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Custodian

Custodians clean buildings, focusing on interiors, furnishings and equipment.

  • Avg. Salary $39,876.00
  • Avg. Wage $21.08
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 19,600
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Caretaker, Cleaner, Housekeeper, Industrial Plant Cleaner, Janitor, Light Duty Cleaner

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Janitors, Caretakers and Building Superintendents (6663) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Janitors, Caretakers and Building Superintendents (G933) 
  • 2011 NOC: Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents (6733) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

25%
25%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Interest Codes
The Custodian is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Janitors, Caretakers and Building Superintendents
METHODICAL

Interest in copying instructions to clean and maintain the interior and exterior of commercial, institutional and residential buildings and their grounds; to contract tradespersons for major repairs; and to ensure that security and safety measures are in place in the establishment

OBJECTIVE

Interest in operating - manipulating industrial vacuum cleaners to remove scraps, dirt, heavy debris and other refuse; to sweep, mop, scrub and wax hallways, floors and stairs; to clear snow and ice from walkways and parking areas; and to cut grass and tend grounds

INNOVATIVE

Interest in making adjustments and minor repairs to heating, cooling, ventilating, plumbing and electrical systems; and in performing routine maintenance jobs and repairs such as painting

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 Mar 15, 2018

A custodian’s duties may be light or heavy. They may involve both the inside and outside of a building.

A custodian’s light duties might be to:

  • empty garbage containers and ashtrays
  • service and clean washrooms
  • dust and polish furniture
  • wash and polish glass
  • spot-wash walls
  • vacuum carpets
  • sweep or damp-mop floors
  • pick up litter outside the building.

A custodian’s heavy duties might be to:

  • spot-clean and deep-clean carpets
  • sweep, wet-mop and scrub floors
  • strip, seal, finish and polish floors
  • remove waste materials from buildings
  • wash walls and ceilings
  • move heavy furniture, equipment and supplies.

Many jobs also require custodians to make sure all doors are locked and all electrical items are turned off.

School custodians also maintain heating and cooling equipment by, for example, changing filters. They also make sure lights and fire extinguishers work.

Industrial plant cleaners also ensure machinery is free of lint, dust, oil and grease. They may use a box cart to take materials and products between buildings.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 15, 2018

Custodians often work evenings and nights. They may work part time on a nightly, weekly or monthly basis. Others work 8-hour shifts. They may be called upon to respond to emergencies when off duty.

Custodians usually work indoors, although they may need to do some outdoor work. Examples include cleaning sidewalks and driveways. They may also have to check drains and HVAC equipment on rooftops. Sometimes they clean the outside of buildings.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 15, 2018

Custodians need to possess:

  • the ability to work on their feet for a complete shift
  • fitness and the ability to bend, stretch, walk and lift or move things
  • the ability to communicate well with others.

They should enjoy taking an orderly approach to their work. They should also like working with equipment like vacuum cleaners, sweepers and floor polishers.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 15, 2018

Most custodians are trained on the job. They need to know which cleaners to use for different purposes, and which cleaning chemicals can be mixed safely.

There are no standard formal educational requirements for custodians. However, employers may require job applicants to have one or more of the following:

  • WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System) training
  • TDG (Transportation of Dangerous Goods) training
  • a criminal record check
  • other security checks (for example, vulnerable sector search)
  • a passing grade on an English literacy screening test
  • a driver’s licence.

Custodians doing industrial work may need other safety training, such as the Construction Safety Training System.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Northern Lakes College

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

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 15, 2018

Certification is not required, as there is currently no legislation regulating this occupation. However, the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification offers certification for custodians who have taken approved floor-care training courses.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 15, 2018

Custodians may work for:

  • private janitorial firms
  • municipal, provincial and federal governments
  • health authorities
  • school boards
  • apartment building owners
  • banks
  • retail outlets.

Custodians may subcontract their services or become contractors themselves. Many positions are part time. Competition for better-paying jobs is intense.

There are few openings in higher-paid positions like supervisor or inspector. Some custodians may train for building operator jobs.

Custodians are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 6733: Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents. In Alberta, 79% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] will change depending on factors like:

  • trends and events that affect overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities that come up when people leave existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities that come up when new positions are created)
  • size of the occupation.

In Alberta, the G933: Janitors, Caretakers and Building Superintendents occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.6% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 301 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years. 

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 15, 2018

Hourly wages for custodians vary considerably.

Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $13.00 $28.97 $18.25 $16.56
Overall $14.00 $32.21 $21.08 $19.92
Top $15.00 $44.87 $28.63 $25.18

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Construction
Public Administration
Manufacturing
Health Care & Social Assistance
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing
Educational Services
Wholesale Trade
ALL INDUSTRIES
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Agriculture
Transportation and Warehousing
Accommodation & Food Services
Information, Culture, Recreation
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Retail Trade
Business, Building and Other Support Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

43%
43%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

25%
25%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

4%
4%

Vacancy Rate

2%
Related High School Subjects
  • Trades, Manufacturing and Transportation
    • Construction
    • Electro-Technologies
    • Mechanics
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training

Updated Mar 15, 2018. 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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