Janitors and building cleaners held about 2.4 million jobs in 2014. The industries that employed the most janitors and building cleaners were as follows:
Services to buildings and dwellings
Elementary and secondary schools; state, local, and private
Healthcare and social assistance
Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations
Most janitors and building cleaners work indoors, but some work outdoors part of the time, sweeping walkways, mowing lawns, and shoveling snow. They spend most of the day walking, standing, or bending while cleaning. Sometimes they must move or lift heavy supplies and equipment. As a result, the work may be strenuous on the back, arms, and legs. Some tasks, such as cleaning restrooms and trash areas, can be dirty and unpleasant.
Injuries and Illnesses
Janitors and building cleaners have a higher rate of injuries and illnesses than the national average. Workers suffer minor cuts, bruises, and burns from machines, tools, and chemicals. As a result, workers are increasingly required to take safety training and ergonomics instruction.
Most janitors and building cleaners work full time, but some work part time. Because office buildings often are cleaned while they are empty, many cleaners work evening hours. Janitors in schools, however, usually work during the day.
When there is a need for 24-hour maintenance, as there often is in hospitals and hotels, janitors work in shifts.