tasks on time.

FAQs about working as a cleaner

Here are the most asked questions about working as a cleaner:

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