Having a neat and well-maintained space is very important for building owners and administrators. Aside from the fact that it will draw more business, cleanliness is also important because the physical condition of a space effectively reflects the owner’s values and attributes. In order to keep things in proper order, a custodian is oftentimes hired to take care of it. But what is the custodian job description?
What is a Custodian?
The term custodian is used to refer to people who are responsible in overseeing and caring for buildings, animals, or even people. The term can actually be used to refer to various types of professionals who render different types of services. However, it is most often used to refer to people who provide maintenance support to buildings like schools, houses, and other public buildings. Furthermore, custodians are hired in order to ensure that a building is clean and free from all types of clutter.
It is said that around 17% to 23% of undocumented immigrants in the United States are working in the cleaning industry. This rate is currently growing at a rate of 1/3% to ½% per annum.
Being employed as a custodian, especially for smaller institutions does not normally require a high school diploma. Employers are more concerned on work experience and actual working knowledge in basic cleaning and maintenance services. However, there are other types of custodial careers that require completion of high school education, and a technical training course.
Being knowledgeable in wiring or electricity, plumbing, and overall building maintenance will put a candidate ahead of the pack. A background check is also being done when screening candidates in order to ensure that the security of building occupants will not be compromised. Other qualifications are as follows:
Good interpersonal skills: Being pleasant and friendly will help a candidate a lot in dealing with the building’s occupants and his fellow custodians as well.
Mechanical skills: Qualified candidates must know how to operate basic equipment such as floor buffers, and industrial floor washers.
Physical strength and stamina: Being a custodian is a very physical job. It entails lifting of heavy objects, and constantly checking the condition of the vicinity.
A custodian’s work is physically demanding. He is expected to be on his feet all the time and attend to some, if not all of these tasks:
- Cleaning and restocking bathrooms
- Floor cleaning and polishing
- Clearing all garbage bins
- Cleaning mirrors
- Restocking supplies such as tissue and hand wash
- Cleaning floors and carpets
- Unlocking and locking buildings at the beginning and end of day, respectively
- Waxing floors
- Cleaning air-conditioning vents
- Litter picking
- Room setup
- Moving of people and equipment
Apart from these, custodians are also sometimes tasked with climate control functions like keeping the furnace in proper order, checking thermostats, or ensuring that the boiler is in proper working order.
In the United States, custodians earn an average annual salary amounting to $22,210 or an hourly rate of $10.68. A custodian’s wage is also affected by various factors like location and cost of living.
Apart from the hourly wage, custodians are also given additional benefits and privileges in institutions like schools. Custodians are also given ample time to go on vacation, just like any other normal employee. Moreover, most companies offer medical and retirement benefits to custodians.
It is said that the need for custodians is steadily rising and this trend will continue until the year 2020. Also, the demand for them will grow up to 11% over the said time period, which is by far, the average growth in most jobs.
A custodian’s job description is most of the time overlooked, but is actually relevant in terms of prolonging the life of a physical structure. They are the ones who do the very demanding and physical task of keeping everything in their proper places and ensuring that everything is in order.