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Occupational Profile

Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner

Carpet and upholstery cleaners operate cleaning machines to clean carpets, rugs and upholstered furniture at customers' premises or in cleaning plants.

  • Avg. Salary $31,252.00
  • Avg. Wage $16.50
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook Average
Also Known As

Rug Cleaner, Upholstery Cleaner, Cleaner

NOC & Interest Codes
The Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Carpet and Upholstery Cleaners
NOC code: 6662.1
OBJECTIVE

Interest in operating specialized cleaning machines

METHODICAL

Interest in comparing to clean carpets, rugs and upholstered furniture on customers' premises or in carpet- and upholstery-cleaning establishments

directive

Interest in selecting appropriate cleaning agents to remove stains from materials

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation. 

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Duties and responsibilities vary from one employer to another but, in general, carpet and upholstery cleaners:

  • load supplies and equipment into trucks or vans
  • drive to customers' homes and businesses
  • discuss requirements with customers (for example, areas to be cleaned, stains requiring special removal techniques)
  • move furniture to clear carpeted areas prior to cleaning and replace it afterward, if requested
  • use appropriate chemical solutions to clean wall-to-wall carpets and upholstered furniture in homes, automobiles and recreational vehicles
  • use the appropriate chemical agents and hand brushes to remove stains such as tar, gum or rust
  • respond to customers' questions and concerns
  • prepare invoices and accept payments.
Working Conditions
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Most carpet and upholstery cleaners work from fairly early in the morning until whenever they have completed the number of jobs they have accepted for the day. Some evening and weekend work may be required.

Carpet and upholstery cleaners work in customers' homes, customers' commercial or industrial carpeted or furnished work spaces and in cleaning plants. They may be required to travel within a specified service range, work for extended periods on their hands and knees, and move furniture or equipment weighing up to 20 kilograms. Safety precautions are required to avoid slipping on wet carpet, developing repetitive strain injuries and reacting adversely to chemicals.


  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Carpet and upholstery cleaners need the following characteristics:

  • the stamina and endurance required to be on their feet performing repetitive tasks for hours at a time
  • manual dexterity
  • the mechanical aptitude required for dealing with equipment failures
  • the ability to establish rapport and communicate with all kinds of people
  • the ability to work independently or as part of a team.

They should enjoy operating cleaning machines, having clear guidelines and organized methods for their work, and determining which cleaning agents should be used to remove stains.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Carpet and upholstery cleaners usually are trained on the job. There are no standard education or certification requirements other than a valid driver's license. However, employers may prefer to hire job applicants who have a high school diploma or related training (for example, safety training, fabric cleaning). Some employers require job applicants to:

  • provide a criminal record check from the police
  • agree to other security checks (for example, vulnerable sector search)
  • take an English literacy screening test.

Some post-secondary schools and school board Continuing Education departments offer related courses on an as needed basis. These courses are advertised in local newspapers.

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification offers certification for carpet and upholstery cleaners who have taken Institute approved training courses.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Carpet and upholstery cleaners may be self-employed or employed by carpet cleaning companies or large organizations such as department store chains. Prospective carpet cleaners are strongly advised to investigate the reputations of potential employers before applying for jobs. Business practices, approaches to training and pay structures vary considerably from one employer to another. Employers may supply their workers with van-mounted cleaning units, or require them to use portable machines and their own vehicles.

A few experienced carpet and upholstery cleaners advance to supervisory positions or establish their own businesses.

Carpet and upholstery cleaners are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 6732: Specialized cleaners. In Alberta, 79% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 4,700 Albertans are employed in the Specialized cleaners occupational group. This group is expected to have an average annual growth of 1.7% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 80 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As carpet and upholstery cleaners form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for carpet and upholstery cleaners. 

There is a relatively high employment turnover rate in this occupation so demand for new workers is fairly steady. However, there may be many applicants for vacant positions.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Carpet and upholstery cleaners' earnings vary greatly. Some employers pay hourly wages plus commissions based on the volume of work performed. Other employers pay straight commission based on product sales. In these companies, carpet and upholstery cleaners' earnings vary considerably from one worker to another and from one month to another, depending on the number of jobs they are offered and the number of additional products they sell.

Carpet and upholstery cleaners are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 6732: Specialized cleaners.

According to the 2015 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Specialized cleaners occupational group earned on average from $14.53 to $19.65 an hour. The overall average wage was $16.50 an hour. For more information, see the Specialized cleaners wage profile.

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification website: www.iicrc.org

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 20, 2014. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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