Custodians clean buildings, focusing on interiors, furnishings and equipment.
Caretaker, Cleaner, Housekeeper, Industrial Plant Cleaner, Janitor, Light Duty Cleaner
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:
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
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
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
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.
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:
A custodian’s heavy duties might be to:
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.
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.
Custodians need to possess:
They should enjoy taking an orderly approach to their work. They should also like working with equipment like vacuum cleaners, sweepers and floor polishers.
This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 17 most recent Alberta job postings, collected on Oct 27, 2021.
Review these skills to learn:
|Empty trash cans and other waste containers||13|
|Work with minimal supervision||12|
|Personal Suitability: Dependability||12|
|Sweep, mop, scrub and wax hallways, floors and stairs||11|
|Clean snow and ice from walkways and parking areas||11|
|Personal Suitability: Reliability||11|
|Personal Suitability: Organized||11|
|Wash windows, interior walls and ceilings||10|
|Clean and disinfect bathrooms and fixtures||10|
|Personal Suitability: Flexibility||10|
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:
Custodians doing industrial work may need other safety training, such as the Construction Safety Training System.
The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.
For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.
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.
Custodians may work for:
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:
In Alberta, the 6733: Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 404 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.
Hourly wages for custodians vary considerably.
|Wages*||Low (5th percentile)||High (95th percentile)||Average||Median|
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.
High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.
|Transportation and Warehousing||$45,969|
|Health Care & Social Assistance||$45,428|
|Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing||$39,953|
|Professional, Scientific & Technical Services||$35,226|
|Accommodation & Food Services||$34,077|
|Information, Culture, Recreation||$29,624|
|Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)||$28,809|
|Business, Building and Other Support Services||$24,855|
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.