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)

£12,000 Starter


£18,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

39 to 41 variable

You could work

evenings / weekends on split shifts

How to become a Cleaner

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly for jobs


You could get into this job through an intermediate apprenticeship in cleaning and support services.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, 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.

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

More information

Further information

The British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) has more information about working in this industry.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work on your own
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • customer service skills
  • a desire to help people
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • Being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your tasks will depend on what type of building or site you're cleaning, and may include:

  • following procedures to control infection in hospital wards and operating theatres
  • shampooing or vacuuming carpets and upholstery
  • following food safety and hygiene regulations in food premises
  • general cleaning in industrial buildings or offices
  • clearing up houses and squats
  • cleaning passenger vehicles
  • cleaning at heights, using ladders or mobile access equipment
  • clearing up at crime scenes, or after fires or floods
  • maintaining stock levels of cleaning products
  • simple maintenance of cleaning equipment
  • following Health and Safety (HSE) guidelines on use of chemicals for each task

Working environment

You could work at a private house or in a commercial building.

Your working environment may be dirty.

You may need to wear a uniform.

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.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Level 2 Cleaning and Support Service Apprentice

  • Wage : £300.00 Weekly
  • Location: Eastbourne BN23 8JZ

Apprentice Window Cleaner

  • Wage : £160.00 Weekly
  • Location: Lichfield WS13 6QP

Courses In England

Certificate in Cleaning Principles

  • Provider: Vocational Skills Solutions Limited
  • Start date: 01 January 2019
  • Location: Bury

Certificate in Cleaning Principles level 2

  • Start date: 03 January 2019
  • Location:

Get help using this service

Call 08000 150 950

8am to 10pm, 7 days a week

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