What it takes to be a cleaner

Being a cleaner can be rewarding but it's also hard work.

Truth be told, cleaners are always needed, and especially so in a pandemic, as we have seen. If you want a secure job but have no idea what it takes to be a cleaner, keep reading!

To begin with, a lot of people who move abroad and who are looking to get any job at all often want to start with cleaning. This means they have to find out what it takes to be a cleaner.

The beauty of this occupation is that it is the same in all the countries. No matter where you go, cleaning is cleaning and it is very easy to understand what your duties are.

If you are in a similar situation or if you have a passion for cleaning, this article will be very beneficial to you. But, if you are thinking about a career change and you are looking for something different to do, you can enjoy what follows, too.

To save those who have an interest in cleaning positions from extensive research, we bring you a summary of what it takes to be a cleaner. So, keep on reading!

Job titles

Generally speaking, you will notice different job titles for pretty much the same role. This will really depend on the sector you are looking to clean in, however, when we talk about what is needed to be a cleaner, it’s pretty much the same.

That being said, some of the job titles for the role of a cleaner are:

  • industrial cleaner
  • cleaning technician
  • cleaner
  • housekeeper
  • accommodation assistant

Let’s start at the beginning.Being a cleaner is not easy

There are a lot of commercial cleaning companies and they usually employ industrial cleaners. They are the people who are contracted to carry out cleaning jobs in a variety of premises, mostly factories and plants.

Similarly, we can say the same thing when talking about cleaning technicians as well as cleaners. The only difference would be where the cleaning takes place. It can be in office buildings, retail shopping centers, government buildings, or in residential complexes. The term “cleaner” is the most generic one there is so you can expect a variety of assignments if that is the official job title.

The last two job titles are reserved for hotels, hostels, and private renters. They need housekeepers or accommodation assistants, which is basically the same thing. If you are looking at a job ad with these titles, you are expected to clean spaces that people rent for short-term or long-term stays.

Job description

Regardless of where the cleaning is taking place, you are expected to clean. This means you will need to use cleaning agents, sponges, mops, carry buckets, and vacuums. You will be the one responsible for keeping things in place, clean, shiny, and enjoyable for others.

If you ask a person experienced in this field what it takes to be a cleaner, they will definitely tell you this: You need to be physically fit, you need to have a good stomach, and you have to be able to ignore people’s opinions.

It is not easy to be a cleaner of any type. Cleaners see a lot of things, some can be unpleasant, nasty, and just plain gross. You need to be aware that you will be on your feet the entire day. Also, people tend to look down on cleaners without realizing those are the same people who keep everything amazing! You really need to have thick skin and just learn to ignore them.

And let’s not forget about how the work is organized. To be a cleaner, you have to be willing to work in shifts, unsocial hours, and overtime as needed. This will depend on your team, assignments, and general workload.

What it takes to be a cleaner – skills

What it takes to be a cleaner?

We researched this whole cleaner business for you, and here are the skills that keep popping up as required in job ads for any cleaner:

  • Ability to work as a part of a team
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Good understanding of the English language (good enough so you can follow instructions)
  • Ability to work with no supervision
  • Dependability
  • Ability to prioritize workload and manage time
  • Physical fitness

As a cleaner, you will need to maintain the cleanliness and neatness of the assigned area, help other team members to complete all tasks, and monitor the levels of cleaning agents and expendable goods. You also need to follow all the relevant health and safety regulations and company policies.


When we’re talking about the salary, the hourly rate depends on a few factors:

  • national minimum wage
  • location within the country
  • the company itself

Usually, all countries offer a minimum wage for these types of positions or a slightly higher rate than what is considered a minimum wage.

Because of this, many people do not really stay in this sector for long.

Who can work in the cleaning sector?

In summary, this is the right position for people who like making things clean, feel their spoken English is not good enough for a different role, or if they do not like customer-facing positions. If someone wants a straight-to-the-point position at which they will spend quite a few calories, this might be enjoyable for them as well.

From this position, you can move up to a supervisory position and lead a whole team of cleaners. Clearly, your career path in this sector depends solely on the company you work for.

We hope this helped you decide on your job search. If you need help finding the right career path, you can always book a coaching session here.

If you’ve already decided that this is the position for you, the next step is writing a winning CV and cover letter. Check out our blog for useful tips or get our CV writing guide here. Alternatively, you can always get our professional writers to do the work for you – simply order here.

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