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Job Description of an Industrial Cleaner

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an industrial cleaner. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and safety compliance to find out if this is the career for you.

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An industrial cleaner cleans large facilities, such as a factory, plant, warehouse or other industrial setting. This job requires on-the-job training and safety knowledge. Industrial cleaners may be required to use special equipment or chemicals to complete their cleaning duties.

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Essential Information

An industrial cleaner is a person whose janitorial duties consist of cleaning and maintaining a factory or other industrial facility. This labor-intensive job usually requires a high school education as well as on-the-job and safety training upon hiring. Commonly, janitorial work includes floor care, cleaning and restocking restrooms, removing trash, washing windows, and some maintenance or repair work on facilities or grounds.

Required Education High school diploma or equivalent may be required
Other Requirements On the job training; compliance with safety regulations
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 6% (for janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners)
Average Salary (2015)* $26,180 (for janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Duties

An industrial cleaner performs both light and heavy janitorial duties in industrial settings, such as manufacturing facilities, warehouses and processing plants. Although basic cleaning tasks are included, the work differs from janitorial responsibilities in office buildings, retail outlets, residential buildings and schools in that it is often performed under uncomfortable or hazardous conditions, sometimes requiring the use of specialized machinery and safety equipment.

Since the work environment of an industrial janitor includes large warehouses and manufacturing facilities, the focus is often to maintain a clean and safe environment for the day-to-day operations of the facility. As of July 2011, available job postings on Monster.com emphasize that the work is labor intensive and requires physical strength and that candidates must be able to operate high-pressure power washing equipment and powered industrial trucks. Depending upon the workplace, an industrial cleaner may also remove hazardous chemicals or be required to clean, inspect, maintain and repair equipment and machinery.

Industrial cleaners and other janitorial work sometimes require a high school diploma or GED, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On-the-job training and other safety training is often provided by the employer. Since workers in this industry often use or are exposed to potentially hazardous chemicals, additional safety training, such as learning the standards developed by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), is required. Twenty-five states have developed safety standards approved by OSHA, many of which are similar or identical to federal regulations. Knowing how to safely operate machinery and tools, use and dispose of chemicals, and protect oneself and coworkers are all essential for industrial cleaners.

Career Advancement

Although industrial cleaners often work independently or as part of small janitorial teams, advancement to a supervisory role may be possible with work experience and additional job training. The BLS states that supervisors typically have a slightly higher education level than entry-level workers, having earned a high school diploma as well as some college or even a degree. Employers may offer higher compensation for industrial cleaners with more work experience as well.

Job Outlook and Salary Information

The BLS estimates that growth in the janitorial field will be around 6% from 2014-2024. More rapid growth is expected in the cleaning of healthcare facilities and in contract work. Since janitorial work is a broad field, job openings are likely to arise from the need to replace workers. In 2014, the BLS reported an annual average salary of $26,180 for janitors and cleaners. At that time, those working for the postal service earned the highest average pay, at $47,200 per year.

Industrial cleaners work as janitors in industrial settings, such as factories, warehouses or other large facilities. They may use special chemicals or equipment, or work under hazardous conditions. Industrial cleaners typically have a high school degree plus on the job training.

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