Should I Become a Janitorial Supervisor?
Janitorial supervisors oversee the work of custodial staff, ensuring that buildings remain clean and that all maintenance concerns are taken care of in a timely manner. Among the duties of janitorial supervisors are scheduling staff members, creating budgets for janitorial expenses, and weighing the cost-to-benefit ratio for equipment and supplies. Janitorial supervisors track inventory, and they make sure that machines are working efficiently and that parts are repaired or replaced as necessary.
Work can be physically challenging, so these supervisors need physical stamina for walking and standing for long periods of time as well as the ability to lift and move heavy equipment. Additionally, they need strong verbal and written communication skills, and they must be able to operate power tools and cleaning equipment, such as powered floor washers and buffers.
So how much do these professionals make? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, janitorial and housekeeping supervisors earned an average annual salary of $40,060 in May 2015. Now let's look at the steps aspiring janitorial supervisors can take to enter the career.
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Step 1: Obtain Employment as a Janitor
Before pursuing a janitorial supervisor position, individuals will often work as part of a janitorial staff to gain experience. Janitorial employment opportunities are available in schools, hospitals, office buildings, and hotels. Once hired, these workers will learn the occupational skills on the job. Responsibilities of janitors include cleaning floors, taking out trash, stocking bathrooms, washing windows, and making light repairs. In some locations, janitors will also provide security by locking doors and notifying authorities if any unauthorized personnel are on the premises.
Some employers prefer that janitorial supervisor applicants are bilingual. Having at least a basic understanding of Spanish terms and phrases may improve communication with Hispanic workers.
Step 2: Obtain Certification
Janitors can pursue optional certification through the Building Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI). This organization awards the Certified Building Service Executive (CBSE) designation to candidates who pass a multiple-choice certification exam covering topics such as business structure, training and supervision, and green cleaning. To maintain certification, you must earn 40 continuing education credits every three years through courses, webinars, conventions, seminars, and other options.
Step 3: Pursue a Management Position
Experienced janitors can seek advancement to supervisory positions at the buildings in which they work, or they can pursue supervisory positions with other employers. Applicants may have luck finding work in healthcare facilities, which the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted to have relatively fast job growth for janitors in the coming years. As more buildings begin to outsource their janitorial needs, experienced janitors may also consider starting their own cleaning businesses.
A career as a janitorial supervisor requires experience in janitorial work, and voluntary certification may help open up advancement opportunities into management positions.