Job Description of a Cleaning Contractor

Sep 21, 2019

A cleaning contractor provides janitorial and cleaning services for both public and private buildings. Some contractors might offer specialized services for cleaning windows and carpets. Cleaning contractors operate their own businesses and therefore often have the freedom to choose the hours they would like to work.

Essential Information

Cleaning contractors are entrepreneurs who are hired to perform cleaning and janitorial duties to residential homes, businesses, and public buildings. Although no formal education and training is required, obtaining a degree in business can be beneficial to individuals who own their own business. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that janitors and building cleaners made a median salary of $23,440 in May 2018, and maids and housekeeping cleaners made $20,740 in May 2015.

Required Education None
Other Requirements Voluntary business degree education
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028) Janitors and Building Cleaners (7%), Building Cleaning and Pest Control Workers (4%)*
Median Salary (2018) Janitors and Building Cleaners ($26,110), Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners ($23,770)*

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Job Description

Cleaning contractors are hired to perform general cleaning and janitorial duties in private homes or public buildings, including office buildings, churches, and government buildings. Instead of performing general duties, cleaning contractors may be hired for a specific cleaning job, including window washing or carpet cleaning. They may also be hired to provide regular maintenance of a building or home. Since cleaning contractors are considered entrepreneurs, it is up to them to decide whether their business will be focused on one specific cleaning duty or on general cleaning or maid service.


Just as they can determine their own specialty, cleaning contractors can determine their own schedules. A beginning cleaning contractor may need an additional part-time job while building up their clientele. However, an established cleaning contractor may have enough clients to consider their business full-time and a sole source of income. They can decide the hours they wish to work, though it may be necessary in the beginning to be flexible in order to gain clients. If a cleaning contractor has a team of employees, their schedule can become much more flexible.


The amount of income cleaning contractors bring in is based on the number of clients they have and the prices they have set. Initially, the income may be low because the client base is usually small starting out, and most income will replenish funds used to start the business. Cleaning contractors must set their own prices for services. Their income will be directly affected by these prices. Setting them much higher than the competition could result in a stagnant or decreasing client base. Setting prices too low may result in no profit or loss of funds.


Since cleaning contractors are self-employed, no degree is required. However, a degree in business, specifically entrepreneurship, could prove to be essential while starting and maintaining a successful business. Topics that are typically studied in an entrepreneurship degree program include:

  • Management and business basics
  • Accounting
  • Customer relations
  • Supply and demand

A bachelor's degree in entrepreneurship typically takes four years to complete. Students may be able to complete a program on a part-time basis while they work as a cleaning contractor.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, reports data for two categories of cleaning contractors: janitors and building cleaners; and maids and housekeeping cleaners. According to the BLS, janitors and building cleaners will enjoy an increase in employment opportunities of about 7% between 2018 and 2028, while building cleaning and pest control workers should also see growth in employment of about 4% during the same decade. Janitors and building cleaners earned a median salary of $26,110 a year as of May 2018; maids and housekeepers earned a median of $23,770 annually the same year.

Cleaning contractors can work in a variety of settings, such as office buildings, churches, and private residences. Although no formal education is needed for this profession, some entrepreneurs may find a two-year degree in business useful, as it can teach them about accounting, customer relations, and supply and demand.

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