Alternative titles for this job include Cleaning services operative

Cleaners carry out general cleaning of offices, shops and homes, or more specialised cleaning like upholstery or the outsides of buildings.

Average salary (a year)

£15,000 Starter


£21,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

32 to 43 variable

You could work

evenings / weekends on split shifts

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a cleaner

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You could do a college course which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant courses include:

  • Level 1 Award in Cleaning
  • Level 2 Certificate in Cleaning Principles.

Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements for this route.

More Information


You could do a Healthcare cleaning operative intermediate apprenticeship.

This is useful if you would like to work in hospitals, care homes or other places that need to clean to a high standard to control infection.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More Information

Direct Application

You can apply for jobs with cleaning companies or any organisation that employs their own cleaners. There are no set entry requirements, but you'll need to show employers that you're reliable and able to do the job.

Experience can help, particularly if you're looking for specialised cleaning work.

More Information

Further information

You can find out more about careers in cleaning from The British Institute of Cleaning Science.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work on your own
  • customer service skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • physical fitness and endurance
  • the ability to organise your time and workload
  • a desire to help people
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your tasks will depend on where you are working. You could:

  • clean, following food safety and hygiene regulations in food premises
  • do general cleaning in industrial buildings or offices to keep areas presentable and safe
  • follow procedures to control infection in hospital wards and operating theatres
  • clear up houses and squats
  • clean passenger vehicles
  • clean at heights, using ladders or mobile access equipment
  • clear up at crime scenes, or after fires or floods
  • shampoo or vacuum carpets and upholstery
  • maintain stock levels of cleaning products
  • do minor repairs to cleaning equipment
  • follow Health and Safety (HSE) guidelines on use of chemicals for each task

Working environment

You could work at a client's home or at a client's business.

Your working environment may be dirty.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

You could move into specialist cleaning, or a more senior managerial or supervisory role.

You could also start your own business.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a cleaner right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Generic and Specialist Cleaning Principles Level 2

  • Start date: 07 August 2023
  • Location: Not known

Certificate in Cleaning and Support Services Skills

  • Start date: 01 June 2024
  • Location: PLYMOUTH

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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